Hi ya all, I am now home and able to update my blog and post some photos. The computer in the business center wouldn’t let me upload photos! Visit my photos of Nashville and Franklin, TN at: http://picasaweb.google.com/travelguy727/Nashville2010#
We left off on day 2.5, still in Nashville. What a wonderful time discovering the roots of country music, truly the music of the USA. We didn’t “import” this type of music from another country. It tells a story of the people of this country. Just spending time at the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum gave me a real sense of country music. I must say my brief stay in Nashville was well worth the time! I am glad I took advantage of the extra time prior to the CMCA conference.
A real added treat was taking in the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. His use of such vibrant colors and large-scale pieces was more than breath-taking! Anytime I can take in a Chihuly exhibit I will!
Tuesday rolled around and time to head down to the historic town of Franklin, TN for the Christian Meetings and Conventions Association annual showcase conference. I had to be very creative in arranging transportation to Franklin as I didn’t rent a car. It was SuperShuttle back to Nashville airport where I was met by the Cool Springs Limo people for the quick trip down to Franklin. My room at the Marriott Hotel was not ready when I arrived sothe time was spent catching up with people I see only once a year. Many of my CMCA friends commented on my weight loss – this made me feel good knowing my weight-loss efforts worked! Friends are so nice! I was soon off to do my presentation — I was asked again this year to lead the “New Planner Orientation” session. It’s so much fun to share with first-timers!
The first event of the day was spent on a walking tour of historic downtown Franklin. We left the downtown area and headed to the historic Carnton Plantation for our evening dinner and entertainment. Here is a quick history lesson for the day on the Civil War:
Beginning at 4 p.m. on November 30, 1864, Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. Everything the McGavock family ever knew was forever changed. The Confederate Army of Tennessee furiously assaulted the Federal army entrenched along the southern edge of Franklin. The resulting battle, believed to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War, involved a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers.
A staff officer later wrote that “the wounded, in hundreds, were brought to [the house] during the battle, and all the night after. And when the noble old house could hold no more, the yard was appropriated until the wounded and dead filled that….”
On the morning of December 1, 1864 the bodies of four Confederate generals killed during the fighting, Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl, lay on Carnton’s back porch. The floors of the restored home are still stained with the blood of the men who were treated here.
In early 1866, John and Carrie McGavock designated two acres of land adjacent to their family cemetery as a final burial place for nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Franklin. The McGavocks maintained the cemetery until their respective deaths.
Today, the McGavock Confederate Cemetery is a lasting memorial honoring those fallen soldiers and the Battle of Franklin. It is the largest privately owned military cemetery in the nation.
Wednesday was a full day of educational sessions, a wonderful trade show and appointments with suppliers. There is never enough time to take in the trade show! It was time for lunch and today we would be on our own in downtown Franklin, where we could shop, spend money and eat!
The evening dinner and entertainment was held at “The Factory at Franklin” – a restored factory. The entertainment was provided by Christian comedian “Sistah Willile Ruth Johnson”, and Kirk Whalum.
Thursday was another full day of taking in the trade show and appointments with the suppliers, and many great educational sessions. I skipped one session and went and worked out in the hotel fitness center, something that I had not done for several days! Needless to say it felt good! The evening dinner was held at Green’s Grocery in the quaint southern town of Leiper’s Fork, TN. Great southern food, great Tennessee music rounded out the evening, our last as a group of friends.
Perhaps the best moments of the conference come at the end of the day in the prayer time and the gathering in the hospitality suite to unwind and relax among great friends.
This was a wonderful week for me, I came away spiritually renewed and with some possible sites for a board meeting in 2011/2012 for the non-profit Christian conference board I am on. It also means getting down to work on the 2010 board meeting and getting the many details worked out.