Day 2: November 23, 2007
To Nashville
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US-41 comes into Hopkinsville from the north and both 41 and 41A leave it to the south and both connect to Nashville. I opted for US-41A. It is a wide and cluttered commercial street all the way to Clarksville. When it skirts the east edge of Fort Campbell, all the clutter moves to the opposite side of the road but spreads out again on the other side. There are a few motels and other businesses that look as if they might once have been interesting but not many. Even a pink elephant almost gets lost.

There's a story that goes with that elephant and a bit of a confession, too. The confession is that, not only do I not use the majority of the pictures I take, sometimes I don't use the majority of a picture I use. I'll often do a wide-angle drive-by shot then crop, rotate, and otherwise coerce a usable image from a small portion of the sloppy frame. I did that with the pink elephant. The bigger view is here and you can see that I used just one corner for the "official" version. There's a giant Uncle Sam lying on his back in the right half of the picture but I didn't even see him as I drove by. I only realized he was there when I looked through the pictures at the end of the day.

Finally, east of Clarksville and beyond the bypass, the road becomes two-lane. It follows the surface of the land vertically despite being straight as an arrow. The old motel just past TN-49 is not only the most interesting building in the area but marks the end of the absolutely straight 41A. It didn't get very wild but it did get a little more interesting on the way to a new (to me) view of the Nashville skyline.

Apparently only people who live in Nashville can resist taking this picture of the "batman building " through the giant gear on the northeast bank of the Cumberland River. I don't and I didn't.

I've never bothered to visit "Music Row" before so have never seen the Musica statue. They say it's controversial because of all the naked people but I'm pretty much a fan of naked people. At least some naked people. And these people aren't just naked, they're groovy.

After checking into a motel, I realized that I had a couple of hours before I needed to head toward the Bluebird Cafe. I was near the Lane Motor Museum so decided this was the perfect time to visit. The Lane Museum specializes in European cars which means they have a lot of vehicles you won't often see in the US and some that you won't see anywhere else at all. Think the 1963 split-window fast-back Corvette was leading edge? Check out these Tatras from 1950 (silver) and 1958 (red). Tatras were made in Czechoslovakia. The green car is a 1948 three-wheeled Morgan "F" Super and those little bitty cars all in a row are Fiats.

The wooden-bodied prop-driven car is a 1932 Helicron. The only one of its kind. According to the placard, "The Helicron passed the French safety inspection in 2000 and is approved for use on their roads." I'm guessing that jaywalking is pretty much eliminated with this baby on the road.

The last picture shows one of Cincinnati's finest - a 1951 Crosley Super Sport. A less luxurious version of Crosley, the Hotshot, won the first race ever held at Sebring. The red vehicle behind the Super Sport is also a 1951 Crosley; The ultra practical Farm-O-Road.

Guys of a certain age frequently find cars from their past in museums and car shows. Maybe the '57 Chevy they once drove was Dad's six-cylinder automatic four-door sedan but it was close enough to that V8 convertible with the floor-mounted Hurst to bring back memories. As soon as I realized the sort of vehicle displayed at Lane's, I figured there was a pretty good chance I'd find a certain memory tickler in there somewhere - and here it is. This is a 1960 Renault 4CV. Twenty-eight horsepower, three-speed floor shift (extremely vague and unsynchronized in first), and "suicide" doors. The one I had was a '61 but the biggest difference between that car and this is that mine was black. The sign says that top-speed was 60 MPH but I recall getting mine darned near eighty on a long downhill stretch of expressway. I imagine that rolling downhill in a grocery cart feels just about the same.

The Bluebird Cafe is a world famous spot for singer-songwriters but this is my first visit. The place is small, intimate, and friendly and I got to see four very talented writers perform their hits, near-hits, misses, and still possibles in round robin fashion. The first picture shows Victoria Banks tuning up before showtime. Then it's the full lineup of Tim Buppert, Victoria, Jerry Vandiver, and Misty Loggins. Although everyone would have loved to chat all night, the second show's audience was waiting outside and time was short. A great experience at a unique venue.
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