The StockYard at 901 2nd Ave. N is among the top ten steak restaurants in the U. S. according to our waiter. The restaurant sent a complimentary shuttle bus to our hotel to take us to our dinner reservation in this former animal auction place. There, we dined, engaged in friendly talk, and enjoyed the presence of Alpha Troop family members who joined us for the evening meal. This building functioned as a livestock auction during the first half of the twentieth century. Its location is between the Cumberland River and the railroad yard in Nashville. This hub was a marketplace for farm animals brought here by river boats and rail cars. Some upstairs rooms were used as market offices. Other rooms were secret and used for gambling, drinking, and sex-for-money during some periods of its history.
The waiter at my table was a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division and participated in the invasion of Panama in Operation Just Cause, the military operation to remove Manuel Noriega from power in 1989. He expressed how honored he was to serve a group of veterans like us and some of us expressed comments of appreciation for his military service.
Earlier in the day we toured parts of the city on a bus called the Nash Trash Tour. A picture of the bus is at the bottom. We drove past famous sites in the city as two guides explained the significance of the places, the people, and the music. The guides were female with a hick comedy act. Their antics created laughter as they engaged us with their craziness. One of the guides snorted when she breathed between sentences. The pink tour bus was known around the city as these ladies sometimes shouted through an open window to pedestrians. Their shouts suggested the pedestrian looked like Elvis or some other country music star. Most of us seemed to enjoy this unusual tour of downtown Nashville.
One evening most of us attended the Grand Ole Opry where Little Jimmy Dickens and Vince Gill were the main performers. Again, we rode by bus from the DoubleTree Hotel to Opry Land. This transportation was prearranged by the Alpha Troop Association activities committee. Other entertainment opportunities during the three days included tours of Country Music Hall of Fame, the Hermitage (President Andrew Jackson's estate), and the Ryman Auditorium (the original site for the Grand Ole Opry).
On July 13 I'll report on "The Hooch" and our meetings there. Have a good week!