Pictured are area residents who participated in the recent YWCA Branson trip. (Photo submitted)
Strong winds and a guardian angel swept 45 people from Van Wert to Branson to spend a week in the Ozarks. The musical strains coming from Branson are the same even though a lot of the favorite old stars are no longer there. Their spirits are alive at Christmas time.
November is the start of the Christmas shows and also veterans month and honor is given to all veterans in all the shows. "I'll be home for Christmas," a famous song of World War II was portrayed by a new singer to Branson: George Dyer.
The Bretts have all their family in their show also, and, so many talented children who are following in their parent's footsteps. Christmas songs are brought to life with all the families on stage. Mrs. Brett wrote a touching poem "I Am A Veteran" which brought a tear to all. The Brett Boys entertained the crowd with their basketball antics along with singing. The dad Tom Brett had been a coach for 36 years and also brought up a beautiful singing family.
The silly antics of the Baldkobbers, energetic dancing of the Red, Hot, and Blue stars, The 12 Irish Tenors voices and a boat ride on the Branson Belle with food and entertainment kept everyone busy.
Participants also enjoyed a tram ride through the land of the Shepherd of the Hills book, lots of lighted displays to enjoy and a climb to the top of inspiration tower and warm cocoa, food, gift shops, a visit to Dick's 5 and 10 Cent Store, a tour of the lake and dam, a ride to the top of the St. Louis Arch and through the Lady of Snows Christmas Lights.
The 45 truly delightful people who joined together for a week of fun included Louie and Elaine Price, John and Anne Morris, Phil and Donna Jones and Paul and Doris Price, all of Venedocia; Don and Pat Lippi and Dick and Joanne Kirkendall, all of Van Wert; Louis and Ruth Ricker of Ottoville; Merlin Goodman and Cheryl Pelasky, both of Delphos; Joan Horney of Van Wert; Dorothea Plikerd of Spencerville; Larry and Diane Webb, Roseann Purk, Brenda Delong and Ron and Linda Bagley, all of Van Wert; Ralph and Kay Herman and Stan and Darlene Miller, all of Ottawa; Fred and Louise Hartwig and Gary and Cleona Miller, all of Van Wert; Bill and Martha Strahley of Paulding; Jeff and Jan Jones of Ottawa; Dean and Jan Osburn of Van Wert; Carol Hennis of Van Wert; Bonnie Smith of Decatur, Ind.; Lloyd and Ilo Marvin of Van Wert; Byron and Janet Mohr (tour escort) of Van Wert, and Pauline Averesch, driver, of Ottawa.