Crafts enjoy week in Branson, recommend it

Gordon and Rita Craft slipped away for a few days of relaxation and entertainment in the Ozark Mountains, along with thousands of others, in popular Branson, Mo. The entire town was decorated for Christmas and in addition to the shows, Gordon and Rita recommended driving through the awesome Trail of Lights in the Shepherd of the Hills. A 2 1/2 mile drive of holiday wonderland with animated displays that wind through a 160-acre homestead.

Back in Branson, they saw several shows including 81-year-old Mel Tillis, Grand Ole Opry member and Country Hall of Fame inductee who will retire in December and move back to his home in Florida. Gordon and Rita were in Branson during the week of Veteran’s Day and every show recognized Veterans and paid tribute to those who presently serve our country. Gordon was wearing his Vietnam cap and had several people say “thank you” and several restaurants treated him to his meal.

During their week’s stay in Branson, Rita and Gordon Craft went to see the Baldnobbers who have been in Branson since 1959 when four brothers entertained fishermen on the downtown Branson lakefront. They are still entertaining! Clay Cooper’s Country Express had something for everyone with its high energy singing, dancing, gun-slinging, trick roping and hysterical comedy. Clay’s hometown is near Dallas in Murphy, which is where Brian and Christine Craft live. They also enjoyed The Pierce Arrow Show which uses the most elaborate stage, sound and lighting; it’s hard to imagine laughing any harder or hearing a broader variety of music. It was their first time to experience the show SIX which is voices of six brothers (from a family of 10) with an orchestra-of-human voices. Audiences are captivated when they are hearing a full band but actually it is six voices of the Knudsen brothers with pure harmony and vocal range. The Cajun Wade Landry has been in Angelina County several times at Shawnee Church’s First Friday night singings. Gordon and Rita enjoyed hearing Wade Landry as Branson’s premier Fiddlin’ Cajun entertainer who combines his hot fiddlin’ and his hilarious Cajun comedy.

Gordon and Rita Craft enjoyed the week and would recommend every show they attended and suggested eating at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner where the talented wait staff sings to the guests. They also enjoyed shopping in the Mulberry Shop in the Grand Village mall. One afternoon while enjoying the beautiful view from their room in the resort, Rita spotted two Bald Eagles across the lake at the same time their son, James Craft, called checking on them. They told him about seeing the two eagles and his reply was, “A couple of ole buzzards watching two ole bald eagles.”

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Lois Sheldon came in for pecans and shared that hers and David’s granddaughter, Heather Forrest Redd, is living in Wasilla, Alaska, where she works as a nurse. For the past several years the Sheldon family has spent Christmas in Jackson Hole, Wyo., but Heather wants them to come to Alaska for Christmas. Although Heather’s husband proposed to her on a snow mobile and they love living in Alaska, David and Lois are not too excited about the colder weather that sometimes dips to 70 degrees below freezing. Brrrrr, don’t blame them!!

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Tommy and Nancy Helton came in for pecans. Nancy was wearing a not-so-fashionable, but certainly comfortable, leg brace that was protecting her ankle from a fall several weeks ago … just missed a step and even caught herself but it pulled the muscles away from the bones. Sounds ugly!

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George and Jo Grimes came in for pecans. George has been retired for several years, but Jo continues to work. Billie Willmon is working at Polk’s gas in front of Brookshire Brothers. She came in with her daughter, Andra Turburgh, and granddaughter, Olivia, and bought pecans, peanuts, jelly and peach halves. Billie came another day and enjoyed a bowl of whatever we had that day at lunch. Our thanks to Keith Spencer for bringing us some of his homemade blueberry and grape jelly; it’s great on the mornings we have hot biscuits.

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Gloria Ogden had a birthday on the 15th; one of those big ones that end in zero. And, she celebrated it in a big way, traveling to Tyler, Houston and then to her hometown of Woodville. On the 15th John wanted to carry her out for her birthday and she declined; she had celebrated enough! Happy Birthday Gloria!

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Good friends Wanda Matzenbacher and Margaret Loggins, came in together for pecans. Fran McGilvra was also here and recognized Wanda. Fran told us Wanda was a good basketball player from Hudson and Wanda told us that Fran was a cheerleader at Central. We learn so much around here. Margaret Loggins and I both love our VW Bugs although she has had several; I’m still driving my yellow 1999 stick shift. Thomas Moore came in for pecans and enjoyed talking the “good ole days” with John Ralph.

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Don Juan came in during the day with his granddaughter, Ariela, who had been to the dentist and was celebrating with a Star Bucks treat before heading back to DHS. He recognized Geraldine Pouland and remembered that she “signed” him up to work at Temple in 1971. Also enjoyed a short visit with Billy Carroll Saxton.

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Marcia (Saunders) Waller came in for whole pecans that she plans to shell during the Thanksgiving holidays while sitting on the front porch of the family farm near Karnack. Others in picking up pecans were: Frank Shockley; Jean Hamilton; Gayle Husband; Ruby Gordon; Tellie and James Ray Williams; Jackie and James Snarr; Geneva Ard; Michael Dorman; Carol Chalfant; Linda Durham; Beryl Moses; Carolyn Stover; Joyce Terrell; Gala Canada; Ray and Nancy Harrison; Ginger Capps; Richard Rainwater; Mona Watts and Mary Alice Fisher who also got peanuts and onion plants.

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Be thankful, count your blessings and come see us … ’round the table.

 

Sandra Pouland, owner of Pouland’s Real Estate, contributes this column. Stop by the Round Table or email her at sandra@poulands.com or 936-829-4040.