For Mom’s birthday, she and I went on a tour of the Grand Ole’ Opry. We tried to go to a show, but that will have to wait until her next visit.
We loved touring around at The Opry. Watching Hee Haw was a common family event for us, and the “heritage” country music stars bring back good memories for both of us.
Unlike Hall of Fame membership, being a member of the Grand Ole’ Opry is a grand honor that requires active participation. One of my favorite parts of the tour was watching videos of people learning they were invited to join the Opry. Seeing grown men and women cry out of joy is a cool thing.
Minnie Pearl’s husband gave her this fountain as a 25th wedding anniversary present, and she wanted it to go somewhere special after her death. It now graces the artist entrance into the backstage area of the Opry.
The Opry, and country music in general, likes to see itself as free of pretense. As such, the dressing rooms were lovely, but not opulent, and certainly not large.
Each dressing room had a different theme:
A circle of the floor was cut out of the stage at Ryman Auditorium when The Grand Ole’ Opry made its move to its own theater. It’s lovely and humbling for artists to know they are standing on the same spot as their idols from the long history of The Opry.
Mom and I had the chance to sing in The Circle when were on the tour. Neither of us chose to do it, nor did anyone else in our tour, and as predicted by our tour guide, I regret it.