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Local residents take YWCA Nashville Boots and Bangles tour PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 30, 2013 12:04 AM

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The Gaylord Opryland Hotel welcomed us with open doors for a heel-kickin’ good time in Nashville, Tenn. All of the 34 guests aboard the YWCA bus enjoyed balcony rooms overlooking the Cascade Gardens and Water Falls. The smell of bacon cooking awakened the guests and the Cascade Restaurant with its excellent food was enjoyed by all.

Everyone enjoyed wandering through the gardens to the Delta and Magnolia areas of the spacious Opryland Hotel. The Delta area has a lazy river and a boat ride on the river wanders through beautiful gardens with orchids and tropical flowers blooming everywhere.

The evening was a busy one with dinner at the famous Santa Fe Cattle Company. Hand-cut steaks, southern fried cat fish, barbecued ribs with the trimmings and special southern desserts for all.

The Grand Ole Opry, which has mesmerized audiences for over 85 years, was a special treat with new upcoming stars and ones like Bill Anderson, Lee Greenwood, Tracy Lawrence and Dailey and Vincent kept everyone’s toes tapping.

The newly-built Country Music Hall of Fame houses memories from years past and everyone could remember most of the stars. A whole room was devoted to Reba McIntyre and her stardom. Elvis had his gold Cadillac for all to see with gold-lined headlights and gold sprinkled all through the paint! Dresses of the stars and suits that had been worn in years past brought back memories. Beautiful gowns that the singers had worn included one with 100 yards of material in it! Their accomplishments displayed on the walls have left memories in our hearts.

The General Jackson was awaiting us to take a noon luncheon cruise on the beautiful Cumberland River. The good southern cooking was followed by a lot of laughter from Steve Hall and his buddy Shot Gun Red and musicians, including a wonderful singer who could sing like every star that you could name and played the guitar despite being blind since birth.

Shopping or enjoying the beautiful hotel was followed by a variety show, which included songs of artists of the past. Jeanne Sealy was especially enjoyed by all. A full southern buffet with turnip greens and fried chicken preceded the show.

A special treat for the group was a visit to Barbara Mandrell’s home in the hills of Tennessee. The largest log house in the world is located on 136 acres of pristine land. Barbara lives in a smaller home now as this one is 27,000 square feet with 13 bathrooms and five big fireplaces. Her dressing room and closets were unbelievable. You could sit in her chairs or lay in her bed and eat crackers. The box was beside the bed! She was a champion skeet shooter and had a shooting range in the home. She had flown with the Blue Angels and been Entertainer of the Year two times and Female Vocalist two times. The guide played piano for us and made us feel at home as Barbara would have.

Munching on Goo Goo Bars and drinking sweet tea completed happy memories for all who enjoyed Nashville and country music. If you like country music, plan now to join the YWCA next year for Nashville tour and also a Loretta Lynn tour. Tapping their toes to country music included Carol Hennis and Shannon Schlenker, both of Van Wert; Louis and Ruth Ricker of Ottoville; Rod and Mary Bowen, Jeff and Carol Thatcher, Gary and Diane Mosier and David and Pam Herminghuysen, all of Van Wert; Dick and Eileen Whitman of Payne; Larry and Sharon Whitman, Carol Trice, Paul and Carol Arthur and Dave and Sharon Sheets, all of Van Wert; Don and Sarah Baldhauf of Delphos; Louise Renner, Pat Lippi, Clarence and Carol Ringwald and Shirley Short, all of Van Wert; Charlotte Gebhart of Brookville; Paul and Sharon Miller of Mendon; Byron and Janet Mohr, tour escort, of Van Wert; and Tim Ford, driver, Ottawa.


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