An Old Seagull takes pleasure in answering this question that just “came to him” this week:
I am eight years old and when I told my friends we were going to Branson for a vacation they said that their parents said that Branson’s family spirit is dying. My daddy says, ‘If you see it in the Ole Seagull’s column, you might disagree with it, but it’s his best shot.’ Please tell me the truth, is Branson’s family spirit dying and will it be there when I get there?
Virginia, your friends parents are wrong. Their perceptions have been affected by big development, bricks and buildings and those trying to entice a new demographics into Branson as they try to remake Branson in their image to put money in their pockets. Those who understand how to make a buck regardless of the cost to others and without the appropriate consideration being given to the impact of what they are doing on the values, heritage, culture, spirit and environment of what makes Branson the special place it is.
What they forget Virginia, is that all minds, “Whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.”*
Yes, Virginia, the Branson family spirit lives on reflecting the 50’s and 60’s values, heritage, culture, spirit and attitude of its pioneer attractions and shows Silver Dollar City, The Shepherd of the Hills, Baldknobbers Jamboree and Presleys’ Country Jubilee. It exists as certainly as people and families love excitement, adventure and having fun together in a safe, patriotic, and God honored family environment that will help them create memories that will last a life time.
Alas, how dreary would be the world if there was no Branson family spirit! There would be no oasis in this world from the “if it feels right do it,” what’s in it for me,” “do the politically correct thing” and increasingly anti Christian sentiments that seems to be permeating our country today. There would be no vacation destination in America where the love of God, America and family values are today, as they have been for over 50 years, the foundation for the entertainment experiences it offers.
Not believe in Branson’s family spirit! You might as well not believe in the American spirit.” You could stand outside of every Branson show and attractions watching the millions of people going in and out each year and it’s not something you would see directly. “The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men see”* yet Virginia, my bet is that once you have experienced Branson, you will feel Branson’s family spirit and will return to experience it again as millions before you have done.
No Branson family spirit! Thank God it exists and, through His grace will live, until His Son comes. Be that a thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, that Branson family spirit will continue to not only make glad the hearts of children, but the hearts of all who want to have fun and be entertained in an area with Branson’s core values.
* From the editorial of Francis P. Church entitled, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.”