Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yet another silver anniversary here in Mid-Tenn.

Last month the Tennessee Rennaisance Festival celebrated its 25th year of fun and history in tiny Triune just south of Nashville-Davidson County. Last week we celebrated the silver anniversary of the IBMA with a very enjoyable and memorable show of "Music City Roots" at the Loveless Barn. And yesterday another 25th was observed, this one for the General Jackson Showboat. Apparently 2 July 1985 was when the huge boat was christened.

I don't remember much about that christening. I presume it was either at the downtown Nashville riverfront or at its dock at Opryland Park. And I vaguely remember that the Opry's Porter Waggoner got involved in some way.

What yours truly DOES remember, very vividly, is the coming of the paddlewheel showboat to Nashville in A.D. 1985. It had been constructed in Indiana and launched on 20 April. It sailed down the Ohio River and up the Cumberland River, and it was BIG news here that it would arrive at thus-and-such date, about thus-and-such time.

My family and I went to the Clarksville Highway bridge then, to see this enormous floating theater. It really was awesome when it hove into view downstream! We weren't used to seeing anything sailing or floating on the Cumberland larger than the industrial barges which frequent it. Another paddlewheel showboat that already plied Nashville's river was much smaller.

Some years later we got to ride on the iconic showboat. That too was enjoyable. But nothing I associate with the General Jackson matches the wonder of its arrival here!

It would have been fine to board the enormous floating theater again. And considering that Gaylord Corp. was advertising retro cruise price of $8.00 per person, I'd have gone had I not had to work. The retro price reminded me of how in 1993 the Tower of the Americas celebrated the silver anniversary of HemisFair '68 and the Tower by charging the original (1968) price for elevator rides! Retro indeed!

I just love history. Especially when it comes back to life, such as in taking prices for things back to the original prices!

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