Aug 30, 2010

The Athens of The South

Whew! There's nothing like a road trip and some Art Shenanigans to get you up and going again. July and August this year was incredibly b.u.s.y. workwise -- and the heat melted everything down around these parts. But I digress.

Amy (you remember her) popped us into Hubbs' truck this Friday past like homemade biscuits in an oven -- and away we went! I was more than just excited. As many road trips as I've had, this one was completely different and so special to me.

Nashville is considered the Athens of the South and not just because of the Parthenon.


The last time T and I were here, Athena was not all gussied up a la Ancient Greece, as she is seen here. The statue was exclusively white marble. And this time, we were not able to go into the Temple itself. It was closed for an exclusive gala event -- to honor the (last of) those Olympians that had run with Wilma Rudolph. We still had visual access however -- which made it all the more tantalizing.

Not to be outdone, T and Amy walk around the Temple to show the size/scale of the place. And to see if there's another way in... !
And here, Nike -- with Zeus's approval and the family looking on -- crowns Athena the Patron Goddess of Athens. Mmm... but the Parthenon is in Nashville. Go figure.


So, on to the real reason We Three Queens went on this junket.

I cannot express the sheer beauty and blast from the proverbial past that enveloped the floor of the Frist Center which housed "Haute Couture:The Golden Age". Even the children were mesmerized into quietitude. Altho that might have been from seeing the undergarments that looked like they could take you right out if you moved the wrong way! Go to this website to see more...

Back then, dressing was indeed elegant, having been raised to an art form. I think people look at it with such nostalgia. Either they came in on the tail end of this particular era -- which lasted only 10 years! -- or they remember their moms and/or grandmothers blazing through this sartorial comet, a la Mad Men!

We hit Broadway, the main drag through downtown Nashville, which features all sorts of things -- a lot of low end to high end schlock as well as historic sites. The food at this BBQ joint was YUMMO. And please do open that video to experience Jack's Tennessee twang. Authentic, trust me.

We poked our heads in at BB King's Blues Joint after a quick visit to Coyote Ugly, but no way could we have squeezed into Mr. King's establishment. You would have thought he was there. And if he was, well -- I'm sorry he missed us.


Face it, Nashville is about the MUSIC. If there was one tribute to Elvis, there were a million and he's not even from here. He was from Tupelo, Mississippi. But lots of songbirds paid dues and spent lots of time (still do) in Nashville.
One of my earliest memories is my mom throwing an Ernest Tubb platter onto the record player, singing along and even "dancing" a little. She never would have down that had folks been around as she was an "old time" Wesleyan... but her baby girl was all about singing and dancing and Art Shenanigans! So I stopped in as much for Ma as myself and was simply stunned.

It's a ginormous store with lots of atmosphere, smokey without the cigarettes, electric without the amps, the actual stage still there where his famous Midnight Jamborees took place so many times and where fans had access to him and many other famous recording stars. Records of everyone who was anyone at anytime plus many who are now 100% forgotten are in there as are cookbooks, high end schlock, autographed photos and tour posters...

Talk about Haute Couture! Look at the difference between the stars' suits. The bling on Jack Drake's outfit on the right makes Ernest Tubb's suits look sober as a judge. Ah yes, The Texas Troubadour... my mom knew all those warblers' nicknames. And she knew all their songs, as far as I could tell.
And believe me, they might slaughter the language while they're doing it, but those people can sing.



This weekend, I will pop up some Chihuly at Cheekwood, the other BIG DEAL we made haste to see. I love Dale Chihuly more and more with each passing season. His work is stupendous in a botanical setting like Cheekwood and it was the third time I've managed to catch one of his shows. We had to peel ourselves off his exhibit like bandaids to make it to the Haute Couture show, as a matter of fact!


But say, what's this? Yes indeedilidoo! Imagine my glee when this was found in my mailbox upon re-entry into the atmosphere. My Sketchbook 2011 book came in with all the trimmings... and my theme this year is "Facing Forward". I'll be keeping a blog by that name starting soon... so stay tuned!


Whew! Take care, Kids. More to come soon.
Candace, Still in Athens, the Nashville of the South