full page ad announces the reopening.
after the show, Aunt Susie pulled out. And once again, Aunt
Susie Slaughter's next play was Grapevine's favorite
"hey-have-you-heard?" The audience, some claimed,
had offended Aunt Susie by walking out on Humperdinck.
Others said it was High's apology. Others who claim to know
better say Aunt Susie just figured it was time to move on to
something else, that the Revue wasn't fun any more. High
says that no part of the incident affected her decision to
withdraw from the show. "She's an independent person.
She does her own thing, and people who know her leave her alone
and let her do it."
In Grapevine, the countdown for the Opry grew short. With
only days left before foreclosure, an attorney began visiting the
Opry's creditors, paying them off in full.
|None of the
Opry's creditors would release the name of the Opry's benefactor,
and once again local speculation mounted. The Opry opened
for a one-night show in December, and the question for most was
Aunt Susie Slaughter watched again from her permanently-reserved
private box at stage side. "She likes to make them
suffer and wait," remarked one of the audience, "but she
takes care of family."
elated Chisai announced that the Opry would run again for at least
two months, and, when she was in town, Aunt Susie would attend the
show. Audiences waxed and waned, however. Rumors
spread that an investment group was negotiating the sale of the
Opry. Local papers who carried the story earned Chisai's
During a February 4 show, however, Chisai announced that the Opry
had indeed changed hands. Opry Promotions, Inc., reportedly
made up of local investors, acquired a six-month lease with option
who represent Opry Promotions, prefers to talk of the Opry's
future rather than its past, of the changes his company will make
to a Grapevine building that has seen decades of changes.
Saturday night C&W will remain a staple in Opry-goers' diets,
Thibodeaux says,, but new things will be added. "Our
goal is to maximize utilization of the Opry. To make a
viable, contributing business of the Opry, not only for ourselves
but for Grapevine, we have to have other activities than just
Saturday night shows."
Much about the Opry, including its entertainment format, says
Thibodeaux, will change.
One thing, however, will not. Aunt Susie Slaughter will be
watching from her permanently-reserved private box at stage side.