Building a Grand Old Opry barn is not an easy task, but Jim Snider, a retired Oak Ridge National Laboratory chemical engineer, has created a reasonable facsimile that will dominate the stage of the Oak Ridge High School auditorium for "Take It Home, Tennessee" this weekend.
With the help of Jeff Cravens and many members of the Leadership Oak Ridge Class of 2011, the barn panels are newly painted and ready to be assembled as the set piece for the Grand Old Opry section of the show. Although the total weight of the finished barn will be 700 pounds, the 28-foot wide by 16-foot high creation will be carried in sections on a flatbed truck to its final destination before Snider and the Leadership Oak Ridge workers assemble it under the watchful eye of Joseph Self, technical director of the ORHS auditorium.
The barn, complete with WSM 650 Grand Old Opry lettering by Betsy Spooner, Ouita Northcutt and Karen Byers, has been in the planning stages since last February. Snider cut, sawed and bolted much of this engineering masterpiece by himself in his woodworking shop during the summer. By using an 80-year-old steelyards scale that belonged to his grandfather, who used the scale to weigh cotton bales, Snider kept a close watch on the weight of the total set.
Snider also designed, sawed and constructed a cocktail bar made out of cedar planks to be used as the set piece for the entertaining Bar Scene, which includes songs such as "Friends in Low Places," "I'm Gonna Hire Myself a Wino to Decorate My Home" and "Trashy Women."
"Take It Home, Tennessee" is a toe-tappin,' heart-warmin,' and highly entertaining musical celebration of 200 years of Tennessee music. Written by Rosemary Ahmad Byers in collaboration with Stan Tucker, a Broadway musician, who wrote "Sing Tennessee" for the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, the show will kick off the Capital Campaign for the Emory Valley Center Capital Campaign at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Local singers and dancers will present the much-loved songs of Tennessee musical greats such as Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and Dolly Parton, with tributes to Roy Acuff, the Carter Family, and other famous Tennessee musicians.
Special guests will include members of the Sound Company Children's Choir, the Oak Ridge High School Combined Choirs, the Catoosa Bluegrass Band, Blues player Henry Perry and Blues singer Kelle Jolly.
The Emory Valley Center is a nonprofit, Oak Ridge-based agency that serves 140 mentally, physically and emotionally disabled adults in a variety of programs, 60 toddlers in its Early Learning Center, 300 children birth to 3 years of age in a home and community-based program, and over 200 families in the region through a Family Support Program.
The Capital Campaign will raise funds for a new building to replace the Daniel Arthur Rehabilitation Center building which has been the Emory Valley Center's home for 55 years. The City of Oak Ridge plans to tear it down in early 2015 because of its high cost to maintain. The new EVC building will be built across the street and will adjoin the current EVC administration building. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for children and may be purchased online at www.emoryvalleycenter.com.
They may also be purchased in Oak Ridge and Clinton at Enrichment, Y-12, and ORNL Credit Unions, in Oak Ridge at TN Bank, Tennessee Members 1st Credit Union, Citizens First Bank, Citizens National Bank, and SunTrust Bank, and The Community Bank in Clinton. You may also call (865) 483-3659 or purchase them at the door on the day of the show.