Lake Taneycomo Fog

plate 1.

Autumn Requiem

by Joshua Heston

Early morning cast the Ozarks in shades of blue. A perfect sky dawning, billows of fog in the White River Valley. Lake Taneycomo’s vaporous effluence drew a shroud across Branson, obscuring condos, telephone poles and roadways. The coldwater lake regularly exceeds its banks, not with water but with fog, creating — from the hills — floating castles in the sky. Here, framed by oak leaves, Table Rock Mountain rises (Plate 1).

Creeping Charlie

plate 2.

Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea), a common and unwanted lawn weed, takes on special qualities in the early morning light, etched with traceries of frost. The falling evening temperatures and hot afternoons brought out the most brilliant of autumn colors.

Red and Green Oak Leaves

plate 3.

Red and green are also the colors of fall, not just Christmas. In Busiek State Forest, clouds of foliage created a delicate explosion of color. Ozark artist George Kieffer painted these particular colors to great effect.

Maple Grove in reverse

plate 4.

A stand of maple, shot here in reverse from a lying position, frame a study of black trunks, bright blue sky, and a riot of true autumn color — a fleeting, evanescent beauty.

A creek in Busiek

plate 5.

Woods Fork, which runs through Busiek State Forest, is nearly smothered in fallen leaves as the early light peeks over the mountain. One frosty morning I remember taking my shoes off and fording the cold water before proceeding up the mountain.

Green Briar

plate 6.

A tangled bit of green briar, heart-shaped and seemingly innocent, takes on special meaning as the rest of the forest is transformed to the color of fire.

Yellow Maples

plate 7.

The soft, delicate leaves of the maple are a study of yellows, oranges, light and shadow.

Red Oak Canopy

plate 8.

A riot of color, the forest seemingly aflame in leaves, this oak is illumined by a golden, afternoon sun. As the days become increasingly short, autumn serves as a reminder of the beauty and transient nature of life.

White River Hills

plate 9.

The White River Hills near Walnut Shade, Missouri, take on the hues of blue and rust, a magical and understated scene. The Ozarks’ beauty is often understated, asking of the viewer a sensitive heart and keen eye. But to those willing to persist, these old Ozarks open up a heart and soul of unending beauty.

Red Maple Leaves Inversion

plate 10.

Crimson maple leaves frame towering blue sky. Look carefully in the upper-left corner of the sky to see a jet contrail — reminder of a greater, bustling world of technology just outside our door.

Autumn Leaf Litter

plate 11.

Even leaf litter takes on special qualities this time of year. Soft beneath the feet, each leaf unique, this is the debris of another season passed — a forest’s aspirations for growth and survival — the passing cycle of life.

Red Sunset Oaks

plate 12.

The falling sun traces its way across the sky. Another day nearly gone. Branches and trunks now black in silhouette, the oak appear on fire — a tribute to another fall, another year, now nearly gone. Autumn requiem. Listen quietly and hear, not tolling bells but a soft rustle in the wind. A tribute. A moment of great, fleeting majesty, but only if you’re quiet or broken enough on the inside to hear.

November 9, 2013

Autumn Requiem: State of the Ozarks

All photo credits: J. Heston. Location: College of the Ozarks & Busiek State Forest, Taney County, Missouri • SOTO © Archive. October 28, 2011.

dogwood petal Cortlandt Ingram, Branson Fiddle Player

Photo courtesy of Cortlandt Ingram.

“I Love to Play the Fiddle!”

(Branson, MO) “Apparently, I love to play the fiddle ’cause here I am, on vacation in Texas playing fiddle for country legend Moe Bandy!” So says instrumentalist Cortlandt Ingram.

Ingram came to Branson by way of Nashville in 2002 as part of The Braschler Music Show. Growing up on the family farm near Tribune, KS, Ingram would study music at South Plains College in Leveland, TX. “I grew up around music,” he notes. “The whole family played. I started learning to play fiddle when I was around 11 or 12. My grandfather taught me. I have a lot of respect for him and the place he had in my life.”

After making his home in Missouri, Ingram ran sound for the Sons of the Pioneers, performed with Country Tonite and — for three years — co-owned the Texas Mud Show with Randy Rudd.

Ingram is currently in his seventh season with Presleys’ Country Jubilee and recently opened his own production company Triple C Entertainment.

“I love to see the smiles of the people in the audience. Music is therapy for me and I believe for the people listening and watching. Music bring out emotion. People go to music for emotional expression.”

What does Cortlandt Ingram see himself doing in 20 years? “Same thing as now. Still playing music!”

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August 30, 2014

Tony Turner Branson

Photo courtesy of Tony Turner.

Tony Turner Joins Pierce Arrow

(Branson, MO) “I’ve been with them since Monday,” notes Tony Turner, former vocalist with King’s Castle Theater. “I had already left King’s Castle when Pierce Arrow called and asked if I would be interested in joining their show.

“It really seems it was God's will that I move on.”

Turner, originally from Independence, KS, brought his own show to Branson in 2002. Performing at the now-defunct House of Rock Theatre on Gretna Road, Turner’s band Road to Rock played Branson for five years.

“I love Branson,” furthers Turner. “I no longer consider myself a Kansan. I am a Bransonite.”

Recently nominated for male vocalist of the year and entertainer of the year by the Branson Terry Awards, Turner notes, “I don’t think I’ll win because there is some great competition but it is an honor to be nominated.

“I really hope the Terry Music Awards become an annual event. Branson needs an awards program recognizing entertainers’ accomplishments.”

Turner’s current goals are focused on his new position as tenor singer with the Pierce Arrow Show. “I would really like to stay with the Pierce Arrow Show until I retire.”

“I want to see it again,” he continues. “I want to see Branson return to its former glory and get back to promoting the shows.”

FOR contact information go to Links Page. For all news articles listed, visit the News Directory.

August 18, 2014

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Hills & Hollers

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