You don’t expect history to hit you in the face at a budget motel. We were somewhere, somewhat north of Jackson Tennessee. Nathaniel noticed the sign as GP (Grandpa) was getting a room for us. It said, “December 31, 1862 Upon these grounds Confederate and Union soldiers fought and died defending a way of life they believed in.” He wanted his picture taken with the sign, and I was happy to oblige.
[Bonnie wrote in response to the above paragraph, “There used to be a fairly decent restaurant on the land where the sign is. They had lots and lots of civil war memorabilia throughout the restaurant, much of it gleaned from the grounds. We used to stop there to eat and walk dogs on the way back from an obedience trial in Tupelo. I’ve never seen such a clean demolition of a building.”]
We were killing time until the service began at a Lutheran church in Nashville. Nathaniel had been asleep while we drove through the downtown area, seeing the state capitol and various government buildings. There were also lots of stores and restaurants paying tribute to the country music capitol of the world. He woke up and must have looked at his phone, because he knew the replica of the Parthenon was there. As it turned out, it wasn’t far away. I took a photo of him as he walked back – the figure almost in the center of the picture wearing a suit and a green shirt. John and I were there on a college choir tour in 1964 and remembered the building being open. It is now an art museum, and it didn’t open until well after the church service was over.
The church, built in the 30’s, was within walking distance of the Parthenon. John had seen their web site and knew they conducted traditional services. The pastor had a PhD or so in history, having planned to be a university professor. He chanted the whole service and preached an intellectual sermon which Nathaniel commented on. We felt right at home. The woman in the pew ahead of us was the widow of a pastor. We found out she grew up in Clarksville. The people were very friendly, asking us to join them for fellowship downstairs. We should have gone for several reasons, one being that Nathaniel was hungry. On the drive home, John and I said we must go back to that church the next time we are passing through.