The first stop on our agenda this morning in Nashville was The Ryman Auditorium. I'm a history buff and seeing this place was high on my list of things to do. A bronze statue of Tom Ryman stands proudly before the building. Inside the building we met Lisaann Dupont who led us on an amazing tour.
She brought us to a painting of Thomas Ryman and told the story of how he came to be friends with revivalist Samuel Porter Jones and promised to build a place where he would never have to preach under a canvas tent again.
Lisaann explained how Lula C. Naff ran the Ryman for over fifty years and I can't wait to get online and read more about this woman. From 1904 until 1955 she handled bookings of hundreds of the most famous acts of the times.
The sunlight filtered through the stained glass windows that were put in during the 1950's. The rich colors illuminated the aged wood that is kept in pristine condition. One thing that struck me as we walked through The Ryman is that this building is loved by the people who work and visit there. We were shown original sections of the building, where, when, and why things were changed.
Backstage, I got to look the dressing rooms. How many talented people have sat in those rooms?
Our guide explained the original bricks of the masonry were made on site and they would still be warm when put into place. In places you could see where the fingers of the bricklayers pressed into the brick. I put my thumb into the very place where the man who laid that brick during the seven years The Ryman was built. One hundred and twenty years later the brick is still in its spot. With the efforts the curators put into preserving every aspect, I'm sure that my great-grandchildren could come back and put their thumb into the same depression.
Someday I will come back and spend a day at the Ryman and see a performance. I know I am missing out on the experience and my bucket list for life got a new entry today.
Merle Watch: Not a glimpse of a bulldog. He is an elusive puppy.
For more information on the Ryman Auditorium visit www.ryman.com.