We had occasion to be in the region’s local entertainment center, Branson about a week ago. Scripture says something about a prophet having no respect in his own town — that’s sort of where we’ve been about Branson. It is in the neighborhood — ho hum.
We have had to rethink our position, plain and simple.
We began our adventure by letting the GPS get us lost as we were seeking the way through the winding streets of the Ozarks entertainment center. We stopped for directions at a Casey’s store. The lady there took us in hand. She called the ticket pickup-shop, figured out where they were and set us up with a list of landmarks that got us there. Things such as “Keep going till you pass the Titanic.” And “if you go past the Sonic, you’ve gone too far.” She was busy with other customers; we were only good for a couple coffees and donuts. But, she never faltered at getting us to our destination.
When we picked up the gift vouchers, we were greeted cheerfully, with a friendly handshake and good wishes as well as directions to the next stop. Directions that we didn’t believe! After we got turned around and back on track, we obeyed the directions and reached Shepherd of the Hills facility in fine time. The next friendly contact was a staff member watching for folks coming in with vouchers. He directed us to the ticket office where we exchanged our vouchers and left with tickets very quickly. I want to add here that Shepherd of the Hills facility understands the value of clean, easy access restrooms.
We had scheduled ourselves early and the drive from Mansfield to Branson didn’t take as long as we expected. We had nearly an hour to wait on a pretty worm afternoon before the Sons of the Pioneers dinner theater. We had the Kindle Fire tucked into my purse, so we found a shaded table and I read a couple chapters from The Late Sooner (Sally Jadlow) aloud to Dick. The first chapters are pretty rough; I had to stop and cry a couple times!
When we came to a good stopping place in the book, we packed up and watched our time a little better to get over to the pavilion theater. The hospitality continued with cheerful, friendly staff serving their delicious dinner, bottomless tea or lemonade and doggie boxes for the leftovers (that was a farmer’s dinner). The professional program was good — we expected that. But, the genuine hospitality shone out again at intermission. I would expect wide, friendly smiles, but after all, there are a lot of people to deal with. Not these guys — they managed to make amazing small talk with the people who went up to get autographs. Their story of the longevity and plans to preserve and promote the music exemplified for over 75 years by a group still known as The Sons of the Pioneers. As you might suspect, there were many people in the audience who recalled the old Roy Rogers movies with music including the Sons of the Pioneers. Every person in the group can take the lead in various numbers. Strong performers on a mission that displays their talents and serves memory.
If you’re looking for some clean entertainment that you can take your kids too or tell your gramma about, the shows at Branson will do the trick. And you’re a guest, just as if you were in the neighborhood and stopped over to visit. A real cut above an object of entertainment.
The Ozarks is blessed to have hospitable genes in most of the people living and working here. No wonder people like to come here. We’re justifiably proud of the various hospitality centers including Branson.