Tammy Wynette and Shag Carpet

Allison Glock reviews the new bio of Tammy Wynette, the country singer and antithesis of feminism, in the NY Times Book Review. While working through the antebellum mansions of Middle Tennessee, I came across the following Tammy Wynette story. From Tennessee Guy:

“While at Rippavilla, take the time to see Oaklawn (3331 Denning Ln.), which is just around the corner. It was in this brick home built in 1835 that General John Bell Hood spent the night when an entire Union army sneaked past him. The house was bought in the 1970s by country crooners George Jones and the late Tammy Wynette, who inflicted shag carpeting on the floor where Civil War generals had walked. To install the carpet, the bottoms of the 140-year-old doors were sawn off and put out in the trash. A sharp-eyed local woman retrieved the strips of wood and triumphantly returned them when the house passed into the hands of a more history-minded owner. Now properly restored to the way it appeared on the fateful night while Hood slept, the view of Oaklawn offers visitors very little of anything from the 20th century. To get there from Rippavilla, go south on U.S. 31 for 0.2 mile, then turn left on Denning Lane. A 2.5-mile drive leads to the mansion. Oaklawn is privately owned, so visitors should not invade the driveway.”

When I first heard that story, local tourism officials asked me not to publish it, which I didn’t until George and Tammy’s train wreck lives careened off in other directions.

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