View Full Version : REALLY LONG POST about my Opry weekend

03-26-2001, 10:37 PM
This is the whole story, from Thursday morning to Sunday night - so there might be stuff in here you couldn't care less about! Feel free to skim to the parts that interest you. :) I had to write it all down, though, couldn't leave stuff out.

My plane touched down around 8:30am Nashville time, and I stepped off scanning the airport for Jason… he wasn’t there! I waited a few minutes and then called him on his cell. He and Terri had just arrived and we arranged to meet at Baggage Claim. He looked exactly like his pictures, so he was easy to spot, and we waited together for my luggage to come around on the conveyor. It didn’t. So my luggage was gone! I eventually got it back, though, so all ended well.

We left the airport and returned to the hotel to meet up with Julie, Milton, and their daughter. We tried to contact DeeDee, with no luck, so we headed to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast.

Those of you who have eaten there understand, and those of you who haven’t, should. That place is AWESOME. No wonder Garth likes it there so much! DeeDee did show up a little later, by the way.

After the Pantry we went to observe a friend of Terri’s at his recording studio. That was really cool, I must say! Her friend is Tim Johnson, the guy who wrote “She Misses Him” among many other things. I loved watching him and the other musicians in action. Thanks for that, Terri!

We left for the Opry around 630 and met up with other PGers out front. Jason had super tickets, so we split up and went our separate ways. I ended up sitting next to Mary Liz (CheyenneWindRoper), and with Julie, Milton, their daughter, and DeeDee. The show was great, Vince Gill was great, Loretta Lynn was absent, much to my dismay, and everyone was fabulous, but like so many of us, I was just sitting there waiting for Garth! Finally, the guy started talking about how when artists are inducted into the Opry, they have to have someone to “put them in,” and how Johnny had been the one to do that. I gasped and sat up straight in my seat and my eyes scanned every inch of that stage… then he said the magic words, “Please welcome Garth Brooks!”

Garth strutted onstage – yes, he strutted – and did he ever look fabulous. He looked radiant, like he was really thrilled to be there. The whole time he was onstage he just glowed. It’s hard to describe the experience to someone who has never had it… when he started playing, I immediately got GarthChills and GarthBumps and they didn’t go away until he left the stage. I could barely sit still and I had this huge grin on my face the entire time. I called a couple friends during the performance to let them listen (but when I got home I listened to one of them, which was on my friend’s answering machine, and it sounded horrible! L) He invited requests, but then started singing, so we didn’t really have the opportunity to take him up on his offer. He sang about five songs, and we sang along quietly out in the audience. There was the occasional “We miss you, Garth!” and “We love you, Garth!” and he was very gracious. He talked a bit, and fidgeted with his guitar, which was adorable.

After his set, he left the stage, and later came back on for the grand finale. They had told us at the beginning that we could come down to the stage for the finale if we wanted close pictures, and as soon as the finale started, the crowd rushed forward. When Garth noticed that so many of the flashes were in his direction, he ducked behind the others to avoid taking the spotlight off Johnny, who was speaking in the center of them all. Johnny was amazing. He thanked everyone and told them all that he would do the same thing for them in a heartbeat if he ever needed to. He told them that they could all understand how much he loved them all, because it was the same way they all loved each other. It was very sweet.

After the show, we made our way around back. We took our dear sweet time, due to various circumstances, and I was worried that we would miss him... as it turned out, we waited for a few hours! It was COLD, but Jason and I agreed to keep each other warm, which helped. :) We had all dressed with the intention of looking nice, not thinking about staying warm!

Cars drove past us, but none was Garth’s. ProducerJoyce told us that he was still inside taping something (although a newspaper article later said that he had stayed onstage for an hour giving autographs!), and we had no idea when he would be done. Around 12:30am, Garth sauntered – yes, he sauntered – up to us and we all started forming a line on the sidewalk. He spoke up as he reached us, and we all listened attentively, of course! He said, “Hey guys? I was supposed to be at the studio at 10:30, so I’m already really late <laughter>… there really aren’t all that many of you, so we can do pretty much whatever you want and we’ll try to get to everybody. We can take pictures and talk for a while if you want, just remember that we’re trying to get to everybody, okay?” At this, the line became more of a crowd around him and he started talking to people one by one.

One of the first things he did before he started talking to people was to lock his cell phone and hand it to a security guard – he was not to be interrupted. :) About an hour into the greetings, he stepped aside and called someone to let them know he hadn’t been kidnapped or anything, then he rrejoined the group right where he’d left off.

When it was my turn, I reminded him that we had met in NYC in 1999, when he did SNL. After that, he said he remembered (who knows!) and he hugged me. Jason got a good picture of that! I told him how much I had loved the show and I thanked him for doing it. I told him that I was sorry I had never made it to a concert and he said he really wished I had. To my recollection, he said something like, “If I could do it for ya, I’d take you to one of our shows, ‘cause I think that’s really what we’re all about.” I just kind of giggled and looked at him and said, “I’d let ya.” What a goof I am. We spoke briefly on a more personal note about his family – something I don’t really feel like posting here, and he was very sweet to me. One thing I’ll say is that I told him, “Don’t worry about us, you don’t owe us ANYthing, you’ve touched so many more people than you even know.” He hugged me again and really held me for many seconds. He thanked me for what I had said. I told him not to worry about the format – see below – and gave him a huge bag of M&Ms and a card. Then, he posed with me for a picture. Then I let someone else in.

Some things he said…

These are direct quotes to the best of my memory, some are probably closer to his exact words than others, but they are all the basic gist of what he said.

“If I had known people were going to come in from out of state for this, I would have done something different.”

“I was hoping it would be a little more like the 75th celebration, where people could just kind of go with it, but this was very structured… you just did what you were supposed to do and got off.”

The “thank you party” is still in planning. Don’t give up on it yet, it’ll happen.

He’s worried about releasing another album given the state of the format. He doesn’t know if his music will mesh. I told him not to worry about the format; we’ll still love it. He told us “It’s not you guys I’m worried about, it’s what’s between me and you that I’m worried about.” I guess he meant the industry execs, the critics, and the radio stations.

IF the album comes out, we’re looking at July 4. He was very, very clear about the “if.”

“It’s nice to be able to just hang out and not worry about the clock.”

About the Tribute Book: “You guys always think of the neatest gifts!”

Garth left at 3-something… not sure exactly when.

Mary Liz – you got a picture of me with Garth… could I get a copy of that from you? And any others that you think I would be interested in? lol… let me know! splitzer@usa.net

I have a few pictures of Jas giving Garth the Tribute Book… I was standing behind them at the time, though. Some are better than others; I’ll post ‘em as soon as I get them scanned.

After the Opry came the Day of Rest – Friday! We hung out and went to breakfast at the Pantry again – later than expected… sorry guys.. although I hear very few showed up… I think we were all out too late with Garth! – then we went up to The Gates and to Jack’s Tracks and to GBM. Jason gave Kelly his copy of the Tribute Book, and we heard music coming from the back, which I can only think was songs that were being screened for possible inclusion on the new album. Kelly was nice enough… I think he was wary of the book, not sure what it was. Hopefully once he got a chance to look through it he understood that it was just us showing our love and appreciation for Garth, nothing more. Jason and I walked up and down Music Row and drove down 2nd Avenue. It was very cool, but I was too “cold and tired” (;) Jas) to get out and do anything else. We went to “The Wall,” though, and I got out for that :) Then, we met up with Julie, et al for dinner at Shoney’s and then went back to the hotel to sleep.

Saturday, Jason and I went back over to the Opry for souvenir shopping. We ate at the Alabama Grill inside the mall, which was very cool. There’s a wall covered in Garth pictures, which is just fabulous. The food was darned good, too! lol

After our day out, we went back to the hotel and prepared for The Bluebird Café. Julie, Milton, and young Melinda went back to the Opry that night, and Terri, Jason, and I went to see Michael Peterson at the Bluebird. I was absolutely thrilled beyond belief when Jas told me that he would be there on Saturday, because I am a huge Michael Peterson lover. He is so under-appreciated, I feel. So many people don’t even realize that he has a second album! The third one is supposedly on it’s way out at some point… I’m waiting anxiously! It was Michael and four other songwriters… whose names escape me – sorry. Lisa or Linda Carter or something like that... and three other guys. They were all very, very good. Michael is just as adorable in person as he seems in the videos and on the albums. After the show, Jason, Terri, and I approached him and he greeted us excitedly and warmly. He said he had to pack up his stuff really quickly to let the next group of guys get set up for the late show, and asked us to “hang” for a bit. I will always remember “hanging” for Michael Peterson… you would have had to be there, there was just something cute about the way he said it. “Hey guys, can you just hang a minute? I have an obligation to these folks to get myself out of the way, but just hang for a couple minutes, okay? I’ll be right back, I promise, just hang for a bit.” So we hung. lol … He came back over a few minutes later and apologized for making us wait and was very sweet and talked to us for a few minutes.. he talked to Jason for a while about football (sheesh – men!) and I had the opportunity to tell him how much I love him and his music. I was thrilled. We did pictures/autographs, and then we had to get out of there… so we headed for the door… Michael was standing behind me while we were waiting to shuffle out the front door and I turned to him one last time and said, “Thank you, Michael.” As it turned out, he was actually waiting behind us to get out the door, also, and he stood there behind me with his hand on my back, kind of rubbing it, and said “You’re very welcome, thanks for coming out.” I just about went into a trance standing there with his hand on my back, but we had to proceed out the door. :) ((If you hadn’t figured it out yet, I love Michael Peterson.)

This is where the Jason-almost-running-over-Michael-Peterson story comes in. We had walked out the car, which was parked right next to Michael’s truck. Jason jogged back to the Bluebird to see if we could still duck in a buy a souvenir of some sort, but no such luck. Terri and I were leaning against the car, and Michael walked past. “Are you guys stuck?” he asked. We told him we were just waiting for Jason. When Jason got back, we got in the car and Jason proceeded to back up… without looking first. I spun around in my seat and lo and behold, Jason was backing into Michael, who was walking back toward the Bluebird. “JASON, do NOT run over Michael Peterson!” He hit the brakes just as Michael started jogging out of the way. Sheesh. I keep reminding Jason that he almost run over a famous country music singer. :) I don’t plan on letting him forget it.

Sunday morning, Terri, Julie, Milton, and young Melinda left and Jason and I slept in. We checked out of the hotel at 11 and went to the Pantry one last time. We went to the Rhyman and to a souvenir shop and to the Gates again and drove past the various entrances to the Blue Rose Estates. Jason even drove me out to the border of Tennessee so I could get a picture of the Tennessee sign (seeing as I flew in, I didn’t pass it on my way!) We found the Capitol Nashville building and I took a picture of it, since I have a picture of the Capitol Hollywood building – although I must say that the Capitol Hollywood building is much cooler. :)

By this point, it was time to get me to the airport, so that was our next destination. I checked in and we ate at an airport restaurant. I bought another souvenir – I think it’s safe to say that when I’m 85 I’ll still remember this trip! – and a magazine and boarded the plane. Sigh… bye bye, Nashville… I’ll miss you!

It was SO great to meet so many PGers and spend time with them. Specifically I must say that it was great to finally meet Jason, whom I’ve been talking to online for a while. He’s a really great guy. :) I’ll see you in August, Mr. Man!

If you haven’t made it to Nashville yet – GO GO GO!

Garth Always,

Monica Lockhart
03-26-2001, 11:08 PM

Thanks for posting your story... I really enjoyed reading it!

Glad you had such a good time! ;)

If you remember anything you left out, be sure to come back and post it!


03-27-2001, 12:31 AM
Hey Danielle! Thanks so much for sharing your moments :)
Sounds like you had a great time and.......

I AM GOING GOING GOING! lol...4/13 :) Guess what I'm
doing on the 14th?;)


Chris Gaines
03-27-2001, 12:49 AM

ya know that they will all be at the BlueBird on the 12th for the Tribute Album.. ;)


Monica Lockhart
03-27-2001, 12:50 AM

Who will be there??

Tell Tell Tell!!


Chris Gaines
03-27-2001, 01:04 AM
All Garth's writers..

Tony, Kent, Kim, Pat, (maybe Victoria, and Stephanie)

to promote the Songwriters album.


03-27-2001, 01:23 AM
Always gotta rub it in don't ya Jason? lol
Yep, I know about that. Wish I could make it
on that date, but hey that's life. Since I have a family, and my children don't get Spring Break until the 13th, that's when we are heading out. So I just have to make due
with the other wonderful show at the Opry on the 14th :)

Victoria Shaw,Pat Alger and Kent Blazey

I am happy and feel very lucky that we all get to
go :) Thanks to my wonderful husband for the early
graduation gift!


PS: If we're lucky the Bluebird show will be
"Live on the Net" :). I'll be checking!

Chris Gaines
03-27-2001, 01:38 AM
Tony Arata is gonna be at the Opry too.. far as I know ;)


03-27-2001, 04:22 AM

thank you for sharing your trip with us...:)


03-27-2001, 06:03 AM
You are all most welcome! :) I enjoyed writing it.

Have a blast in Nashville, CC! Have you ever been there before? If not, ask Jason to advise you on the Nashville tour of Garthiness. We had a blast this weekend finding anything and everything Garth-related. :):)

Garth Always,

03-27-2001, 09:50 AM
Hey Jason,

Thanks for the info about Tony. I did not
know that. He is not listed as appearing.
And yes Danielle I plan to consult with the
guru of Nashville knowledge lol...if he will
be so kind as to share :)

I have not ever been there but my husband has, many,
many times...so knows how to get around town pretty well.


03-27-2001, 11:54 AM
What a great Moment Danielle. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


Chris Gaines
03-27-2001, 12:25 PM
ya know... I got to posting about the songwriters and not about what I should have.. so I'm gonna say what I shouldda posted yesterday.

Dani... I'm happy you enjoyed Nashville from your tour guide :)

and thanks for forgiving me so fast for almost running over Michael Peterson LOL. :)

Next stop.......... AUGUST... :):)


03-27-2001, 12:58 PM
I'm so glad y'all got a chance to be there for the presentation of the Tribute book (and of course to see and hear Garth again!)

What's even better is seeing activity in the Garth Moments section again!!!

Thank you so much for sharing your 'moments' with us poor folk who just can't seem to make the trips!!! I can't speak for anyone else, but I THRIVE on the stories I read here! I can picture Garth's expression as Jason handed him the Tribute book, probably wondering 'what in the world is this?'...and then realizing that we didin't do it to exploit him, but to honor him!!!

Danielle, I'm so glad you got to experience another "Garth Moment!" And that you shared it with us! I don't blame you for keeping the personal conversation to yourself, although I'm dying to know what was said!

Now, where's the Garthmoment from Jason?!?!?!?!?


Chris Gaines
03-27-2001, 01:11 PM

read the posts your reply too and you'd know! LOL

It's in the MAIN FORUM.. it's not a moment.. it's "news" the "Delivery" :)

that is why it's there.


03-27-2001, 01:14 PM
Hey, Im at work and while the BOss is on his honeymoon all week, I'm being naughty and surfing PG during lunch! :eek:


***flying to the Main forum!!***

03-27-2001, 02:53 PM
Thanks Danielle, for sharing your Moment with us!! very :cool: :) It's sounds like you got some great pics and also had a great time!! :) good for you! :)

Vanessa :)

03-27-2001, 09:43 PM
If anyone is interested, the show at the Bluebird that Jason, Terri, and I went to is on LiveOnTheNet.com. goto http://www.liveonthenet.com/checkin-all.cgi?menu=checkmain+path=/events/country/bluebird/show358/ for it. It was an awesome show, but being there was - obviously - much cooler than watching in on the 'net! :)

Garth Always,

03-27-2001, 10:00 PM
Is Garth going to do any more of these outings once he fully retires????

03-28-2001, 12:17 AM
thanks Danielle

that was a long story.. :) love it!!

glad you had a great trip!! :)

03-28-2001, 07:01 PM

Glad you had a great time. It was good meeting you and Jason. I had a great time with everyone.

BTW, if anyone is interested in hearing She Misses Him sung way better then Tim Rushlow ever could, you can go listen to my friend sing it here...... http://www.liveonthenet.com/checkin...bluebird/show355/


03-28-2001, 07:05 PM
UGH!!! My link isn't working, in the above post...try this one.... looks the same, not sure why it isn't working.