The origin of this blog was a cross-country road trip I took with my just graduated niece back in 2007. Here’s an adventure we had on our third day in, as we headed away from Nashville toward Memphis.
First thing we’d learned on that trip is that you can’t count on finding Internet access. Furthermore, there seems to be a strangely inverse relationship between the amenities of the hotel and its ability to get you wired. The better the hotel, the less likely you’ll be able to log on. After the Dancing Bear Lodge in the Smokey Mountains wouldn’t even let us log on, the Nashville Renaissance was even worse. It got the latest blog entry halfway uploaded, then stopped and appeared to scramble the rest of the blog. Panicked, I shut down my laptop and we headed for the open road and Memphis.
Heading down the Music Highway, also known as Interstate 40, we crossed the Carl Perkins overpass and started seeing signs for Loretta Lynn’s Country Cooking. Knowing that Ms. Lynn is famously from Kentucky, we couldn’t believe it could be THAT Loretta Lynn. But as the signs got bigger and bolder and started featuring musical notes, we knew we had to take that exit and check it out. We knew we’d hit the jackpot when we pulled up to the restaurant, and saw a billboard saying “Join the Coal Miner’s Daughter for Good Home Cooking”. Then we saw the free Wi-Fi sign!
I asked the nice cashier if a) she ever saw Loretta Lynn and b) if they really had Wi-Fi. “Sure, honey,” she said. “Loretta comes in here every now and then, but we just took her lunch up to her the other day. Now about that Internet, Loretta had us put it in. She said the young people like it.” Well, I plugged in and it was the best and fastest connection we’ve had on the trip. Thanks, Loretta!
Feeling very beholden to Loretta, I purchased a Greatest Hits CD and we determined to go visit her. That nice cashier had told us that a few years ago, Loretta moved out of her big house, turned it into a museum, then built a smaller house where she now lives.
“So I can go up there and I might see Loretta Lynn sitting on the porch with her guitar?”
“Well, probably not, Honey. But she does live there. She’s around today.”
We ran back to the SUV and blasted up the Loretta Lynn Highway (it’s really called that!) singing Loretta Lynn songs all the way.
Sure enough, we passed The Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch, The Loretta Lynn Gift Store and, finally, came to her house. And there was another smaller house right behind it. And people were walking around in the yard. I started to take pictures, but then thought maybe I shouldn’t. After all, Loretta had been so good to us with that Internet thing and all.