It’s the expectation of morality not slime that makes Branson so special
A visitor to Branson wrote, ” I came to this small town in Southwestern Missouri to indulge myself in the way things used to be….This is the town that slime forgot. That’s why increasing numbers come here for … wholesome entertainment.”
Later the writer went on to say, “Some might laugh at Branson, but the town stands a rebuke to much of the rest of the nation. Yes, the ‘Ozzie and Harriett’ image did not totally reflect the reality of the 1950s, but we thought it at least worthwhile to set a standard. Even if everyone didn’t follow it, many did. Now we set no standard and are paying the price for it.”
In closing they wrote, “But material things aren’t the real message of this little town. Moral things are. You arrive thinking you must be on another planet. You leave feeling clean. What more could one ask from a vacation?”
That visitor was Cal Thomas, the nationally know syndicated conservative columnist, author, speaker, and TV commentator. The quote came from a column he wrote after a visit to Branson entitled “Branson remains the town that slime forgot” published in Branson on Friday, June 23 1995. It was sent to the Ole Seagull this week by someone who had cut it out, noted the date and retained it all these years.
In a recent column entitled, “Yes Virginia there is still a Branson Spirit,” the Ole Seagull wrote, “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 lifetime.”
It’s of interest to note that the independent opinions about Branson expressed by someone with the experience, exposure and fame of a great columnist like Thomas and those expressed by a simple local columnist like the Ole Seagull 15 years later are so closely aligned. At the end of the day, it’s all about the perception of what the Branson visitor expects that brings them here and the fulfillment of that expectation that will bring them back.
For what it’s worth, an Ole Seagull believes that from its inception, Branson entertainment has had an intangible personality, heartbeat or soul, call it what you will, reflecting the 50’s and 60’s values, heritage, culture, spirit and attitude of its pioneer attractions and shows. He believes it is people’s perception of that spirit and soul that has made Branson the great entertainment destination it is.
His prayer would be that 15 years from now whoever is writing about Branson would be able to echo the words that Thomas wrote 15 years ago, “But material things aren’t the real message of this little town. Moral things are. You arrive thinking you must be on another planet. You leave feeling clean. What more could one ask from a vacation?”
“Not much sir, not much at all.”