Thursday, November 26, 2009

Update and Openng Ceremonies in Branson

Guess by now it is evident that plans did not go as PLANNED. I had meant to get a lot written about Branson by now but have been VERY busy here at home.

We always have a lot going on at church...and that has been one thing taking up time...THEN there is always the 4 grand children that keep us busy in one way or another....helping with homework...and also going to school with Jace the youngest because he did his book report on Eddie's book Lucky Enough. On top of all this are all the fund raising activities as we help our 13yr old grandson Keith pay for his trip to New York City this May with his vocal music group. They will be singing at Carnegie Hall and he is one happy boy to be planning this adventure. And must not forget the two teenagers...Dillon will be Graduating and we've had to keep up with all the "Senior deadlines". Brittnee is still catching up on school work from her last surgery. Those of you who know us well know that she was born with clef pallet and has had many surgeries through the years. Last week she had the appointment she had been waiting for as she says "forever"....the cosmetic surgery for her nose and upper lip. After the appointment we thought the surgery would take place in January...much sooner than we had thought. AND then yesterday when Eddie called to give them the deposit and let them know it was a "go"...they told him they could do it December 1st! WAY earlier than we anticipated. BUT for Brittnee there is no doubt and she is excited! we do what is necessary to prepare for this surgery...and then of course there is Christmas to prepare for so as far as rest...well, maybe sometime next year!!!!


We got into Branson early enough to be able to drop off the things we had brought for the Veterans Day Room. It was good to see Chip and Sandy again.

We left the pictures and the cookies then met up with my brother Michael and spent this night we knew the rest of the week would be hectic.

The opening ceremonies were held at the Mansion Theater. We arrived early in order to be sure and get a good parking spot...but actually it was to have time to visit and renew friendships. There are many veterans who come every year for this event.

Since Eddie would be giving out an award we were taken back stage. What be back there with some celebrities we knew and meeting others for the first time. I saw some pretty red very high heels and just "knew" they had to belong to Dalena Ditto...and sure enough, I was right. Before long she was there wearing a beautiful red dress that matched those shoes! She asked me to take a picture for her (and I'd actually should remember to send that to her soon)...she wanted a picture of her and Cathy Rigsby together. Cathy was there dressed in her Peter Pan outfit. (Later in the week we would see the play...what a performer she is! AND still the best Peter Pan!)

This picture could be titled "The Tall and the Small" Both ladies are very talented and just plain "super" in our book! It was fun to watch Cathy back stage...I think she could even be a dancer with Island Fire!
I can tell you it has been a wonderful experience to be back stage. We are very blessed to have been able to do this and get to know so many performers in Branson.
It wasn't long before the Oak Ridge Boys arrived! Last year Eddie had gotten to be back stage with them at their theater and I sort of "complained" a bit about being left out front...BUT NOT this year! Since last year when Eddie and Joe Bonsall were both given a Stars and Flags book award we have gotten to know Joe and looked forward to seeing he and Eddie would be giving out those awards to this years recipients. And of course...all the veterans always look forward to seeing the Oaks sing in the opening ceremonies. I had all the medals separated and ready for Joe to take on stage and hand out BUT he insisted that I go out with them and hand them to him as needed. I am generally out there in the audience watching Eddie on stage so this was new to me. And right there in the front row were some of our very dear friends we've gotten to know over the years Sherry and Roger Koehler! After our part on stage we went out into the theater to relax and watch the rest of the show Before we had even gotten back to our condo Joe had sent us pictures of us on stage!

Be patient and keep checking back...there will be more about Joe and the other events of the fun filled week we spent in Branson!

Connie Beesley

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