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Published: March 11th 2017
My first show in Branson was The Dublin Tenors and Celtic Ladies. It was a great concert with both groups performing on their own and then together. The Dublin Tenors entertained everyone with some great step dancing. I went to see the Oak Ridge Boys in a really impressive venue called The Mansion. I had seen them probably over 30 years ago and they still put on an incredible show. Joe Bonsall still has the energy and moves from years ago. William Golden still has his signature long beard and hair and can still bring a tear to your eye when he sings a favorite Gospel song. Richard Sterban still impresses with his bass solo in Elvira and Duane Allen still does amazing as the lead vocal of the group. A group of senior citizens that had the crowd on their feet.
Vonda and Dave joined me for the next four nights. We saw the "Six Show" which I thought was the best one that we saw. It is group of the oldest six brothers from a family of ten boys, no sisters, who perform cappella, using only their own voices to create all the sounds in their performances. Out
front after the show were six mustangs with customized paint jobs in the matching color that each brother wore in the show. It is a must see for anyone going to Branson.
Next we went to Shoji Tabuchi Theatre for his show which was entertaining, but do not miss going to the bathroom while there. They are opulent to the extreme. The décor is from the 1930's and it was very decorated for Christmas. Shoji is featured on the violin and his wife Dorothy and daughter Christine are involved in the show.
The last show that we saw was "Pierce Arrow" which is a group of 4 guys that do country/gospel music production with some standup comedy by Gene Pool. I thoroughly enjoyed Gene Pool, he is hilarious.
We the took an overnight trip to the Eureka Springs/Bentonville area of Arkansas. Bentonville is the home of Sam Walton's original Five & Dime Store and the location of the home office of Walmart. We went to Crystal Bridges which is a museum of America art which was founded by Alice Walton. The art of five centuries is amazing to view, but the building itself is a major work
of art. It was designed by architect Moshe Safdie and is truly amazing. It is free to visit, but they do charge for special exhibits. They have a café that serves a delicious hamburger so you can have lunch then continue your visit. Also on the grounds there is a classic Frank Lloyd Wright house that you can tour. It is called the Bachman Wilson House and is an example of Usonian architecture. The house originally built in 1956 in New Jersey was bought by the Tarantinos in 1988 and they wanted to preserve it so they sold it to the museum. It was taken apart, labeled and then moved to the museum to be reconstructed in 2015. There is no charge for the tour, just need to get a ticket as the number of tickets is limited each day.
In Eureka Springs we visited the unique Quigley's Castle. Mrs. Elise Quigley got tired of waiting for her husband to build her a new house in 1943 so she and their five children demolished their existing house while he was at work and moved into the chicken house. Needless to say he started immediately on the house and built
it with the lumber from their land for only $2,000. Most of that was for the 28 windows that Mrs. Quigley wanted in the design that she had drawn years before. The house has areas of bare earth indoors so that flowering plants can grow up to the second story ceiling. Stones that Mrs. Quigley had began collecting when she was 9 years old became an important part of the house and for three years she covered the outside walls with a collection of fossils, crystals, arrowheads and stones. The Quigley's grandchildren still welcome guests to the home.
We also visited the St Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church that was originally a chapel built by Richard Kerens as a memorial to his mother. It is found behind The Crescent Hotel through the gardens and down a staircase. The Crescent Hotel also has a storied history and is said to be haunted. We had a delicious pizza for lunch in an upstairs café. We also saw the statue know as "Christ in the Ozarks.
Branson Landing is worth a visit also. Lots of shopping, restaurants and a fire and water fountain show to take in.
It was great
to share these time with Vonda and Dave and especially to let Dave do the driving for awhile. They returned home to Hot Springs Village while I headed to Oklahoma to see my eldest granddaughter Carson. I will see them again in a week when I stay with them for a few weeks over Thanksgiving.
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