Saturday, July 13, 2013

Grove Park Inn turns 100

Fireworks light the Grove Park Inn on its 100th birthday.
Presidents, would-be Kings and Queens, Prime Ministers, movie stars and my great grandparents stayed there. If the rock walls could talk, they could speak of Bogart, of Roosevelts, of Windsors, of Ford, Edison, and Firestone. Certainly some war-time secrets which remain secret. Discrete deliveries for a Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald in a time and place which frowned on such habits.

The grand old lady of Asheville hotels turned a digit yesterday--from 99 to 100.

At the dedication in 1913, the new U.S. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan spoke eloquently. Bryan, thrice defeated in Presidential runs had opted out of a fourth run in 1912 to support Woodrow Wilson. The plum job of Secretary of State was his for that. Who knew then the winds of war in Europe would make that job uncomfortable.

For 100 years, the hotel has stood for making people more comfortable. Through the bad times and good, war and peace, the rock has kept its secrets, standing silently against the ancient mountain.

Happy Birthday GPI.

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