Day 15: June 28, 2003
A Touch of History



For Tennessee's centennial in 1897, the exposition grounds were filled with copies of several historic structures. They were intended to last only for the exposition itself and were constructed appropriately. Cost & speed were much favored. Most of the buildings disappeared, as planned, soon after the exposition but the popular Parthenon remained. Finally, its plaster construction caught up with it and it was rebuilt of sturdier stuff. The full size Parthenon that can be visited today was completed in 1931 and the full size statue of Athena added in 1982.

In 1943, the Grand Old Opry was born in Ryman's Auditorium and it remained there until 1974. After twenty years sitting empty and facing demolition, the "Mother Church of Country Music" was saved by renovation in 1994. Today the Ryman has a very useful life with performers from Merle Haggard to the Pretenders appearing there in the last year. One of my few regrets on this trip is that I was unaware that Vince Gill was performing at this historic venue on the night I rolled into Nashville. Despite walking with in half a block of the Ryman, I missed a great opportunity but did get the see the theater on a daytime tour.

On the way to the stadium, we passed up the bar called Bar and stopped at Joe's Crab Shack for dinner. Two for one draft beer, good food, and a little dancing entertainment from the staff.

We were now close enough to the river to make walking seem a better idea than finding and waiting for a shuttle so we walked to the stadium to see that Little Ol' Band From Texas. Seating was first come within assigned sections and we started off to one side. Apparently many Corvette owners found the show too loud, too raucous, or too something and significant numbers exited early. More central seats were soon available. Eventually, the seats right next to our new ones also became available when the lady constantly holding her fingers in her ears prevailed on her husband to leave. The rest of us had a great time. The blimp was still on the job when the concert, and the Nashville part of the birthday, ended.

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