November 02, 2014
WITH FLYING COLOURS
I asked a friend and avid golfer what he likes so much about golf. His reply was that he likes being outdoors, the landscaping and the people. I thought, he just described Silver Dollar City. It is no secret that my favorite get away location is Silver Dollar City in the Ozarks. I like the late 1800 era, particularly the colors.
Some might ask why anybody would visit SDC for 37 years (plus once when I was 14). I can only say that it is a place where any age can have a great time.
I like the fact that certain aspects of SDC have not changed in all these years. There is something comforting about the familiar like the walk in the narrow door as we make our way through to the ticket gates and through the Hospitality House
(wave at Uncle Gene) and into the main square. We enjoy the Mill Restaurant (I love their breakfast), the cabin, the Wilderness Church, Leather Shop and the One Room School House. I mention the school house as we know the Schoolmarm and sometimes she reads this stuff and I need to stay on her good side so that when we visit I don't have to write on the blackboard a hundred times, "I will not use run on sentences". The Gun & Knife shop, The Apple Butter Shop, the General Store, Sullivan's Mill & Bakery, the Candle Shop, the Blacksmith Shop, Browns Candy Factory and Hazel's Blown Glass Factory are more mainstay favorites. I like walking into each of these and seeing it pretty much the same as the first time we visited SDC.
My first visit to SDC was at the tender age of 14. I remember petting a goat, riding a stagecoach and touring the cave. I didn't appreciate it in the way that I would eleven years later on our first visit after we were married. The train ride, Fire In The Hole and the Floating Mine Ride are old favorites but I also enjoy the new rides such as Powder Keg, Wild Fire and Outlaw Run, a wooden roller coaster with a double barrel roll at the end of the ride (yes, I rode it - once). I've ridden every ride at SDC except the Giant Swing (that one scares me, but I'll ride it - someday).
What changes? Plenty. It is the perfect blend of the old and the new. The old is the way of life in the 1800's that SDC portrays and the new is the special talents of those that have come along to preserve this heritage in music and craftsmanship. We like the recent additions of the Opera House, the Red & Gold Heritage Hall and the Culinary & Craft School. There are the different festivals of which our favorites are the Bluegrass and BBQ, the Harvest festival and the Old Time Christmas. Without exception we have enjoyed some of the best music at SDC. Our favorites are The Homestead Pickers and the guest musicians like the Hunt Brothers, the Kruger Brothers and Southern Raised. There are somethings that we miss like Jack's Sandwich shop (Big Jack's sandwich and a slice of homemade pie). We also miss the long meandering two lane road from Branson to SDC. The new road handles the greater traffic and is safer for all who travel on it.
If there was one absolute favorite thing about SDC, I would have to say that it is a hot cup of coffee and a freshly made Cinnamon Loaf at Sullivan's Mill & Bakery (particularly on a cool day).
This year SDC celebrated the bi-centennial by giving anyone born in 1976 or married in 1976 (and still married to the same) a free season pass. We qualified for the latter. Of course you have to prove you were married in 1976 (the marriage license) and that she is still married to the scoundrel (the drivers licenses) and at least some form of arguing, fussing or difficulty getting along. We passed 'with flying colours'!