During our sabbatical trip to Nashville, Tennessee, we had a wonderful highlight – thanks to the BBC and the long-distance kindness of strangers.
Nashville is known as Music City, USA, and the home of Country Music. The downtown area is alive with bars and streets areas that simply rock with country. If you’re not a fan when you get there you surely will be when you leave.
We visited the Grand Ole Opry, of course, and we went to the Ryman Auditorium, known as the Mother Church of Country but which actually was built for a revivalist Methodist preacher who hated, among other things, alcohol, low-cut dresses and bicycles. Yes, I know!
Beyond that, we didn’t have much of a clue, so before we flew out I sent a cheeky email to legendary BBC DJ Bob Harris who I knew regularly visited Nashville. While we were in the astonishing Country Music Hall of Fame, a series of texts and emails from Bob’s office resulted in an amazing evening.
The one place we had really wanted to see was the iconic Bluebird Café where songwriters play, often singing in the round. But it’s such an intimate venue and tickets disappear so quickly we couldn’t get in.
Suddenly, after being on the outside, we were not just on the inside – we were on the guest list for an evening which included British Country duo The Shires and Sam Palladio, the star of the TV series Nashville. Sam grew up about 10 miles from where we used to live in Cornwall.
It was a glorious evening, made possible by someone who didn’t know us and didn’t need to be generous but chose to. Acts of spontaneous generosity make such a difference. Maybe you can offer somebody your generosity today.