Nashville: The City of Music, Love, Food and Candy

Jack's for Barbeque on Broadway

If you know anyone who used to fake being sick so they could stay home and listen to Host Cliffie Stone and his Hometown Jamboree, introduce me to them, will you please.  We share the same roots.  I have always been a Country Music fan, and found that I still am, totally and absolutely. Coming to Nashville has put my love of country music in its rightful place in my heart and soul.  Spending time with our dear friends, P. and S. is on the top of all reasons we chose to come here.

Minnie Pearl giving P. some advice.

In Nashville, there was an opportunity to see the Ryman Auditorium where it all began, to experience southern barbeque at Jack’s, to walk down Broadway and slip in and out of music venues. One after another, you go from one piercing, heartfelt sound to one more. Each one of us in the group had our special sounds that we clung to and few liked the same performers.  I got into The Don Kelley Band and became mesmerized by a special guest, Johnny Hiland on the electric guitar. He was jamming to Ghost Riders. Then and there I found out that even at my ripe old age, I could be/have been a groupie. After listening for quite a while, it was time to move on, and I was dizzy, weak kneed and felt full of the reverberations and resonations powerful sound creates. It left a “Honky Tonk” residue that has lasted long after the music wafted away.

We met P & S at the Nashville airport and our adventures began right then and there and did not stop until we were put back at the airport for our journey home.  Yes, we did touristy things. Why not? P & S spent their college years in Nashville, so they knew quite a few things tourists don’t know. We drove out of town to Brentwood, saw some homes of the stars, drove on to Franklin, the town where during the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin, one of the final battles of the war was fought. On the way to and from Franklin, we saw some charming Tennessee countryside and forty-seven churches. (I counted every one of them with a little help from our friends) Since it was a weekday, the church parking lots were basically empty, but come Sunday ALL of the parking lots were full. Our lot was so full, we had to park catawampus but left room for others to come and go as we readied ourselves for Sunday morning services. The parking lot was full and so were the pews. Standing room only and parking down in the streets.

The next morning we had a wonderful experience at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which turned out to be an interactive musical experience. Country music songs, legends, clothes, instruments and stories from long ago until now are on display. This experience was a real tribute to Country Music, the Country Music Stars and to the city of Nashville. We drove around on some of the streets around the museum and one house after another has been turned into a recording studio. Nashville is truly the city of music.

If you like candy you will be impressed with the Goo Goo Cluster. They are an original Southern confection made in Nashville, TN.  A Goo Goo candy is a roundish mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and drenched in chocolate. Its taste is one you will never forget. They say there is nothing like it in the world. Probably not, but I did find its competition called Marie McGee’s Bumble Bees, also made in Nashville TN.  They are heavenly.  You eat one of Marie’s Bumble Bees, close your eyes and tears of joy will come dripping down. You can order Goo Goos and Marie McGee’s Bumble Bees online. Go ahead order a box of each, take the taste test and get back to me. I know what you will say.

The Grand Ole Opry House

When in Nashville you must attend the show that made Country Music Famous, yes, you’ve guessed it, The Grand Ole Opry.  Before you go to the show, or after, visit Gaylord Opryland Hotel. It is a must see as well. The Grand Ole Opry is the longest LIVE radio show in the U. S. and while you enjoy your show, you will have many intervals where all is stopped in deference to the commercial messages sent across the airwaves. The high energy in the Opry house and the people watching in the audience make up for the commercial time out.

Little Jimmy Dickens

Our show was hosted by: Riders in the Sky, Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens and Vince Gill. Our performing stars were Patty Loveless, Mike Snider, Dierks Bently, Vince Gill and a host of others.  Hail Mary, we have been to the Grand Ole Opry. We have seen Nashville, heard the sounds, been immersed in the traditions of the Country Music and were deeply moved by the songs of the South!!

Vince Gill and Patty Loveless

We drove out into the countryside to Fayetteville for the night. As we arrived into this lovely classic Tennessee country town, we were greeted by a howling sound that buzzed loudly, continuously and unmercifully. “The Cicada’s are here,” announced S. They come about every thirteen years. They hibernate in the ground and in the trees and come out on schedule.  I heard L. say that this would be her last Cicada’s because in thirteen years she must be planning to be gone.  We had a little talk with her about that and feel she will see another Cicada season.  I hope so and if I am around, I want to come back to Fayetteville in Lincoln County to be with P.’s family and see L. living through another Cicada outbreak.

The General Store

We ate lunch at the general store. The next time you make chicken salad, pop in some chopped apple and grapes. Yum.

We spent some time on Fayetteville’s Main Street and walked around the square. P.’s family are the nicest, most generous and kindhearted people you would ever want to meet.

The Dance Recital

A Peek at Lucy's Dance!

We hung out at little Lucy’s dance recital in the early evening. The town was quiet during our walk around it throughout the day, but the auditorium was packed for the dance recital. Our eyes and ears were treated to the community as they came in droves for this event. After the recital we drove out into the rolling hills and had dinner in a little restaurant on the side of a country road.  The food was spectacular and the company around that table was lovely and loving.  We felt so enveloped and accepted. I had to pinch myself and say in my inside voice, look where you are; look who you are with; look what you are doing; hear the cicadas; think about the green rolling countryside; you are in the middle of the world with people who care; I remembered being told the town has a bench called the Spit and Whittle where old men gather to pass the time spitting and whittling; this town is so real, so authentic and so important because P. and his family grew up here and many still live here; what an honor to share it with them.

Our time in this part of the south is a treasure trove of learning and memories with S. and P. and P’s family. We must return.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Reene
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 23:45:31

    Dumb that I am I’m waiti g for your blogs—glad I finally figured out how to read them. I realy enjoyed them. Brought back lots of memeories of our trip to Spain a d Portugal. Sounds like you are enjoying the trip. I keep hearing about the problems in France. I doubt that things will get better and a boycott of French products has bee n suggested by many.. Stay cool it is 103 i LAtoday!!! Reene


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