Last night, the Grand Ole Opry returned home to the Opry house after the May floods.I watched the show on GAC along with thousands of other Country Music fans. My heart literally swelled with joy to see that stage and the circle and all those Opry greats on stage together for one huge homecoming night.
I can not wait to get to go and see all the changes and work that was done to bring it back home myself.
First off — I have to say this. I felt a deep anger when on my twitter feed I saw a hand full of people complain that its just a big tourist trap. Non-country fans even said during the flood that they were glad to see the Opry “go.”
Statements like that are ones that fall under, “If you don’t understand it… just shut up.” (TM – Me) Its up there with people who give me crap about being an Aggie. Some things are deeply personal. The Opry is deeply personal and revered by country music fans, artists and musicians. You don’t have to like it or understand it, but you need to respect that it means a LOT to people. A. LOT. And statements like those, are hurtful, spiteful, uncalled for and simply show an ignorance. So again. Just… shut up.
[End rant. ]
It’s been amazing to see the Opry not miss a single performance post-flood. Thanks to the many venues around town that hosted the show the last five months, music fans could still see this wonderful show that brings the past, present and future of country music together in one place.
I remember the first time I got to go backstage at the Opry. I was in awe. I’d toured it with a tour group previously, but there is a different electricity in the air during the show.
I found a strange irony when I realized I was wearing the high heels I’d bought to wear to my senior prom, and they clicked on the asphalt parking long, down the sidewalk and then into the building. Ever since then, any time I’ve had the opportunity it go to the Opry (be it at the Opry House or the Ryman), I still go with a hushed respect for the history the Opry carries.
You can almost feel the ghosts of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Porter Wagner walking those halls along side you. You can see the excitement and nervousness of those getting ready to take the stage.You can see the awe in the eyes of the new artists taking the stage for the very first time.
Ironically, a week or two before the flood, my husband played the Opry. We stood outside the bus and watched the sky churn grey to black to green with spring storms. We prayed there were no tornadoes in the area, all the while clueless to the fact that in a few short days, the area where we stood would be deep under water.
The footage of the Opry underwater made so many people just sick to their stomachs. Tears were shed over it. The people who say things like I mentioned in my rant above could never understand what that stage means to so many. There’s a respect and love that comes from the Grand Ole Opry. There are no words created to accurately describe the feelings people have for it.
It was those same feelings that brought such joy last night as those curtains parted and the show began. The circle of wood from the Ryman floor back in its place. Country greats standing on that stage singing, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Because amazingly enough… the circle was never broken. The show went on to eventually come back home.
Welcome home, Opry. Welcome home.