Since we were so blown away by our experience at the Ryman, we kinda knew visiting the “real’ Opry in the Disney-fied Music Valley area would be a disappointment, so we saved it for the end of our visit. And that was probably a good idea, since it kind of blew.
Of course, had we managed to see an actual show here perhaps we would have enjoyed Opryland more, but because of our tight schedule, we managed to be there on days when the Opry was dark.
Which sucked, because the day before we arrived Loretta Lynn was there and the day after we left, Porter Wagoner was due to hit the stage with Marty Stuart and Kellie Pickler. I know…suckage! We should have stayed longer, but there was just no time as Memphis and Elvis Week were beckoning…
Anyway, these pictures will give you an idea of what the place was like, really kind of ordinary, with none of the history or soul you felt at the Ryman.
There was a giant mall (Opry Mills) nearby and a huge hotel complex behind that, but I swear if you squinted your eyes, it felt like you were at Universal Citywalk or Downtown Disney. You know, totally sanitized and totally theme-park-ish…and not in a fun, Dollywood way either. VERY disappointing.
The one saving grace was a small “Dukes Of Hazzard” museum we stopped at on the way out called “Cooter’s Place”.
Owned and operated by the actor who played Cooter on the show, Ben “Cooter” Jones — who I hear legally added the “Cooter” to his name a few years back — the place was so strange and so rinky-dink that it was actually kind of charming.
And though my tour was brief — the ladies gave me ten minutes to check it out while they waited in the car with the AC blasting — I did manage to get some cool pics. Oh yeah, and the tour was free too. Even better!
As you can see, the kid’s room was the spookiest. That mannequin in the pajamas, yikes! But the thing that really would have given me the willies as a kid are those freakishly-lifelike Halloween costumes on the back wall.
Hell, even know, that Boss Hogg mask haunts my dreams…who would wear that? Scary! And yes, those are Catherine Bach’s original Daisy Dukes hanging on that old clothesline. Or at least that’s what the sign said.
And speaking of signs, you can see by the one near the door (pictured below) that we missed seeing Cooter by a few days too…yikes, Loretta, Porter and now Cooter?! Who planned this trip?
Luckily for us, our next and final stop in Nashville turned out to be one of the best!