Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Travels with Ch - Day 7

We left STL about 9:45 a.m., heading for Branson, Missouri (pronounced Missoura by the natives). Our objective this week is attending an ElderHostel Intergenerational program in Bransom. The goal is to learn a little bit about performing in the real world.

Orientation and a get-acquainted time was held on the first afternoon of the program. We met the 12 kids and 21 grandparents with whom we will be spending the rest of the week.

Our first session on the first full day, was given by Sarah Kleinfelter, one of the tour hostesses and a former professor at College of the Ozarks. Her history of Branson was a real eye-opener. She stressed that the entertainers in Branson were very family-oriented and geared to training the next generation of entertainers. Over the next few days, I heard the theme repeated by others and found everyone we met exhibited that ideal.

Mark Young, a professor at College of the Ozarks,presented 2 classes over 2 days, focusing on giving a good performance.

His wife, Lisa, taught the importance of body movement. These were very interactive sessions and had everyone up, moving around, laughing, and learning.

An afternoon presentation by Danny Eakin, "The Life of an Ozark Troubadour," reinforced the principals of the morning lecture. He sang, played guitar, banjo, harmonica, and admonished the kids to honor their mothers and fathers. I checked his statement that musicians always took their hats off when they sang Gospel songs, and found it to be true. They also "give God the glory for their performances" and "show great respect for veterans." Yes, this is typical of everyone we met in Branson. He certainly did remind me of my brother, T.

We attended shows every evening and applied the learned information to our observations. Dolly Parton's "Dixie Stampede" was the first show we attended. Heavy on patriotism with a Civil War theme, it was quite an extravaganza. It was a dinner show that was all finger foods.
"Hold up your hands! This is your silverware!!"
Every person was served soup (to drunk from the small bowl it was served in), a small roasted chicken, half a grilled potato, a cob of corn, and a roll. Dessert was a "cow patty", actually a fruit pastry. Drinks were served in small jars. It was amazing how quickly all that food could be served and the remnants cleared away during a 2 hour show. All the while, we were watching some fancy horse work and amazing costumes.

We fell into bed, tired and full - of food, information, and Bling. In fact, we did not have the opportunity to get hungry all week.

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  1. A good size helping of "Good Old Fun" to be had by everyone.

  2. I always pronounced it Missoura although I was once corrected by a graduate of Mizzou as being wrong. Oh well, can't satisfy all.


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