Dancers wearing costumes created by Gantt woman

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The list is stellar for the Grand Ole Opry’s official reopening spectacular next Tuesday – Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Charlie Daniels, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Josh Turner, Keith Urban and Joy Terry.

When the Grand Ole Opry dancers hit the stage next week, they will be wearing creations made by Gantt Lake resident Joy Terry, shown here with the dancers.

Joy Terry?

Don’t recognize the name?

Don’t worry. It’s not a name not well known for carrying a guitar; however, carrying a sewing kit is a different matter all together.

Terry, a Gantt Lake resident, might not be on the stage next Tuesday when the Opry hosts its first show after disastrous floods caused millions in damages, but her dancewear creations will.

“It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime things,” she said. “My husband (Ron) is a truck driver. He listens to a radio show on XM Radio called “Truckers’ Talent Spotlight. He would call in with his poems, and he and the DJ Marcia Campbell got to talking.”

As fate would have it, Campbell was one of the famed square dancers at the Grand Ole Opry. She told Terry’s husband about how the group’s need for new costumes.

“He said, ‘Well, I got the woman for you,’” Terry said. “Before you know it, I was in Nashville making costume designs. I worked 24-hours-a-day, and in three days, I had two different options.”

Terry presented her creations to the Grand Ole Opry’s C.E.O., sewing right up until their face-to-face meeting.

“I was so nervous,” she said. “When it was over and done with, we walked out, and I clasped my hand to my chest and found that I had pins all in my shirt. Can you believe it?”

Terry’s designs – which included a variety of accessories that completely change the look of the costume – were one of three presented. Hers of metallic purple and another of brilliant red were eventually chosen to grace the Grand Ole Opry stage.

“It’s just a phenomenal honor,” she said. “I can’t believe it. I’m so happy. Believe me, we’re going to be watching TV that night, looking for them.”

During the day, Terry can be found at the Opp Post Office. At night, she’s busy sewing her one-of-a-kind creations.

Sewing is talent cultivated by her grandmother, Terry said.

“I’ve been sewing since I was 7 or 8,” she said. “I told her I wanted to make a quilt. She said I had to learn how to use the foot-pedaled sewing machine. I couldn’t, so she said I had to start out by hand.

“Now, I can sew a dress by hand in no time flat,” she said.

Terry said if she can “ever find a storefront with double doors big enough” to accommodate her gargantuan 15-foot sewing table, she’s setting up shop.

“It’s my passion – sewing,” she said.

“I’m ready to do this. I love to sew. It doesn’t matter what it is from wedding dresses to Halloween costumes and everything in between. It’s what I do.”