I thought about titling this post “Grand Ole Opry Causes Fibromyalgia Flare” but I decided that was a bit too sensationalistic – too much like the regular news.
Last night we attended the Grand Ole Opry. My husband and I had attended a performance before, at the Ryman Auditorium, but Mom and Dad had never been. This performance was at the new Grand Ole Opry House and we didn’t know what to expect.
We arrived at 5:30 PM for the 6:30 PM show, thinking it would be early enough to get a decent parking spot. Wrong. So my husband dropped us off and we sat on a bench to wait for him. When the doors finally opened, we made our way to our seats – third row, center stage!! The design of the theater is based on the Ryman, including the “pew” style bench seating. As soon as we sat down, though, I knew I was in trouble. The seats had an odd shaped padding (thicker in front under the thighs than it was in the back, under your butt) that put some strain on my back. But the worst part was that the benches were so high/wide that if I sat back, my legs did not touch the floor and the thick cushion at the front cut off the circulation behind my knees. It made for a fidgety evening, as I constantly readjusted my position to try to ease the strain and be a little bit comfortable.
As bad as the seating were, the seat location was great and the show was fantastic, as usual. There are a couple of things that make the Opry unique. Okay, there are more than a couple, but there are two that strike a chord with me.
First of all, the Opry is broadcast on the radio live, as it occurs. The announcer is at a podium on the stage. You see him introduce the segment hosts and do most of the commercials live. It’s interesting.
Second, the Opry is a very casual, homey production. You see the stage hands moving equipment and instruments between acts. No big fuss and bother. The curtain falls only to note the change in sponsors.
The early show last night featured 5 segments, each hosted by an Opry veteran. Each of the five hosts performed a number, followed by another veteran performer and a newer face on the country music scene. The host closed out the section with another number. I’ll give you a list of the performers in a minute.
It’s actually been a whole lot of minutes – over 24 hours worth. Sorry . . . my fibromyalgia was acting up so badly that I just couldn’t think. Then I took medication and really couldn’t think. I guess those seats at the Opry really weren’t for someone with fibromyalgia.
After the show, they herd everyone out the same way – to the left and as far away from where we were parked as you could go. This was not a good thing for fibro girl, but it was even worse for Mom, with her severe arthritis and cane. So we cheated and ducked through the Opry Store. We had to pry our way through the folks shopping before the next show, but it saved a whole lot of steps. As it was, we ended up walking to our car because it would have taken forever for my husband to get the car and circle back through the traffic to pick us up. This was the one thing I thought was really poor planning on the part of the Opry – there has to be a better way and I’ll probably tell them so when we get back home.
Anyway, here’s the line-up we saw and heard:
Segment 1: “Little” Jimmy Dickens – Host
Jimmy C Newman
Segment 2: Jeannie Seely – Host
Jim Ed Brown
Rebecca Lynn Howard
Segment 3: John Conlee – Host
Segment 4: Steve Wariner – Host
T. G. Sheppard
Opry Square Dancers
Segment 5: Bill Anderson – Host
My personal favorites? Mel McDaniel and the Grascals. But there wasn’t a thing I didn’t like.
Long live the Grand Ole Opry!!