I had the absolute best lunch time ever today. I didn’t dine at a trendy spot or anything like that. I put on my old tennis shoes I keep at my desk and decided today, I would get my exercise over lunchtime, since I’ve been having a hard time working in the Y in the evenings. (Whine, whine..it isn’t easy with a full time job and three kids that expect to be fed and stuff)

Off I go, out the door. It’s a beautiful day in Nashville, about 58 degrees when I set out, a little chilly sorta but beautiful, blue sky.

Started out from 8th towards Church St. I love Church St. Everytime I am there, I always try to picture what it was like back in the day it was the center of Nashville’s shopping district. Castner’s was still open when I first started working downtown almost ten years ago. As a kid, I can remember every spring, taking the big trip downtown to Cain Sloan for Bunny Land. Who else remembers Bunny Land??? Come on now. I know I’m not the only one.

As I walked through the Arcade, instead of noticing the neat little eating places, all I noticed was that every person in there was smoking! It was almost like today was a special day just for the smokers. I’m surprised they let them do that still. Not smoker bashing (I are one) but it was just an interesting observation.

What are they building right next to the L & C Tower? I mean, the Tower is going to have itself a twin. The L & C is just a cool building. Have you ever ridden in the elevators in there? They are old and retro looking and just cool.

The Mother Church was looking beautiful today, as always. Wish I could’ve had time to go in and just set awhile.

Went around to Broadway and my eye caught the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. Do I cross the street through traffic? Is it worth it? Yes, it was. Compared to the newer ET Shop out at Music Valley Dr., this one is tiny, but, oh so charming. Especially when you consider that for years, this was THE after Opry place. They even have the coke crates Loretta stood on to reach the microphone. They have Pete Drake’s steel guitar, a tv playing the scene from “Coal Miner’s Daughter” shot right there….cool western shirts that ET wore. Books galore…I could’ve spent the rest of the afternoon reading Hugh Waddell’s “I Still Miss Someone.” It’s a great book featuring remembrance of Johnny Cash by his family and friends (and their shoe sizes!).

As I was standing there, reading through the Waddell book, enjoying the Loretta cd playing in the background, I looked up and there are photographs all over the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. A lot of them have been there since forever. There was a photo in a frame directly above where I was looking and I recognized it immediately because I was present when the photo was taken. It was made about 1978 at Two Rivers Mansion during Fan Fair when all the old timers got together. ET, Patsy Montana, Lulu Belle and Scotty, Joe Allison, all these people and there, about midway in the bunch was my dad smiling back at me.

I beamed and practically skipped my way back up that horrendous hill on Broadway back to the office. I should have lunches like that more often.