Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Fortunate Gold Award Trip to Branson (“Worth Remembering: Poetry of Our Heritage”)

Our trip as a family to Branson to claim Pop's Gold Medal Award turned out to be a fortunate trip. The first night we dined at a Chinese Restaurant. Our fortune cookies told us:

My father Erwin A. Thompson: "Your short term goal will soon be realized."

My brother Gary Thompson: "Don't worry about the stock market, invest in family."

My sister-in-law Patty Thompson: "Opportunity knocks on your door every day--answer it."

Myself: "Be prepared to modify your plans."

These were a completely perfect fit for each of us.

My father? Well, heck, he was about to pick up a gold medal award for his poetry book!

My brother is dedicated to several generations of family, and lets the rest of the world roll by him.

My sister-in-law is all about positive attitude and greeting adversity with grace.

Me: My life is a study in flexibility.

Our time in Branson was pleasant and fulfilling. Pop claimed his Stars and Flag Book award onstage at the Mansion Theater. The rest of the time was spent enjoying the Veterans Homecoming Week. And, I finally got to meet Pat Avery.

Branson is the Las Vegas of the Midwest without the gambling. There are 100 theaters there offering glitzy country-music style entertainment. So, you gotta go to some shows. Our first show was part of the awards ceremony. The second show was on the Branson Belle Showboat. Wow. It's like a mansion. Pop was one of the four veterans chosen to be honored at the start of the show.

The Branson trip was the kick-off for Pop's birthday week. From there we went to a company meal on his birthday, November 9th...and an appearance at two creative writing classes at Alton High School.

Pop, the old man of the mountain, wowed them.

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4 Responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing your fortunes. Sounds like a wonderful 94th birthday week from beginning to end.

  2. Thank, Janean.

    Yes, Pop had a replete b-day week: the trip to Branson for his award, a company dinner on Nov. 9th (his b-day date), and finally, an appearance as a Visiting Writer. He was honored from stem to stern, and says he feels "replete."

  3. I've always wanted to "do" Branson. Sounds as though you all had a grand trip, and congratulations to your father. That's pretty cool. Kendra

  4. Thanks, Kendra. Yes, for my father to receive public recognition at 94 after writing for decades was such a culmination. And, then, to be so thoroughly appreciated for his military contributions capped it.

    Folks came up, held his hand with such warmth, and thanked him for his service in the Army. He earned a Combat Infantry Badge, and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained near Stohlburg, Germany. He also received the Silver Star for "Gallantry in action above the call of duty." He was one of the ordinary heroes in extraordinary times.


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