Nashville seems to be a great city. I won’t have much time to really visit since I’m here on a conference, but it feels like the sort of place I’d like to return to.
While I was exploring the downtown area today, I had two wonderful experiences.
I was taking a picture of the Ryman Theatre when a lady called to me. I walked over to her and noticed that she was a municipal employee who was cleaning the sidewalk. She told me that a picture from where I had been standing wouldn’t be very good and pointed to a better location to stand. I went there and she was quite correct. When I returned she asked me what else I had taken pictures of. I replied that I hadn’t taken many pictures yet really.
She then pointed out a rooftop patio at Tootsies that had a good view of the street below and the buildings in that area. She went on to advise me, “See, you gotta get outta your box. Be creative. Look UP. There’s great things to see if you look UP. No one bothers to look up.”
What a great piece of advice, both for photography and for life!
I walked into a couple of “Honky Tonks” and listened to excellent performers who hoped to be discovered. They start playing at 10 or 10:30 am for tips only and are in most of the many bars along this part of the street.
I then ran into some colleagues who were going to Robert’s Western World. They had just met a man who was going there to play. We walked in as John Shepherd was starting his first song, Hello Darlin (originally by Conway Twitty). John and Lois Shepherd have performed at Robert’s for 44 years! We were told that Lois doesn’t join John on stage much any more, but she was seated at a table smiling, looking lovely, and often quietly singing along with John’s songs. John is a great showman and gentleman, but the most obvious thing to me as I wached him on stage and Lois seated was the long-felt and deep love they have for each other. “You can see it in their eyes”, is no cliché with this couple.
Before we left Lois wanted to show us pictures from “many years back” that hang on the wall of the place, behind some boots on shelves which she encouraged us to move. Several were pictures of a much younger John and Lois.
All the best to you both. May you continue to sing to the world, and show us what love looks like, for many more years.