Before she even got to the microphone, before she even uttered a single word, before she made even one smiled. You had to. And you knew the out-loud laughs were just around the corner.


And with that one elongated greeting, we were off and running with Miss Minnie Pearl.

Country comedy (or, truth be known, what many call cornpone comedy) is something of a lost art these days. I suppose for most there's just not enough money in it. Oh, we have some country style or rural style comedians. But no one like Minnie Pearl.

Minnie would take us on a trip, back home to Grinder's Switch. We'd meet the family, the townspeople, and they became our family and our friends. So, was Grinder's Switch real?

If you closed your eyes and let Minnie paint you that picture, yes. Yes it was. It was every bit as real as that grin on your face and that warmth in your heart.

On March 4, 1996 the residents of Grinder's Switch (and the world) wept as we lost this legend. Minnie passed away from complications of a stroke at the age of 83. A career that spanned well over 50 years, around the world on tours and perhaps most famously on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, ended.

But thanks to technology, the welcome sign to Grinder's Switch will always be there, through the words and love of Sarah Colley, better known at Minnie Pearl.

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