2017 Annual Skylark Meet
By Lillard Walker
This year's meet will be held from September 13th through September 16th just outside Nashville in Franklin, TN. The meet will be hosted by club members Lillard Walker and Bob & Elaine Fritz.
Nashville has long been known as the “Songwriting Capital of the World” and the center of country music, earning it the nickname “Music City, U.S.A”. Located on the Cumberland River the city is in central Tennessee with excellent access via the interstate highways (for those of you bringing your Skylark – you are planning on bringing your Skylark?) or by air. According to the official visitor’s website – “Nashville is a city that resonates with life and vibrates to the beat of every kind of song. It’s a town that harvests American music, Southern hospitality, unbelievable cuisine, and a boundless spectrum of nightlife”. If you arrive early in the week there is a plethora of sites to see that we do not have time to visit during our meet; The Ryman Auditorium, President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage home, the Parthenon, RCA Studio B, the Johnny Cash Museum, or the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum to name just a few. You can learn more about the rich history and attractions in Nashville at www.visitmusiccity.com.
The host hotel for the meet is the Drury Plaza Hotel in Franklin, TN. The Drury chain is family owned and operated. The Franklin Drury is the only hotel to receive 11 consecutive J.D. Power Awards for guest satisfaction. The hotel is conveniently located just off I-65 (exit 67) and is a short 25 minute drive from Nashville International Airport. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 1-800-325-0720 and referring to the Skylark Group number of 2304254. Reservations must be made by August 13th to receive the discounted room rate! A daily hot breakfast and free hot food with cold beverages every evening are included in the room rate, along with many hotel amenities. Full hotel details and directions may be found at www.druryhotels.com.
Wednesday, September 13 is arrival day. We'll have the Hospitality Room open and stocked with food and beverages. Stop by to pick-up your meet packet, and greet all your old and new Skylark friends.
Thursday morning we'll depart by chartered coach to downtown Nashville to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We'll tour the museum in the morning, and be served a classic Southern “meat and three luncheon” at the museum. After lunch, we'll be treated to a special songwriter’s performance before returning to the hotel. The hospitality room will be open and members with items for the swap meet are welcome to set up shop at this time. Thursday night will be our annual Skylark Club sponsored pizza dinner and auction to benefit the club.
Friday morning we'll take the back roads to view the private 120 car collection of Willis Johnson. Mr. Johnson is the founder and chairman of CoPart, Inc. After viewing the collection, we'll enjoy a BBQ lunch in the “Diner” at Mr. Johnson's 47,000 square foot facility. From there we'll drive to the Cheekwood Estate and Gardens to tour the 30,000 square foot house and 55 acre gardens. Built in 1929 by John Cheek (one of the founders of what became Maxwell House Coffee), Cheekwood is considered one of the finest surviving examples of an American Country Place Era Estate. Friday evening will be free for those who wish to sample the local cuisine or entertainment options. You may want to visit the Lower Broadway clubs downtown known as the Honky Tonk Highway, where they are experts at serving up cool drinks and hot country music,
Saturday morning we will have a morning tech session, lunch is on your own, and then we will drive to the Lane Motor Museum. The Lane Museum features over 150 unique cars from all over the world with a focus on European micro-cars. The museum is housed in a re-purposed bakery building from the 1950's. We'll also get a special tour of the private basement collection to view cars undergoing restoration, which are not on display, before returning to the hotel. The Saturday evening banquet will be catered by the Granite City Restaurant and served in the hospitality room. We will have a business meeting and installation of officers immediately following the banquet meal.
Sunday is departure day, time to say goodbye to Nashville, our old and new Skylark friends.
I hope you can all attend, and please bring your Skylark. The registration form is included in this newsletter, and can be reprinted from the Club website at www.skylarkclub.org. Please complete the registration form and return it with your check to Lillard Walker, 6375 Chickering Circle, Nashville, TN 37215. Please note; it is important that we receive your entrée selection for the dinner Saturday night. See you in Nashville!!!