After our five mile walk along the canal we returned to the campground, hitched up the truck and drove to Knoxville, Tennessee to a small private campground. We didn't do any sightseeing in Knoxville but in the morning we drove over to a nice looking State Park with a lake, swimming pool, campground, picnic areas and a golf course. After our morning walk we picked up the trailer at the campground and drove to Nashville, Tn. We had decided to stay in the Holiday Travel Park so we called ahead. Often when we aren't sure we can get a spot we will call ahead to make sure there is a place for us in the campground we have selected for our stopping place. When heading into a crowded area we don't want to search for a campground after driving four or five hours. Some times we are told to come on down, occasionally we are asked for our credit card. While there were a number of campgrounds in Nashville near the Grand Ole Opry it was a crowded weekend so Nashville was one of those places we thought it prudent to call ahead especially for a weekend stay.When we drove past the Opryland Mall and down the block we were looking for Holiday Travel Park. When we had called nobody told us they had changed the name to Jellystone Campground so we drove right by the park. Yes "Bubu" it's the same Jellystone made famous by the Hanna and Barbera cartoon of that name. Some time in the 70's somebody franchised the concept going as far as having costumed characters to entertain the kids. We even took our kids to one of these parks near Ocean City, NJ on one rainy Spring weekend during our tenting days. After passing all the campgrounds on the block and proceeding to a residential street we realized something wasn't as it should be and made a "U" Turn, not easy with a 29 foot trailer behind you and went back up the street. This time we saw the small sign denoting their previous name and figured it out.
We did a little shopping in the Bass Pro Shop supposedly fisherman and hunters heaven on earth and we went to the Grand Ole Opry.
"The Grand Ole Opry was originally known as the WSM Barn
Dance, and its inaugural broadcast was made on November 28, 1925. The change
(in name) reportedly came about in an accidental way, the result of an ad lib
by announcer George D. Hay, ...Apparently, the WSM Barn Dance came on the air
immediately after a broadcast of the NBC Music Appreciation Hour, conducted
by Dr. Walter Damrosch. Hay opened the program by saying: "For
the past hour, you have been listening to Grand Opera. Now we will present
Grand Ole Opry!"
The name stuck, and in succeeding years, as the live audience grew, the program moved, first to a newly built studio that accommodated about 500, then to the Hillsboro Theatre, and East Nashville Tabernacle, and later to the auditorium of the war memorial, which seated about 1,200. Two years after the Opry became a network show, with a half hour broadcast coast to coast, it moved to the famous Ryman Auditorium where it remained until 1974."
If you don't know it, the Opry features Country Music. On Friday and Saturday night an audience is in the big auditorium which looks like the inside of a church in keeping with its time in the legendry Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman was originally built as a church but quickly turned into a concert hall. It has been renovated and is a still being used as a concert hall. Current stars and those from previous generations perform in these weekend Opry shows which are broadcast during the week. Therefore the show is broken into segments with different performers. Each segment is sponsored and features live commercial breaks for such sponsors as Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Rutledge Hill Press/Loretta Lynn Cookbook, Dickies Workwear and others. The performance we attended featured Brad Paisley, Janie Fricke, Steve Warner, Jeannie Seely, Eddie Stubbs and others. The audience contained many "Out of Towners" including school groups of screaming teenage girls who all ran up for pictures and autographs. It was an interesting experience. We also walked on the Nashville Riverwalk and on a few streets but didn't go into any of the Bars, Restaurants or music spots. We did however go into restored 1780 log Fort Nashborough.
A relatively short distance from Nashville is Memphis Tennessee and the Lorraine Motel, " a small minority owned business in the south-end of downtown Memphis" now the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
"By 1982 the Lorraine Motel was a foreclosed property. A group of prominent Memphians, concerned that this historic site would be destroyed through continued neglect and indifference, formed the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation to save the Lorraine. In September 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum opened."
The museum is comprised of the motel and the The Young /Morrow boarding house across the street. The room from where the killer, James Earl Ray shot King has been recreated and the visitor can look out from the same window onto the balcony where King stood. The museum displays include the history of the Civil rights movement from 1619 when some opposed slavery. The events memorialized by the displays include "Jim Crow" laws and the Klu Klux clan as well as the Sleeping Car Porters and A Phillip Randolph, the formation of the NAACP and National Urban league, the famous Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, Little Rock Central High and the Montgomery Bus Boycott which includes a real bus you walk through,also featured are the battle for Ole Miss and James Meredith's quest for a college education as well as pictures of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner whose killer is right now being brought up on murder charges, a jail cell from Birmingham and the march from Selma to Montgomery, the March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream " speech and the Memphis garbage men's strike that brought King to Memphis. There are several period cars are in the parking lot including a replica of the 1966 Mustang driven by James Earl Ray, as well as the recreated room that King stayed in complete with rumpled bed and left overs from breakfast. Memphis also has a nice river walk which we walked and a 4 block long mock up of the Mississippi River that was closed for the season.