After driving halfway across the state, we pull into our hotel...the Hyatt Place Opryland...just across the street from the massive, Gaylord Opryland hotel.
We're feeling sick. I caught a cold in Tupelo and, despite my efforts, Letty and Tim caught it from me.
A little taste of the town is in order so we head downtown. My first surprise is parking. The lots here do not advertise their rates on their signs. I find out why. A lot a block south of Broadway, after I pull in, park, unload Tim, and go to the kiosk to pay, turns out to be $25.
We head to the Johnny Cash museum around the corner. It's nice to see. A $12 AAA discounted admission for each of us gets us in.
We see a lot of his suits and dresses worn by his wife, June Carter Cash.
There are videos about his life, hand written lyrics, awards, and gold records.
His favorite guitars and paintings done by the man in black.
And ending with the mixing board used by Cash and Rick Rubin to record the American series of albums at the end of his life while a video of "Hurt" plays nearby.
I probably would have enjoyed it more had I not been sick but the place was crowded and cramped.
In fact, the whole city was crowded and cramped. Thousands had descended on Nashville because of the George Jones tribute concert that would be going on tonight at the Bridgestone Arena, up the street.
Walking down Broadway, it was chilly and crowded. All the people and neon made the city live up to it's nickname of "Nash Vegas" due to it's resemblance to Las Vegas.
I hate Las Vegas.
The sickness, crowds, cold weather, and the fast draining hole in my wallet were wearing on me.
We ducked into Ernest Tubb's record shop to get out of the cold and browse the selections.
I was beginning to think after four pretty wonderful days in Memphis that we might have made a mistake coming here for the bulk of our trip.
In the back of the store on a very small stage, an older gentleman on guitar with a younger woman singer started to play. I heard someone ask the store clerk, "is that Leon Rhodes?" The clerk assured him it was.
Rhodes is a certifiable country star. He was Ernest Tubb's lead guitar player in the band The Texas Troubadors. The woman was Anita Stapleton, a much in demand backup singer here.
We stuck around to hear them play a few songs. In between songs, I snuck in with Tim to get the picture with the musicians you see above.
After Letty took the picture, I feel a tap on my shoulder. Maybe Mr. Rhodes could feel my blue and depressed demeanor. When I turned around, he simply smiled at me,and stuck out his hand for a handshake.
It was at that point that I felt everything would be ok.
Welcome to Nashville.
Copyright 2013 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved