If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
“There’s a screw on the wall.” That was Shawna’s response to my inquiry as to whether or not a hat rack was available at the Farmhouse Restaurant on Main Street in Branson. Shawna was our quick-thinking waitress. Raised as to not wear any head-cover at the table, and not noticing any formal-looking place to retire my cap; I had asked the question. Shawna had answered. The screw had worked. The meal was good, the service fine.
Earlier in our excursion there had been The Homestead Pickers at Silver Dollar City. First, some of the audience. Linda, Charla, Vicky and Beth. Cousins, by blood and bond, that for the past several years gathered for a weekend of frivolity. Catching up and giving back. Had dressed alike in matching shirts and tierras.
They were celebrating their birthdays. Sharing memories and making new ones. Requested Danny sing “The Years Go Rolling By.” Teared a bit before the smiles and subtle laughter. I’m sure collecting remembrances from the decades of their friendship. Storing up new ones for when falls begin to slide into winters. Might even include some of my own personal hijinks between sets.
Then there were those sets. Thirty-minutes each of songs and shenanigans. Unscripted to say the least. Always a few requests; fan favorites like “The Cat Came Back” and “Arlington.” Danny was segueing between his reminiscing about playing with the dogs under the porch as a child, including sharing “wet chicken bones” with four-footed companions, and encouraging the other band members to really lean into the next number.
“Giver ‘er ‘yer all!” he heartened his fellow bandmembers.
“I’ll give it sixty-five percent” offered the for now newest member of the band, Walt Morrison.
When asked why only that amount?
“I’ve got to hold something back for the next song!” was the reply. Obviously, a man who thinks ahead. “Sixty-five percent” then became the theme for much of the rest of the day. I found myself turning over that jewel of wisdom a time-or-two; weighing each facet. See a fair piece of value there still.
There was the waitress Elissa, who was saving money to start college. Nineteen and ready to see the world. I hope she does. Not only for her, but for the world to see what America still has to offer. Obviously, a child of God, good-spirited and hard-working; she is a credit to her job and generation. We have met several such people of late.
There is Emily who among her several roles is the “paper-gal” that greets visitors and distributes the paper at Silver Dollar City. Jessica, a young mother-of three that assists with security at SDC. Went out of her way to thank me for doing a stranger a kindness. She noticed the act and thanked me for doing it.
There were Gwen and Ricky from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Wendell and Donna who were celebrating their fifty-first anniversary. All polite and interesting. Pleasant and inspiring.
Nameless here are a myriad of people we have met; phrases we have heard. Some are written on notes. A few hopefully committed to memory. Some will appear in some version or another in future columns. Future stories. Novels, maybe. The names changed; characters still there.
As we travel, we find lots of good people. Dedicated. Interesting. Humorous enough to be honest. Some young. Some old. All doing their best to make their way in this world. Maybe looking for that screw on the wall to hang their burdens on. Giving it their all. Or, at least sixty-five percent. Thanks for joining us.