American Kitsch

Years ago, Dennis Miller–when he was funny–referred to Branson, Missouri as Las Vegas for people without teeth. Twenty years later, Miller’s revelation still hits the mark, despite the advent of implants and veneers.

While attending a sold-out concert featuring the Oak Ridge Boys at the Mansion Theater,

Oak Ridge Boys1 (2)

it was hard not to notice the adoration of a graying audience. Women wearing shades of autumn-colored hair to complement their leopard print outfits seemed to swoon through an earnest and sincere set of gospel-laced ballads and patriotic country-swing tunes, while their stoic significant others, coiffed in their stiff anywhere/anytime cowboy hats, eventually removed them, perhaps taking a cue from William Lee Golden during his performance.

‎ORB William Lee Golden

Upon returning to the parking lot after the show, we noticed how haphazardly most vehicles were parked, with little regard for lane assignments. It could have been a freeze frame from a demolition derby. Few could recall where they parked their trucks or SUVs, so collectively pressing the alarm buttons on their keys produced a cacophony of blaring horns and flashing headlights that continued to frustrate a clueless crowd.

Of course, things are no better on the roads. The yellow, blue and red routes always appear to be congested, because drivers can’t get out of their own way, and nobody knows where they’re going. Unfortunately, turn signals are no more than car decoration.

Or maybe the sites on the edge of the road are so compelling that traffic snarls are to be expected.

What follows is a sampling of some of the roadside attractions that caught my attention.

ferris wheel

fork and meatball

King Kong




chicken dinner

P.S. We found our truck in the Mansion lot, and found our way back to the Airstream, but it took forty minutes to travel four miles.




13 thoughts on “American Kitsch

    1. Hi Dawn. Family and nature always changes the equation. Leah and I stepped out of our “un-comfort zone” with a ride to Table Rock State Park. However, our hike around a small part of the lake brought us directly to the Showboat box office and a gift shop full of tchotchkes. Oh, well. But damn!, that was a nice dam.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I enjoyed taking my kids to Branson.

    If you want to develop an appreciation for how sane, calm, and obedient American drivers are; come hang out in a Southeast Asian city for a few weeks. I don’t even know why they paint stripes on the road here. It’s total chaos, but all at 40 MPH and below.

    Liked by 2 people

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