Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Days are Here Again

We’re back from our Branson, MO vacation! I think people assume that we visit relatives there. When I assure them that we don’t, I get a blank look. I guess they’re wondering what “Branson vacation” really means. Apparently not many people realize that Branson is the vacation capital of the world. Okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but believe me, that town is an extraordinarily enjoyable vacation destination.
Branson is like a Las Vegas for families because of its approximately one hundred musical, comedy and variety shows. During our trip we saw the Noah play at Sight and Sound, which featured a menagerie of live animals and a three-story high ark.  In addition to the shows, we went horseback riding, visited a water park, a wax museum, and rode modern-day rides in an amusement park where people dressed in attire from the 1880’s and demonstrated crafts such as glass-blowing and candle-making.
In Branson, it’s not the activities that make the place great, for me, it’s the people and the environment. Everyone is pleasant; the vendors and wait staff always provide service with humor and a smile. During our two visits to Branson, I can’t recall meeting a surly service person or encountering any unpleasantness. Even the local news seemed benign.
Visiting Branson is like stepping back into an era of good, clean fun. The experience reminds me of the Happy Days TV show set in the 1950’s.  Here’s part of an episode:

Oddly enough, searching through the Happy Days archives, I was surprised to see the number of segments that mentioned dating, girl-chasing, making-out, the draft and war.  I never associated those topics with my memories of the show. I wonder, do we generally filter out certain things from our past and focus on the more pleasant aspects? Are our “good old days” really that great or do we actually compare our current realities to distant and distorted memories?  
I know you cherish memories from your past. What’s wonderful about those special times or places? Why do your thoughts tend to linger there?                           

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