Kickstarter Campaign

Happy nearly new year!

My kickstarter campaign has launched today, December 31st!
Help me fund the book!

I am excited to announce that the book is written and ready for final editing. Once funded, the book will be professionally edited, designed, typeset, and published in hard cover.

As many of you know, I have been writing a book about the life of Damon “Chub “Anderson and his involvement in the 1970 murder of prominent Oklahoma rancher E.C. Mullendore III. The book has been written with the benefit of exclusive interviews I held with Chub during the final years of his life. From those interviews I learned the full story of the life of this Oklahoma outlaw. More than that, Anderson gave me a definitive first-hand account of the murder.

The title of the book is:

footprints in the dew

Footprints in the Dew: Damon “Chub” Anderson and the Unsolved Mullendore Murder

This will be a book worth reading!
I can use your help to make it a reality.

First, help spread the word about this project. Share it with your family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested. Go to my Facebook page and like it, as I will post regular updates there, which you can easily share with family and friends. In addition there are prominent links on the homepage of my website.

Then go to Kickstarter.com and make a contribution to help fund the project. You can contribute at any level, from $5 to $500 — or more. Each $25 contributor will receive an electronic PDF version of the book. Contributions of $50 or more will include a hard-bound special first edition of the book.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Have a Happy New Year.

See you down the road,
Dale Lewis

Gary Busey in Bartlesville

Get ready for the launch of the Kickstarter Campaign on December 31st- Visit kickstarter.com or follow the link from this site!

                                                         Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back. This week once again I’m bringing you a story in which fact and fiction are hard to separate.

Word of yet one more famous celebrity roaming our local streets has just reached my ears so I’ll start with this week’s local scoop. A 1962 graduate of Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this man went on to play football at Pittsburg State University on a full scholarship and that’s where the acting bug first bit him. When he moved back to Tulsa, his entry into show business was as a drummer in the “Rubber band” band. After joining Leon Russell in the recording studio, he became known as “Teddy Jack Eddy” when friend and fellow Tulsan Gailard Sartain who was also known as “Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi” suggested that one name wasn’t enough and three would suit him better. Yes, the star of the Buddy Holly Story, Lethal Weapon and dozens of other movies and TV shows, Gary Busey was in town shooting a short film for the Delaware Tribe which he is also a member of. Busey was also at the Buffalo Run Casino watching boxing when heavyweight World Champion Tommy Morrison’s sons were fighting. The story here is that Morrison and Busey were good friends and Busey has been following the boys’ boxing careers.

Moving forward, whenever I am traveling I make a point of reading the local newspapers like my hero Will Rogers who famously said “All I know is what I read in the papers.” Many weeks that is true for me as well and I frequently pass along the entertaining tid-bits I find. Here is one of them.

The human strain of this disease is called “Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease” or vCJD and my friends it is fatal. Although it is different, vCJD is often referred to as “Mad Cow Disease” and you can get it by eating the nerve tissue of cows such as brain and spinal cord pieces. According to WebMD, the illness is typically dormant for at least three months after infection and fortunately infected people can not pass it to others through casual contact.

No one is sure what causes either vCJD or Mad Cow Disease. I’m sure your next questions will be how common are these killers and how are they diagnosed and treated? The first recognized case of cVJD was diagnosed in 1996 and since then most of the cases have occurred in the United Kingdom including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The symptoms are sketchy and can encompass dementia, psychotic behavior and loss of muscle control, followed by coma. There is no single test which can be used to diagnose cVJD and usually it can only be confirmed by a brain biopsy. cVJD is not found in the muscle tissue of cows or in milk and luckily we in the United States see very few cases of this horrible disease.

I’ll end this week by suggesting you take a walk through downtown Bartlesville as you never know just who you might run into. Till next time I’ll see ya down the road.

 

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The Night Before Christmas…..

We are now officially counting down to the launch of our www.kickstarter.com campaign on December 31st! and now for a little Christmas story…

 

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 

Welcome back. This week for your pleasure I’m bringing you a little fiction, or is it? The night was partly cloudy with a whiff of snow in the air. It was cold and after doing some surveillance on a project for the past three nights I was starting to get used to the routine. I was wearing layers of dark clothes to keep warm as well as a good stocking cap and gloves. The gloves were the fingerless kind that let me use my binoculars, and hopefully my camera. At 63, this wasn’t the kind of job I would normally take on. In my younger years, at 6’2” and in pretty good shape yes, but now with the real possibility of confronting a man known to be at least as big as myself if not bigger I was starting to wonder if this was such a good idea.

This night might be one to remember. Laying quietly in the shadows of a large tree for hours, I tried to stay focused for a mind will often drift to other things in these circumstances. Family matters of course, cars and trucks and vacations, dreaming of warm sand on a beautiful beach and listening to the waves hit the shore. The sound of a broken twig to my right brought me back to reality. Was this the man I was looking for or just a deer walking through the woods? Another noise in the treetops behind me, then what sounded like a falling limb kept me on my toes for the next several hours. The file on the man stated that he worked strictly at night and he was known as an aerial artist because of his ability to get into people’s houses through the smallest opening. The man was also known to have accomplices so I had to stay alert and stop focusing on the many trivial things that were flooding my mind.

He was married and lived in a remote spot but no one who had attempted to see him there had ever returned. As a matter of fact although he’s often impersonated there’s no proof that anyone’s ever seen the real culprit. Always dressed in a heavy suit with a full beard and wearing thick glasses, the usual description of the guy was always the same. He had been doing this late night work one day a year for decades and always covered a lot of territory.

UFO or some kind of alien being? I didn’t think so. I’ve investigated the mutilated cows in New Mexico and this was something entirely different. The Mafia? Absolutely no way! After my research into Whitey Bulger and organized crime I knew this wasn’t their style either.

From all reports this guy is always happy. He doesn’t ransack anyone’s house or steal anything although he has been known to have a sweet tooth. His mode of transportation is also in question. As a member of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce for close to twenty years, I’m listed as a scout, tracker, translator and interpreter and finding people, places and things is my gift. If I could just get a picture of him it would make me a bundle and it would also clear up a lot of myths. It was getting close to midnight now and I was letting my thoughts wander again instead of laying still and listening.

With the snow falling heavily, my spot under the tree was the only bare spot around. I’ve got seven more nights and if I’m good, I’ll see him!

I took a break from my surveillance on Saturday night to witness something special when the sons of the late World Heavy Weight champion Tommy Morrison, Trey Lippe Morrison and Kenzie Witt destroyed their opponents in technical knockouts.

Mark my words, these two young men are definitely moving up the ladder in the professional boxing world. Kenzie trains here in Bartlesville and his success puts our city in the limelight once again.

Now back to my stakeout.

Till next week I’ll see ya down the road……

 

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Ansel Adams and boxer Tommy Morrison

 For those of you who have been waiting to read Footprints in the Dew, my Kickstarter campaign should begin right after New Year’s- stay tuned for an official notification as soon as it begins and I hope you will all help me make this project a reality.                                                              

Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back. History has always been one of my biggest interests with biographies running a close second. When I recently heard that the Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City will be opening a new exhibit of Ansell Adams’ “Masterworks” it definitely caught my attention. I found out that the exhibit contains what are known as the “museum set” of photographs. These are images that Adams himself considered to be his best works. According to the museum, there are going to be forty-seven photographs on loan from Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, California. The exhibit opens on February 28, 2015 and will be on view through May 10, 2015. This looks like a great show of one of our best known and best loved artists. Don’t forget that if you are a member of Woolaorc, you get in for free and a membership would make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list, young or old.  I’ll have more about this show after it opens, along with an interview with the new museum director Dr. Stephen Kamp.

Moving forward, this Saturday night will be the third professional fight for my new friend boxer Kenzie Witt who trains here in Bartlesville. You long time readers may remember that I knew Kenzie’s dad, heavyweight world champ and movie star Tommie Morrison. Working in Tulsa for restaurateur Charlie Mitchell during the late eighties and early nineties, I often ran into Morrison who was then at the height of his career and kept a place in Tulsa. I always enjoyed talking with him as he was about as down home as it gets. I find his son to be the same way. Kenzie is hoping to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a champion. Saturday night will be his toughest challenge yet when he faces Jason Lovett.

The fight will be held in the event center at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma and will be taped by ESPN which is doing a special feature on Morrison that will air on 30/30. This will be my first visit to Buffalo Run and after a little research I learned that the casino is owned by the Peoria tribe of Indians. Apparently the Peoria tribe was created in 1854 when several different bands of Indians joined together. It sounds like an interesting story and I plan to learn more while I’m in Miami on Saturday as this is also their tribal headquarters.

In the meantime I’ll close this segment with a little more information about the life of Tommy Morrison in case you are not familiar with him. Tommy David Morrison was born in Gravette, AR on January 2, 1969 and was raised in Delaware County, Oklahoma, spending most of his youth in Jay. Nicknamed “The Duke” because of a well written about family tie to John Wayne (aka Marion Morrison), Tommy Morrison won his first Golden Gloves belt in 1988 and become Heavyweight Champion of the World Boxing Organization in 1993. Morrison’s career record was 52 fights and only three losses. He also appeared in Rocky V with Sylvester Stallone. Due to health issues he retired in 1996 and sadly died on September 1, 2013 at the age of 44. There is definitely a film to be made here and I’ll bet someone is already working on it.

I want to wrap up this week with a thank you to all of you readers for supporting my weekly column. I am looking forward to bringing you another year of interesting stories from my travels and from the history of our area.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road……

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Home Sick

As some of you may realize I have been working on my website, gearing up for the Kickstarter campaign for Footprints in the Dew. I apologize for being offline and for any inconvenience. Glad to be back and hope you enjoy this post!

Welcome back. Almost recovered from what I was sure was Ebola, black leg, malaria, dengue fever or some other fatal disease, this week after several doctors’ visits under my belt along with a half dozen trips to the pharmacist I thought a medical story might be appropriate.

Did you know that according to the FDA its takes approximately two weeks after a flu shot for your body to mount an immune response? What that means around this part of the country is if you haven’t had a shot by now, don’t hesitate any longer. It’s not too late to be vaccinated.

Getting that flu shot is the first step in protecting yourself against illness. Step two is to always wash your hands properly and that means twenty seconds of lathering with soap, then air drying if possible. Step three, and this is where many of us go wrong and let the virus or infection go too far, is to capture the germs. The pros at fighting the flu, like Elizabeth Pantley who has written a bestselling book on the subject, recommend using a tissue to catch your cough or sneeze when it first appears. Then throw the tissue away immediately, don’t reuse it. That’s important, then wash your hands.  As for me I wish I could tell you that while on safari in deepest Africa with Tom Selleck I was bitten by a deadly flying spider but as it turned out acute bronchitis had attacked my body.

Acute bronchitis can be serious if left untreated. It can be either viral or bacterial in origin and with proper care most people, and that included me, can recover in about three weeks. Chronic bronchitis is much more serious and can require repeated medical treatments. It can be a problem for a couple of years as well.

The symptoms of bronchitis are a hacking cough and lots of phlegm (snot) that can lead to an upper respiratory infection. As the irritated lung membranes swell and grow thicker, they narrow and shut off the airways to the lungs. This condition causes the coughing and phlegm and breathlessness follows. If left untreated permanent lung damage can result so if you get the symptoms don’t wait!

Moving forward, what disease killed Dizzy Gillespie, Patrick Swayze and Apple computer founder Steve Jobs? That would be pancreatic cancer, a frequently asymptomatic cancer that is very difficult to detect. November was the official Pancreatic Cancer awareness month but I’m pretty sure that every month is awareness month to your family doctor. Do not ignore even small, seemingly minor symptoms.

Now a quick report from the ski area that is closest to northeast Oklahoma, Angel Fire. Lots of snow! The lifts could be opening early and with deep discounts on lodging up until Christmas the obvious question is why not?

On another note from the area, in a move to keep the Rotan, New Mexico airport from closing, Oklahoma businessman Bob Funk has purchased it. The airport is a vital link to the four state region and rumors that it might close had caused concern for people who travel there regularly. I’ll bring you more about the airport after my next visit.

I’ll close with my scoop of the week: one of my favorite places, the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico is offering half price rooms through the winter. With the slopes just a scenic thirty minute drive away you can’t beat it. A historic setting with great food and comfortable beds, you need to give it a try even if you don’t ski.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…..

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Back to Ouray, Colorado

  Revisiting one of my favorite places…………….                                     

                                                                 Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 

Welcome back. I have been laid up with bronchitis this past week and after my recent experience working for the Delaware tribe, I have been thinking about the many important contributions that American Indians have made to our country. All of this led me back to the story of Ouray, Colorado and the man the town is named for, one of the greatest Indian chiefs of the west, “Chief Ouray.”

 Ouray lies in a steep valley surrounded by mountain peaks and a stream that flows down the mountain sides to the headwaters of the Uncompahgre River. The river runs through Ouray down to the towns of Ridway and Montrose before joining forces with the Gunnison River in Delta.  The “Ancient Ones” as the Pueblos are called first came through this area after abandoning their cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde in the period from 1300-1500 AD. In 1776 scouts came to the valley looking for the best route to California from Santa Fe and they were followed by fur trappers in the early 1800s. All of this was going on when the future chief was born. As he grew up he came to love the remote areawhich remained quite isolated from outside influences.

 Chief Ouray had a small cabin in the area where the town of Ouray is today but his legend began way before then. He was born in 1833 to a Jicarilla Apache father and a Tabequache Ute mother and was raised in the Taos valley. He was educated in Taos and learned to speak four languages including Spanish, Ute, Apache and English. Then at 17 he became Chief of the Uncompahgre Ute tribe. Ouray’s first wife, Black Mare, died in childbirth and in 1859 he married an Uncompahgre Ute woman named Chipeta who became famous in her own right.

 When he was 35, the US Government recognized Ouray as the Chief of the entire Ute nation as the result of his efforts to keep the peace between the Ute people and the many prospectors who came looking for gold and silver on Ute land. Kit Carson was the Indian agent out of Taos and he came to know Ouray well. Together the two worked out a peace agreement that gave the Utes 15 million acres in Colorado in exchange for their mining rights in the San Juan Mountains.

 The Chief continued to maintain peaceful relations between his people and outsiders, even during the gold rush of the late 1800s. To help with that effort Chief Ouray visited Washington, DC and met with President Rutherford B. Hayes who called him the “most intellectual man he ever conversed with.”  Despite the greedy behavior of many prospectors Chief Ouray always believed that peace was best and when he died in 1880 he was honored as a great statesman.

 In 1887 the railroad came to Ouray and it was followed by the formation of the San Juan District Mining Association in 1903. The small cabin and natural hot springs where Chief Ouray had soaked his feet would never be the same.

Surrounded on all sides by snow-capped peaks today Ouray bills itself as the “Switzerland of America.” With no nearby ski area to attract the tourism of other Colorado mountain towns, Ouray has kept much of its authentic turn-of-the-century charm. The whole town is registered as a Historic District and includes many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Its free Ice Park attracts amateur and pro ice climbers from around the world.

 If you go to Ouray be sure to visit the Chief’s original cabin and the hot springs which are still there. Speaking from personal experience I have soaked my feet in those same waters and it’s easy to understand why he loved this area.

 Till next week I’ll see ya down the road…

 

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Angel Fire Resort and the Sutton Avian Center

   This just in: A huge snowstorm has dumped 29″ of snow on Angel Fire! Get ready for ski season!                                                 

                                                    Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.  I’ll start this week with the news that there is already some good snow in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. Over the years I’ve met different ski slope operators and they send me regular reports on the ski conditions in their area. I’m happy to hear that Angel Fire Resort has received snow in the higher elevations and is making snow at lower altitudes. Red River which typically gets more snow than Angel Fire because it sits higher in the mountains, is also reporting good things. Both resorts offer a range of snow sports including snowboarding, downhill skiing and cross country as well as sledding and snow shoeing.  If you are like me, you may be retired from skiing but still be drawn to these beautiful mountains. From crisp, clear mornings to breathtaking sunsets, I wake up every morning ready to go.

If you have been thinking about taking a trip there now is a great time to visit. To celebrate Thanksgiving the Lodge at Angel Fire Resort is offering a $99 per couple package that includes lodging and the Thanksgiving buffet at their Elements Restaurant which I can tell you from experience is a first class place. Additional nights can be booked with this package for just $31.

The first official day of skiing is December 12 and if you stay at the Lodge anytime from the 12th-18th you will get two free lift tickets for each night you book. These are excellent opportunities to get acquainted with a wonderful area. Call (844) 218-4107 for more information.

You can also visit my website (www.originalbuffalodale.com) for regular snow reports.

Moving forward, I’ve had the privilege in my life to attend several inauguration ceremonies for the new chiefs of Indian tribes. Recently over in Ponca City I attended the ceremony for the new Osage Chief, Geoffrey Standingbear and I was there on Saturday when Chief Chet Brooks took his oath of office. Several other new officers were also sworn in during a ceremony I will always remember.

While I’m on the subject of American Indians, please let me correct a misstatement in last week’s column. I mistakenly said that Buffalo Bill had killed a Cheyenne warrior named “Yellow Hand” when in fact the young warrior’s name was “Heoua’ehe” or “Yellow Hair.

I learned that over the years this name has been mis translated many times including in several movies. One thing is for sure, at the Battle of War Bonnet Creek Buffalo Bill did kill a warrior by the name of “Heoua’ehe”.

On another subject, you may not all be aware of the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center which was founded here in Bartlesville in 1983. This world renowned facility has been responsible for the reintroduction of the bald eagle in Oklahoma where there are now 120 breeding pairs. This accomplishment has helped remove the eagle from the endangered species list and has given Oklahomans the opportunity to observe these breathtaking birds either in the wild or via webcam.

On November 14th the Sutton Center will celebrate thirty years of successful research and conservation with a special gala at the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa entitled “Birds of A Feather, Thirty Years Together. “ Featuring cocktails, dinner and a program highlighting the center’s many projects, this is sure to be a wonderful event. For tickets and more information contact the Sutton Center and stay tuned for their new project, restoring the population of the rapidly disappearing Attwater’s Prairie Chicken.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….

 

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Buffalo Bill Cody

          The life of one of my inspirations  as I prepare to start an exciting new adventure……………….                                                                        

 

                                                                                Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.   Buffalo Bill Cody was a plainsman, hunter, scout, Indian fighter and showman. He was born in Iowa on February 26, 1845 and as a boy he crossed the plains many times working with bull trains.  In his teens Cody was a Pony Express rider before moving on to a job with Overland Express as a stage coach driver. Eventually he became the boss of several wagon trains going west where they encountered hostile Indian tribes on a regular basis. During the Civil War Cody served as a scout for the Union Army and according to his autobiography later worked as a trapper and a guide.

 Letters written by the Army officers Cody worked for praise his courage and also speak of his good manners and strong sense of honor. His skill as a buffalo hunter earned him his nick name and by 1873 he had become a star on Broadway. However Cody was always anxious to get back to the western plains and after his son Kit Carson Cody died in childhood he accepted a position as a guide and Chief of Scouts for the 5th Calvary.  A battle with eight hundred Cheyenne and a dual with the famed Indian warrior Yellow Hand  made Buffalo Bill a hero in the eyes of people around the country. Over the next few years he continued his life of adventure scouting for steamships, working as a dispatch carrier and even appearing on Broadway. By 1878 he had purchased a large farm in Platte, Nebraska and a cattle ranch near North Platte where he could have settled down with his loving family but he was too restless to stay put for long. Soon he took on another scouting job followed by more appearances with a “Wild West Exhibition” as he called it. These pursuits would keep him in the saddle until the end of his life in 1917.

 

Today the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is on Lookout Mountain just outside of Denver. Cody particularly wanted to be buried here because you can see for miles around from this spot. As the wind blows off the continental divide and you smell the ponderosa pine, you can almost sense his presence. This is a great place to visit and learn the life of a true frontiersman and a way of life in the old west that is long gone.

 

The life of this amazing man and mine will intertwine starting in January as I travel down many of the same trails that Buffalo Bill followed from his burial place on the continental divide across the Great Plains of Wyoming and into Montana. Cody also loved the cattle business and the stories about him and his partner Major Frank North, who was also the commander of the renowned Pawnee scouts, are legendary in North Platte. I’ll be taking you there as well.

 

New York City where Cody appeared on Broadway to great acclaim, along with a visit to his closest relatives, is also on tap.

 

No doubt I will face some of the same dangers and challenges that Bill faced, although not from hostile Indians. In Bill’s day he traveled thousands of miles through rough country on horseback, sleeping under the stars or in a wagon. Hunting for food and water took up a good part of every day.  In my case I will be crossing the country in a motorhome, foraging for food at roadside markets and passing the night by the side of the road or in a campground. It will be an exciting new adventure for me and I’ll be bringing you stories from both the past and the present along the way. This is a trip that Buffalo Bill took a lifetime to complete on horseback. As for me, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.

 

Till next week, I’ll see ya down the road………………

 

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Back to Branson

 A recent visit to one of my favorite places………………..                                                              

                                                                               Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.  This week I’m here to report that Branson is alive and well! When I’m traveling I don’t often get the opportunity to stop off somewhere but when I’m close to the pride of Missouri I make time for a detour no matter how busy I am. That’s how it was this week when I wrapped early on Saturday and arrived in Branson around 3 in the afternoon.

Always on the lookout for a good clean room in a modest price range, I followed up on a recommendation from the Branson Visitors’ and Convention Bureau and booked a room at the Southern Oaks Inn. It was perfect! The location was great, right in the center of everything, the room was spacious and immaculately clean and the amenities included a big pool, sundecks and a hot breakfast every morning.

My next stop on Saturday night was the Dixie Stampede. If you like horses, buffalo and flying birdmen this is the show for you. As always the themes include the conflict between the north and south during the civil war and the settling of the west and there was plenty of singing and dancing along with lots of jokes. This is family entertainment at its best and some of the kids in the audience even got to participate in the show. From the pre-show entertainer who could have been a headliner himself to the beautiful costumes there’s nothing like it. There’s one more thing: I have to agree with Dolly Parton when she says “you’ve never had dinner like this before!” She guarantees it and so do I!

Sunday was my first full day in town and with the good weather I decided to take in the view from a helicopter.  It was cool flying over Table Rock Lake where the Branson Belle was stocking up for her daily dinner cruises. The famous amphibious Ducks were going out and the strip was already busy even though it wasn’t even 10 a.m. yet.

I can’t go to Branson without a stop at one of the go-cart tracks and after a quick trip around the track I found myself at the Dick Clark Theater for the Legends show. For those of you who haven’t seen them yet, the Legends shows showcase impersonations of famous performers. This show included interpretations of George Strait, Michael Buble, the Blues Brothers and Marilyn Monroe. After talking with one of the performers I learned that the cast had come straight from a booking in Las Vegas and that they travel around the world.

After Legends I headed straight to Branson Landing where dinner at the White River Fish House is highly recommended. The Landing offers a variety of dining and shopping options in a great location right along the White River. Every day there is a free fountain display like nothing I’ve seen before with shooting water, music and lights.

At this point you might think I’d be headed back to the hotel but I had one more show to catch before bed. The Rankin Brothers are two extremely talented brothers whose show covers a range of popular songs from the ’50s to today. With a wonderful backup band and featuring a female vocalist named Lori Kelly who is also a former Miss Oklahoma, this was another don’t miss show!

As usual I only scratched the surface of all the things there are to do in Branson. I didn’t have time to shop, ride the scenic train or visit Silver Dollar City where they are putting up their Christmas lights and displays. There are also numerous museums and many, many other shows I didn’t get to see and so many places where I didn’t get to eat all of which makes me want to come back to this beautiful spot in the Ozark Mountains.

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road….

               

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