Opry photos

Here’s a couple of snapshots. I only got one good photo of the stage, I took about 10 pictures from my seat, but without flash, the exposure times were too long for the handheld camera and they all had camera shake except this one of the Del McCoury bluegrass band.

Del McCourey band

Here’s me outside the venue..

and here’s gina checking her instant messages at the restaurant just before showtime.
instant messaging


I regret we couldn’t get to Memphis. During this road trip, I’m reading Highway 61: A Father-and-Son Journey through the Middle of America, a travel/memoir by University of Florida rock and roll scholar Bill McKeen. (Bill is an acquaintance from high school, he graduated with me back in Bloomington IN). The book is about a road trip he took with his son down Highway 61 from Minnesota to New Orleans.

I’m really enjoying the book, its full of Indiana and Florida references (Disney World, strohs beer and Carl Hiassen), our childhoods were similar, moving about quite a bit, and we are of course of the exact same generation.

He spends a good part of the book describing their stay in Memphis, and its rich musical heritage. It would have been wonderfully complimentary to our Nashville stay.

oh well, maybe some other time.

Grand Ole Opry

We went last night, and it was great. There weren’t any big top 40 stars, but some recognizable faces — to me at least. Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Del Mcoury were the big names. There were several of the creaky oldtimers that I’m familiar with from watching the weekly show on cable channel GAC….Little Jimmy Dickens and Porter Wagner for example.

The biggest novelty about this is that its basically still a radio show. There are lots of people on stage, and live commercials are read by an announcer every two songs or so. The sponsors change every half hour, and there were 5 half hour sets in our portion of the evening (9:30-midnight). The commercials work perfectly to cover the equipment and musician changes. The performers welcome pictures, and people swarm the apron with digital cameras and camera phones. All the transitions and handoffs ran like clockwork.

We had GREAT seats, in the third row. The Grand Ole Opry House is a huge modern concert hall, a startling contrast from the Ryman Auditorium which housed the broadcast for many years. The sound mix was excellent. I’ll post some pictures later.

Today we leave and will take a southeastern route home to avoid storm Dennis. Good luck Florida panhandle!


vacation photos

I’ve started to upload vacation photos to snapfish.com for printing. I was pleased with their service when I tried it earlier.

You can check out the current collection as it grows. beware: registration with snapfish.com is required.

Update: I’ve not maintained my snapfish account, so image feeding has been broken. I uploaded my final collection of the tennesssee photos to flickr.com

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Baritone Bob's Tennessee Road trip 2005 photoset Baritone Bob’s Tennessee Road trip 2005 photoset

Driving Tennessee

We’re comfortably ensconsed in the Embassy Suites, Nashville. We plan to do some history touring, and we’ve got tickets to the creaky old Ryman Auditorium, and to the Grand Ole Opry.

Here’s a short video cut from clips Gina shot while hanging out the sunroof of the Mazda. Its 45 seconds, and a 2.9 meg download. I put it together using Windows Movie Maker on my little notebook. It works ok, but its not quite as flexible or powerful as the Studio 9 software I use at home.

Natchez Trace State Park, TN

We crossed Tennessee on mostly state roads and 2 lane highways. I’ll upload some video when we get to some broadband. Stopped briefly in Lynchburg.

It was a great drive, and saw lots of farm land and forested areas. Our destination was a “lodge” room in a TN state park, and its not quite up to our expectations. Gina and Linda do some horseback riding, I found a good cell signal to check email and submit this posting. We’ll leave a day earlier than planned to check into the hotel in Nashville.