Gary writing: I ain't in Kansas (aka So. Cal.) no more...
We arrived in Red Bay, Alabama 3 days ago. Home of Tammy Wynette. Passed through Tupelo, Ms. Birthplace of Elvis. He moved to Memphis as a Teen and that's also where Graceland is (nope, we didn't visit)
Red Bay is home to our Motorhome. Tiffin Motorhomes, many feel, are simply the best (and I'm one of them!). Taking a tour of the assembly factory was really neat. We actually walked through the plant and right into and through the action... Having owned a business in Calif and constantly being vigilant about CalOSHA and safety issues, I was shocked to see how "laid back" they were about us walking around and through on this guided tour. Very cool however.
So I'm sitting making small talk with this middle aged gal who's the "scheduler" for RV repairs. Actually trying to "make nice" so hopefully we can get timely service on our coach. I noticed lots of horse photos in her office. Sooooo, I start talking about horses and that I'm a veterinarian and i worked on some horses in Vet School. So she tells me, her and her daughter (pre-Vet at Ms. State Uni) have won nearly 30 saddles in Rodeo competion (poles, barrels and team roping > yes, I actually knew what these were and could converse some.) Good 'ol Country Gal... So one thing leads to another, we start talking about Hunting (EVERYBODY in the South seems to hunt 'n fish!). She tells me last weekend she snagged SIX BOARS (wild male pigs). So I'm figuring she shot 'em, or maybe even more impressively, used bow and arrow. Nope, she "stabbed 'em to death" REALLY!! Got her dogs to corner 'em and a fellow hunter to help immobilize and them-- knife to heart and probably neck too!! Can you imagine my horror!! Spent my entire career saving animals, including hundreds of pigs and she's proudly telling me how she's "doing the deed." What to say?? Well, I'm thinking, I'm trying to get my Rig in to be serviced and don't want to upset her! Do I report her > inhumane!!! I'm thinking, hell, Down South here, they'll just laugh, 'tar and feather' ME, then run me out of town. So, I did the honorable thing and kept my mouth shut and, acted 'calm and cool' and just continued the conversation as if, I know it to be an everyday event...! Like I said, I ain't in Kansas no more...
We're in Nashville, Tn. now, arrived 2 days ago. Went to the Grand Ole Opry the other night (when in Rome...) and saw Loretta Lynn and several other country crooners. It was really fun > "hootin and a hollering." The 'O-pry' began as a simple radio show in 1925 and is now radio's longest-running program and heard 'round the world.
Today we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was actually really great and most entertaining. We also toured the Historic RCA Studio B. Located on renowned "Music Row," it's the oldest surviving recording studio. More than 35,000 songs recorded from the likes of EVERYONE > Elvis (sat at his actual piano), Dolly, Dylan, Cash, Waylon, Underwood, Lynne, etc. and even the Everly Brothers. Pretty cool.
So, how in the world does an 'ol surfer boy' from San Diego end up at places like this... go figure!
Tomorrow we're touring Vanderbilt University. A graduate student (MD/Pharacology PhD candidate) we meant at a local restaurant offered to give us a tour. We're excited.
Wednesday we leave for Birmingham (Laura's got a small gig there) and then Thursday onto Southern Florida and some much desired sunshine.
Our adventure continues...
Best to all of you!