Theatre, Food and Friends in Branson, MO

What do Elvis and 39 siblings have to do with each other?

They all perform shows on stage in the theatrical city of Branson, MO. The J’s seniors took a trip to that famous city on June 6-10, and got to see a number of fantastic performances.

On Monday, June 6, the 46 seniors hopped on buses for the trek to Branson. In the course of their five-day trip, they saw seven different shows, from “Puttin’ on the Ritz” to “The Irish Tenors.”

An Elvis Presley impersonator paraded on stage and swung his hips in the “Legends in Concert” show. More than 50 members of the Hughes clan showcased their musical gifts on stage in the “It” show and disco music returned at the “70s Music Celebration” show. The family members danced and sang everything from Broadway to country to comedy to rock-n-roll.

Suzanne Eveslage heard about the trip in her weekly line dancing class she takes at The J and said she was a little apprehensive about her first senior trip but that it was absolutely amazing.

“Let me tell you, I loved it. I’ve never been on a trip where I felt like royalty in my life. Everyone got along and we talked and laughed. I didn’t have to try to navigate, we were just dropped off at the spectacular shows. I mean it couldn’t have gone any smoother,” she said.

“Oh I loved all of the shows. But if I had to pick one, it would be the “It” \show, Margaret Mazanec said. “One of the performers was 9 months pregnant and due any day but was dancing up a storm!”

Mazanec has gone on several of The J’s senior trips and said this trip was at the top. “We walked around Historic Downtown Branson and ate at Dick’s 5 & 10. It was a great time with my friends,” she said.

Mazanec’s good friend, Dolores Levy, joined her on the trip and said it’s the group that keeps her coming back. “The people on the trip, some that I knew and some that I didn’t, were all wonderful and made it worthwhile. I came away with so many new friends,” Levy said.

The seniors stayed busy on the trip, sometimes seeing three shows in one day.

“Everybody came back too tired,” Levy joked.

But each of the ladies agreed on the same thing—they can’t wait to sign up for the next trip once Senior Adult Director Diane Sadle gets one planned. Levy said “We have a senior group and that’s all that matters.”

The seniors who went on the Branson trip were Martha Bennett, Betty Braden, Marcy Beyer, Yvonne Brown, Sammi Brown, Carol Campbell, Suzanne Eveslage, Roy Frye, Evelyn Goler, Charlene Gordon, Ruby Gordon, Pat Gregg, Hardin Gregg, Carol Halbleib, Cookie Honigberg, Irene Kelton, Gary Kelton, Betty Kremer and Deanna Kremer.

Also, Dolores Levy, Colleen Lewis, Frank Lichtefeld, Bonnie Lichtefeld, Thelma Marx, Margaret Mazanec, Eunice McGuire, Sally Merritt, Don Miller, Alan Moskowitz, Vicki Moskowitz, Betty Oetken, Jim Oetken, Shirley Paul, Phyllis Richardson, Sara Robinson, Ilean Rowe, Elliott Sadle, Joyce Swansey, Evelyn Watkins, Patsy Weber, Paula Weinshenker, Barry Weinshenker, Linda Williams and Si Wolf.

Slava Nelson and Diane Sadle organized the trip, traveled with the group and ensured that everything went smoothly.

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