|The Grand Ole Opry|
Standing on the edge of the surprisingly narrow sidewalk outside the twin arches of the closed front doors, Cindy tilted her head back as far as it would go. The three tiers of arched windows led her eyes up the dark brown brickwork to a sharp triangle of pitched roof that scratched the grey-blue Nashville sky.
The enormity of the building was dizzying and so was the sense of tradition. Early on a chilly Tuesday morning there was barely a soul on the street, but over the past century what country singer from Johnny Cash to Tammy Wynette hadn’t stood where she stood now, paying their respects before the altar of country music, before walking around the corner to the stage door? How many millions of fans had worn those smooth dips in the pale grey steps as they swarmed inside to witness the concerts broadcast live on radio station WSM every Saturday night?
Nothing was more overwhelming to Cindy than the fact that she was finally standing there, the stub of a train ticket from Alabama still screwed up in her raincoat pocket, a suitcase in one hand and a guitar case in the other.
A man’s voice, low and friendly, spoke just behind her: “Y’all just got into town?”
Distracted from her reverie, Cindy took a step back. Her heel missed the kerb and she fell backwards into the arms of the most handsome man she’d ever met.
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