By Barbara Burleigh
Veteran’s week, November 11 through November 17, was celebrated in Branson, Mo. with heart rendering style. The beautiful patriotic songs performed by entertainers and citizens and the thanks given to all veterans who have served our country or are currently serving, was evident throughout the week. Nebraska veterans so honored included Floyd Bales from McCook, Emil Weyerts, Gurley, Jean Hoefer, and Alvern Letcher, Hay Springs and Deen Johnson, Jerry Burleigh and Wayne Brugger from Gordon.
Friday morning, November 9, found the Gordon members of the Security Gold Club, boarding a bus with anticipation of the adventures awaiting them. The bus was driven by the capable, “Tony” and was guided to circle the Panhandle where other people boarded the bus. This took place across our great state of Nebraska where the full bus of Branson bound people stopped at Beatrice, Nebraska for the night.
November 10 was filled with enjoying the scenery and entertainment by Nebraska Security First Bank travel directors, Pat Skinner from Hay Springs, Connie Akeson from Sidney and Karol Young from Thedford. A stop at the Bass Pro in Springfield, Missouri was fun. The animals on display were amazing. The evening meal was enjoyed at Lamberts in Springfield, where the rolls are thrown to the diners by capable waiters who have probably played a little baseball with a right arm aim that doesn’t seem to miss.
The Sight and Sound Theatre provided a spectacular re-enactment of the life of Joseph. The production brought to reality the Biblical life of Joseph and his family. The stage setting and lighting as well as the acting and singing ability of the cast were outstanding and all brought more to realization of the times and way of living for people in Biblical times with live animals including a camel, horses, sheep and a donkey as well as a rat. A beautiful production indeed!
The Band of America performed patriotic melodies on the banks of Lake Taneycomo at Branson Landing preceding the Veterans Day parade. Selections by the individual sections of the seventeen-member Air Force Band rang across the crowd under cloud filled skies on the beautiful morning of November 11, 2012.
At exactly 11:11 a.m. on the eleventh month and the eleventh day, the 90 minute long Veterans Day parade in Branson began. This was a well planned spectacular parade, featuring veterans from each segment of the Armed Forces and honoring participants and spectators from many locations. A special honor was given to a contingent of POW’s who participated in the parade. Although the parade was cut short by wind and rain, the Nebraska travelers were happy to have been a part of this event.
Other shows enjoyed included the Cat’s Pajamas, The Lennon Sisters, dinner and a show aboard the Branson Belle Show Boat and Shoji Tabuchi. Each and every entertainer was amazing and found to be such down to earth individuals. The awe inspiring selections performed by the beautiful voices and the backup bands and the spectacular clothing and scenery added to the electric enthusiasm emitting from each person which in turn made for wonderful entertainment.
Another treat was the cold, but beautiful, ride through the “Trail of Lights,” where the fun and beautiful Christmas decorations and lights can be enjoyed. Many also enjoyed a trip to the top of Inspirational Tower where the city lights could be seen.
On the way back to Nebraska, the travelers also enjoyed touring a Candy House Chocolate Factory in Joplin, Mo. The night was spent in Beatrice, Neb. A visit to the Stuhr Museum at Grand Island was so educational and enjoyable. The bus once again became empty as Tony drove it across the width of Nebraska and circled around to find Gordon.
With Thanksgiving 2012 past, we can all be thankful for the troops serving and for the Veterans who have served our country.
Pictured above, left to right: Jean Hoefer, Wayne Brugger, Jerry Burleigh, Deen Johnson, Emil Weyerts and Alvern Letcher. Not pictured is Floyd Bales