What do you think of when you hear that name? Apparently we don't get out nearly enough, because we had thought he was funny. He writes a funny AARP column, and I had seen him many times on TV. However, apparently YS has made some serious changes to his act for the Branson crowd, or we are on drugs. Take your pick.
He's the only comedy act IN Branson, which was why we went. Also, it was raining. We went to Table Rock Lake State Park earlier for a hike with the kids, but it started raining on the way back to the hotel, so we went to see a show. We thought it would be more wordly and sophisticated than the rest of the Jesus-drivel being advertised. Every other subtitle is "God and Country" and we find that way too narrow-mindless.
Of couse the theatre was full of geezers, with us at the way younger end of the spectrum. There wasn't a child in the place, which I thought boded well. Even when a couple younger than we came in at the last minute, I didn't think anything was wrong. Well, he came out and started telling jokes, most of which we had heard in some form on other occasions. Every fifteen minutes or so, YS would disappear and a Russian dance troupe came out, and they, at least, did a good job. Whenever Smirnov came back, he was wearing something else.
There was a presentation about his citizenship and his patriotic art and the whole thing got schmaltzier by the minute. The woman next to me, along with many others, kept taking flash pictures even though we'd been asked not to. And the dance troupe came and went, and at one point we thought it was over, but no, it was just an intermission for shilling and autographs and pictures. For fun I took pictures of people taking pictures.
Then the show started up again, and he pretended he was President and answered pre-written questions from shills in the audience. Next was a long and confused ramble about married love involving only straight people and red, white and blue magnets. Then he started in with the hyper-patriotism again, and when he started crying, we left. The whole thing was both a waste and a learning experience. There wasn't much religion, but there wasn't much clarity of thought, either. On the whole, Branson is an intellectual wasteland stuck in a 1950s time-warp. We were really glad to move on come Tuesday morning.
I'm about a day and a half behind with this. Smirnov was Sunday. Monday Joyce was still fighting a sore throat and sinus probems from the smoke in the restaurants, so we didn't do anything except hang around the hotel. Went and sat in the hot tub and swam and that seemed to help. Got up and out early today so we could make a side trip to the Ingalls-Wilder museum near Springfield. It's a very pleasant spot, green and peaceful and apparently fertile, so we could se why they stopped traveling at last. They still traveled on vacations and visits but they never moved again.
That went well, and we drove on toward Independence in and out of rain. Spring is just barely here and the entire countryside is just beautiful. We haven't seen a spring in a long time, and we are really enjoying all the budding trees and new flowers. We arrived in Blue Spring in the early evening, and called a local sandwich joint who delivered our supper.
Next stop: Harry S Truman historical sites. We're just wild about Harry!