EXIT 196

By Betsy Thorpe

Dozens of travelers leave I-40 at Exit 196 everyday, some to visit friends and family, others for fuel, refreshment or lodging. They all have a story to tell and we are here to share a tale or two that we heard at Exit 196.

Saturday morning a singer songwriter and her parents checked out of their hotel and had breakfast at EXIT 196 before continuing on their journey from central Florida to Hurricane Mills Tennessee where country music star Loretta Lynne’s Ranch is located and where the excited young Florida songstress was scheduled to perform later that afternoon during the three day Songwriter Festival.

Every autumn, songwriters from all points north, south, east and west arrive in Hurricane Mills to share their original lyrics, songs and music at the Songwriter Festival. Hurricane Mills, about one hour due west of Nashville and nestled on acres of rolling hills and pastures provides an inspiring and authentic country location for country music fans and songwriters to come together

This year’s festival offered Open Sing Rings and Create A Rounds where writers showcased their original material. Throughout the weekend hit makers like Jerry Foster , Tony Stampley and Bobby Keel performed with up and coming songwriters on the Festival’s various stages.

Writing classes and seminars were held everyday and everyone who attended the festival including our EXIT 196 visitor had the opportunity to share their original songs with other writers, fans and publishers.

As she was leaving EXIT 196 the hopeful young artist assured us we would soon hear her and her songs on the radio. As we watched her drive away in a car full of dreams we all wished her well.


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