nashville: a musical day (with the parthenon thrown in)

“This is for all those haters in the world,” country pop singer Meghan Linsey said over the microphone at City Winery before she belted out her song “Say It To My Face.”  A former contestant on The Voice, she sported a platinum bob cut and bared her midriff under a cropped black leather top and sheer gold kimono.

Dear lady on the internet
You don’t even know me yeah
But you got a lot to say about my clothes
Little do you know

She went on, the gold stars in her hair glittering under a lavender spotlight:

Say it to my face
I’ll give you the time and place
If you’re talking that talk
You better walk the walk
Instead of whispering in the dark

I wanted to jump out of my seat and dance. Not only did I love the rhythm and tune, but Meghan was singing about something I have hated since the U.S. presidential race in 2016.  People can be all kinds of nasty as long as they’re sitting behind their computer screens.  I daresay most of these hateful people wouldn’t make their nasty comments directly to people’s faces!

The fact of this taking place, a dynamic country music singer voicing my thoughts, seemed miraculous, because anything could have happened, and this did.

She sang other fun songs like “The Permanent Marker” and “Mr. Homewrecker,” all from her newest release: Born Like a Lion, which we bought after the concert to show our support.  Before Meghan came onstage, her backup Tyler Cain sang about his “Suitcase Heart,” accompanied by guitar and keyboard. Meanwhile, I savored a wild mushroom flatbread accompanied by grilled asparagus with hollandaise.  Of course, a rich Argentinian wine helped me relax into the music.

In the crowd, a lady in a tight red velvet jumpsuit played with her tight blonde curls.  Nashville could easily be dubbed the “Curling-Iron Capital” of the country for this iconic look.

Before the concert, we made a quick stop at the incongruous Parthenon, now Nashville’s art museum. Built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition as a nod to classical architecture, the building and its 42-foot Athena statue are full-scale replicas of the Athens originals.

Between visiting the Parthenon and going to the concert, Mike and I returned to the apartment to relax a bit. I had a tickle in my throat, and after resting a bit, I walked through shops in our Hillsboro neighborhood and bought two tin Frida Kahlo cups and a beautiful decorative cross at a hip shop called Pangaea.  Nothing like shopping to make me feel better!

We had finished at the Johnny Cash Museum just before closing time.  I thought Johnny had spent time in jail, but he didn’t; he just felt a bond with the prisoners. His Folsom Co. Jail performance is legendary. A series of photographs showed him as he aged through the decades.  A postcard to his parents from his senior class trip, as well as pictures of him with his friends, documented his childhood. His first marriage to Vivian was a disaster due to alcohol abuse and addiction. June Carter, a famous performer in her own right, saved him and set him straight by taking him back to his Christian roots. The photo shoot from an album cover showed the love they had for each other. He recorded 1,500 songs and was in several movies, including the 1961 Five Minutes to Live with a young Ron Howard, but movie stardom wasn’t to be his destiny.  One photo showed him in front of his 14,000 square foot house, which he eventually sold to Barry Gibbs of the Bee Gees. The museum’s highlight was a room all about “Hurt,” a soulful song that makes my heart ache.  A continuous loop of the music video showed on a TV screen, making me want to linger forever.

Before we visited Johnny, Mike left me on Broadway while he went to pick up the car (our parking time was up), and music assaulted me out of the Broadway honky-tonks as I wandered around. I got lost a while, was tempted to fall off the map into Boot Country.  I never planned on coming back, but Mike snatched me up from Honky-Tonk Central before I could hook up with my soul-mate cowboy boots.

Our lunch at Puckett’s, supposedly an iconic eatery, was an inedible trio of BBQ sliders with bubbles of fat oozing out all over the place. The Mac and Cheese in a skillet tasted like Kraft out of the box. A disappointment all around.

We started our day with a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry; the venue sits outside of town near a sprawling shopping mall. It seats 4,400 fans and has a wooden circle from the original Ryman built into the stage where artists stand to perform. Radio shows from the Opry — a balance of bluegrass, classic country, popular country and even gospel and rock — still broadcast live on WSM, a Nashville AM radio station. The security was so tight the guide had to call a floater to escort me to the ladies’ room. Our tour took us past  living Opry stars’ mailboxes, including those of Dolly Parton and Keith Urban, dressing rooms for the stars, and gold plated names of the members.  Once a singer becomes a member, he/she is obligated to perform a certain number of shows per year.

I bought a T-shirt from the gift store: “Give a Girl the Right Boots / She Can Conquer the World.”

I didn’t get the right boots, or any boots for that matter, so I guess I won’t be conquering the world.  At least not today.


Meghan Linsey & Tyler Cain at City Winery

Johnny Cash Museum:

The movie, Walk the Line, tells the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter, played by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.


Reese Witherspoon & Joaquin Phoenix as June Carter & Johnny Cash in Walk the Line


Big Time Boots


Broadway Boot Company

Puckett’s: I don’t recommend it.

The Grand Old Opry: Mike strums some chords.


Mike at the Grand Ole Opry


“PROSE” INVITATION: I invite you to write a 700 to 1,000-word (or less) post on your own blog about a recently visited particular destination (not journeys in general). Concentrate on any intention you set for your prose.  In this case I described my experience with close attention to using all five senses, incorporating a line from a country song and a poem, and noting one unusual thing and why I found it interesting.

You can either set your own writing intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: prose & poetry.  (This page is a work in process.) You can also include photos, of course.

If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.

Include the link in the comments below by Monday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Tuesday, May 1, I’ll include your links in that post. My next post will be about our last day in Nashville, and, again, I’ll be using the same intentions. 🙂

This will be an ongoing invitation. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!