It was all delivered with assembly-line efficiency, and they kept our drinks filled as well. When the meal was over each guest received a hot towel, the better to restore your hands in time to reach in your wallet for a tip.
The downside was it all happened while the show was going on, requiring divided attention.
Besides 32 horses and riders, there were races – pigs, chickens, ostriches, even lumberjacks. They were timed and the points added to determine the North vs. South winner. That night the South won.
But Dolly, on video, smoothed it over on the finale. “In reality there is no North or South, there is no East or West,” she said. “We are all Americans, and we all love freedom.” That led into her final number, “Color Me America.”
The next day we visited Dollywood, opting for the many sitdown shows and museums instead of rides. At our age it’s much more appropriate.
Jim Bailey’s column appears on Wednesday. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.