October 26, Thursday – Drove to Nashville and back
We decided to rent a car to drive two hours to Nashville rather than travel by boat for a week (and then come back). Fortunately the Enterprise rent-a-car in Paducah is willing to go the extra miles (40 minutes) to pick up people from this well-known, large marina. We had hoped to see an Opry show in Nashville but were too late to get a reservation at the famous Ryman Auditorium. However we did enjoy a self-guided tour of the home of the Grand Ole Opry House from 1943 until 1974. It was unused for a while and could have been torn down but is once again a Opry and concert venue thanks to many enthusiastic fund raising patrons. The tour included a number of movies of the Ryman history and stories of the woman, Lula Naff, show promoter and theater manager, that single-handedly turned the Ryman Auditorium into a desirable place for the famous people of her day to perform starting in 1914! Performers included Katharine Hepburn, Harry Houdini, Bob Hope and the Ziegfeld Follies. The Opry started using it in 1943 and the rest is Opry history.
The statue is of Little Jimmy Dicken’s, a Nashville favorite.
We walked up and down the ‘honky-tonk’ street of Broadway, listening to country western music of all sorts from open bars along the way. Most bars are narrow and have 3 or 4 stories, each with their own entertainers! We ate lunch on the Toosies roof and later looked at Cumberland river views from the New Famous restaurant roof top.
A very fun day!