A Slice of LIfe
Day 10 (Monday)
What a beautiful day to take a drive through the Kentucky and Tennessee Hill Country. My first stop today was to visit the Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum located in Elizabethtown, KY. This really was a “cars of MY yesteryear” museum. It was filled with beautifully restored 1900s to 1960s cars, many of which brought back the memories of my teenage years. They had a Hudson Hornet that DiVoran told me she drove when she was a teenager. They also had a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, similar to the one that my high school best friend’s sister had. She would drive us around town when we asked her to, so we could feel like we were high class teenagers.
The next stop on my list for today was the Historic Rail Park & Train Museum in Bowling Green, KY. This was a good sized museum located in the original Bowling Green train station. They had memorabilia and model trains inside and some nicely restored Pullman train cars outside.
As I was leaving Bowling Green, heading back to I-65, I came across Art’s Corvette/Art’s Auto Mart, just around the corner from the National Corvette Museum, located on the outskirts of town. It looked like they could have had as many as 100 different Corvettes and other cars displayed in those two facilities. However not being a Corvette fan, and not needing to buy a car, I elected not to pay the entrance fee and go through the museum. Besides, these two museums were not on my list and I needed to make tracks for Nashville.
I stopped at the Tennessee Welcome Station for a short break and to pick up a Tennessee road map. They were playing country music on their speaker system for their visitors. After I used the restroom, I picked up a map and headed for my car. I saw a lady on the sidewalk, who looked like she was waiting for someone, and she was moving to the music. By the time I got to my car she had started heading toward her car, but she really wasn’t walking, she was line-dancing down the sidewalk to the music from the welcome station. It was the coolest thing. She had no idea anyone was watching and I don’t think she really cared. I wished I had thought in time to take a video, but I didn’t.
My first stop in Nashville was to visit the Lane Motor Museum, located on the east side of town, just after I crossed over the Cumberland River. This museum was unbelievable! One man, Jeff Lane, has collected approximately 450 different kinds of motor vehicles and motorcycles from all over the world under one roof. What was so amazing for me was that almost all of the vehicles in this collection run, and many are shown at various car shows. A sign in front of the museum reads “Unique Cars from A to Z.” I had no idea that so many different types of vehicles have been manufactured throughout the world in days gone by.
I tried to visit the Music Valley Wax Museum there in Nashville but discovered that it had been closed, due to a flood in the area in 2010. However, within walking distance of the wax museum building, I was able to walk through The Nashville Music Palace (The home of traditional country music) and The Willie Nelson & Friends Museum. Both were filled with memorabilia of various country music stars from over the years.
My plan was to visit the Grand Ole Opry, but I was told the only way that was going to happen was if I bought a tour ticket, that included the Opry House and a stage performance. I probably would only see an empty Ryman Auditorium stage and I didn’t have the time to wait around for an evening show. So, I opted to do the whole Grand Ole Opry tour another time.
Last on the list for today was to visit Nashville’s Centennial Part and take in the full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The Original replica was built in 1897 as the center piece for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Later, during the 1913 & 1914 Spring Pageants, it was referred to as the “Athens of the South.” The structure was left standing for the next 20 some years, until weather and deterioration required its removal. It was permanently rebuilt, on the same foundation, between 1920 and 1931.
The Nashville Parthenon now operates as an art museum, with a 41-foot high reproduction of Athena Parthenos (Greek goddess Athena) as its focus. It’s beyond me why anyone would want to keep something like that in their city. I guess it makes for a good tourist attraction. It got my attention didn’t it!
When checking into the motel, I asked the desk clerk about a good place to eat, and he referred me to Jack’s BBQ Restaurant a couple miles down the road. Jack’s was a small place, but the aroma in and around the place made my mouth water and my stomach growl. I had some of the tenderest and most delicious St. Louis Ribs I have ever had. They came with collard greens, corn-on-the-cob, and cold slaw. I enjoyed a slice of their homemade cornbread and Grape jam for desert. Luckily, there was enough of everything, left over, for me to enjoy it all again tomorrow night.
—–To Be Continued—–