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Those days of the Opry were grand

Those days of the Opry were grand
Ryman Auditorium, Nashville. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Read your article about Nasvhille (“Grand Ole Stage,” by Christopher Reynolds, Sept. 30) with interest.

When I was a little boy, my family used to live just outside Nashville, in the then-little town of Smyrna. Tenn. In the mid- to late 1950s, we often loaded the ’49 Plymouth on a Saturday night and headed into the big city to see the Grand Ole Opry.

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We would park across the street for a dollar, walk up and buy tickets, and see the show. I saw Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, the Everly Brothers and Minnie Pearl, among others.

No ticket vendors, no waiting list, and no backstage passes. Heck, I walked up to the stage and got Minnie Pearl’s autograph.

At the time, I thought nothing of it and figured it was par for the course; now, of course, I know better.

The days of RC Colas, Butterfinger candy bars, and Moon Pies are gone forever.

John Britt

Calabasas

We are full of drive

I must take issue with Catherine Hamm's characterization of Los Angeles, and by association, other California drivers as "stinkers" (“Leave Risky Driving Behind,” On the Spot, Sept. 30). In fact, I would have to say that they are the best in the world, else they would all be dead.

We can cut in and out of lanes with amazing skill, sometimes just a hair's breadth away from one or more vehicles without leaving as much as a scratch on them. And we can do it fast. We can come within an inch or two of the car preceding us without worry. That's called tailgating. Just hope the guy ahead doesn't hit the brakes too hard.

And speed. No one goes a day without breaking the law by cruising far beyond posted speed limits. There seems to me that the guiding principle for most of us is "nobody gets ahead of me." Yes, some folks are bound to get hurt or even wiped out as the result of our efforts to be the best drivers in the world. Let's not dwell on that, please.

Should one wait for the green light?

William A. Harper

San Diego

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Driving safely in Southern California can be a challenge, but drivers acting courteously could be a major factor in keeping safe on our roads. Use your turn signal because it lets other drivers know what you are going to do; stay out of the left lane (No. 1 lane) on the freeway unless you are passing, and move over to let others pass you; don't race ahead of other cars and squeeze in when two lanes merge; remember everyone gets upset but it doesn't get you there faster.

When everyone is considerate of the other drivers on the road, it makes driving a more pleasant experience for all.

Debbie Cassettari

Chino Hills

Their delightful flight

I would like to add this anecdote to the topic of those with disabilities and their attitude toward air travel (“Help for Reaching the Sky,” All Systems Go, by Yomi S. Wrong).

In July 1974, my wife, Mary, and I chaperoned a group of individuals from Tehama, Shasta and Trinity counties in Northern California on a trip to Los Angeles to participate in the Special Olympics held at UCLA. As part of the journey we flew from Sacramento to L.A., and I'm fairly certain that this was the first trip by air for the three dozen or so young people with disabilities.

I'll always treasure the reaction of this group, who broke into spontaneous applause and cheers the moment the plane lifted off the runway.

David Lawson

Santa Barbara

Friend got her toga moment

The lively write-up on “Animal House” (“Hazy Memories of ‘Animal House,’” by Christopher Reynolds, Sept. 23) and Eugene environs was much appreciated by this Oregon Duck (bachelor of arts, 1977). Best years of my life.

I missed the casting call for John Landis’ gross-out classic by just one summer. I’d graduated and had headed to Japan, a hip destination in those early days of the Asian economic bubble. But one friend, who had been a teen model while growing up in Pasadena, made the call and is featured prominently in the toga party scene, dead center in the frame as the revelers squat before Otis Day & the Knights. She is the cute brunet with the page-boy cut and the garland of flowers. Her 15 minutes.

Shout!

Joe Hlebica

San Diego Chapter, University Of Oregon Alumni Assn.

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