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Jo’s Jottings: Trip to Branson boasts first-hand countryside tour from a tram

By Jo Ellen Dale

Wanda Downs writes that recently she and husband Jimmy returned from a week in Branson and Arkansas. They visited Silver Dollar City during the celebration of “Branson Bluegrass and BBQ” festival. While there they attended several shows, including “ The Twelve Irish Tenors.”  Wanda says the best day was spent at Dogwood Canyon, where they took a two-hour tram ride through the hills and valleys viewing wild turkeys, buffalo, elk and long-horned cattle. The animals came right up to the tram and were tame enough to be petted and photographed. They also saw beautiful waterfalls, bridges and streams full of trout.  It was a vacation to remember, and  Wanda also reports that their grandson, Zach Downs, recently returned from a trip to Honduras with a group of 40 medical students who spent part of the time treating people in need of their help. Before the trip, Zach passed the tests to become an M.D. and received his white coat. He’d like to become a surgeon, and needless to say, Jimmy and Wanda are very proud of him.
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Richmond Kiwanis Club held a regular meeting May 28 at the 19th Hole. In addition to the members, former member Christina DeShields was present as a guest of Carole Jones. Another honored guest was Division 4 Lt. Governor-Elect David Skitek, who was the speaker for the day. He spoke eloquently on the topic of “Membership Growth.” He used a slide presentation to illustrate his remarks and asked the club members the vital question, “What is your club doing to bring in new members?”
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The United Christian Presbyterian Church has some interesting and valuable items for sale. First, some antique stained glass windows from the old church that are about 100 years old and second, wooden fold-up chairs from the children’s class that remind me of my days in Sunday School classes (and that definitely makes them almost antique).They may be viewed at the church.
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The Wednesday Walkers Breakfast Club met at Our Place and surprised me with cards and goodies to celebrate what was then my upcoming birthday. The actual day was Tuesday, June 4 but I received many cards and good wishes in advance. My thanks to all of you for being so thoughtful. It takes the sting out of being so old.
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Thursday I had my picture taken for the new directory at the United Christian Presbyterian Church. This was a three-day event and it is my hope that all the church members made an appointment. The young photographer did a very good job and promised that the finished product would be enhanced so as to minimize any defects, i.e. double chins and wrinkles. I was so pleased that I ordered several copies and the company provided some free of charge.
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Again a word of caution: During the monsoon-like weather we have been having, I have met many drivers with windshield wipers swishing frantically but no headlights on. This is dangerous, and further, it’s against the law. One especially hazardous spot is the intersection at North Thornton and Crispin at the Pioneer Cemetery, where visibility of oncoming cars is poor.
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Last weekend my son Chuck and I traveled to St. Louis for a wedding. Flood warnings had been posted, but we arrived without incident even though many acres were under water. Saturday, Chuck and I had lunch in \dld St. Charles, which had not been touched by Friday’s tornado. Sunday before we started home, my daughter-in-law Liz Dale arranged a Sunday brunch for family to celebrate my birthday. Finally I was able to see my great-grandson, Myers Matthew Dale. Sadly, I have seen him so seldom that he wasn’t sure who I was. He will be 3 Aug. 1.
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Monday, members of our old couples’ club met for lunch at the Tequila-Jalisco Restaurant and went on to the home of Billie Hamann. Again, I was feted for my birthday with delicious dessert and cards. My thanks to friends Billie Hamann, Jack and Jessamine Layman and Fred and Paula Burress.
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Just went out to get the mail and the box was full of more beautiful and clever cards wishing me a “Happy Birthday.” It gets happier all the time. I am blessed with many friends and I want all of you to know how grateful I am.
I was just on Facebook and am overwhelmed with all the good wishes for my birthday.  My grateful thanks to all of you.  Love every one of you.

Until we write again,              DaleDbdale@aol.com

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