Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Awarded Best New Attraction

America’s Best New Attraction

Blue stairs lead to Great Barrier Reef Exhibit at Wonders of Wildlife
Crowd gathers to hear announcement at the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit

USA Today readers vote WOW America’s Best New Attraction 2017 – No Surprise There!

I was on the staircase, Jan. 5, 2018, all ears when Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson announced USA Today readers voted Wonders of Wildlife, America’s Best New Attraction in 2017.

Quite the feat since WOW opened to the public on Sept. 22, 2017. Two months on the books, and it received more votes than any other new attraction 2017 AND in the history of USA Today in that category.

Of course, I hoped to spot Johnny Morris among the dignitaries at the announcement, but he was traveling, fishing for Goliath Groupers with pro-fisherman Bill Dance. Parsons read a letter from Johnny, who wrote of his gratitude for the award and his thanks to the public who voted for and embraced this work of conservation.

The award announcement came with a donuts-and-coffee-bar and great fanfare. A banner dropped the length of the 37-foot aquarium at the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit to announce We did it! Inside the tank, a diver held a sign, “America’s Best New Attraction,” while curious fish swam by, no doubt thinking, “We did it!” Continue reading Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Awarded Best New Attraction

Volunteer at Legends of Golf Tournament Bass Pro

Bass Pro Legends play Top of Rock golf course with swans and waterfall in background
Idyllic Top of The Rock golf course

I like to Volunteer at Bass Pro Legends of Golf, and thought you might want to know why. Think green lawns, sandy bunkers, legendary pros, media, eclectic crowds, divine landscapes, swans, boats, ponds, and waterfalls — christened with rain — all that at the PGA TOUR® Champions Bass Pro Shops® Legends of Golf® at Big Cedar® Lodge, played on premier courses at Top of the Rock and Buffalo Ridge.

Why I Volunteer

Volunteer? Friends and family chuckle when I volunteer at the tournament because it cost $50 to volunteer and it takes 3-5 days of my personal time. Some think I am starstruck, but – no. Volunteering for me is the big picture of what this extraordinary event brings to me personally, to golfing, and to our area.

Kid Rock Swinging Golf Club
Kid Rock styling in camo for the Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino
    • The tournament is held in April, my birthday month, and it’s a gift of entertainment to me.
    • It supports Missouri tourism and  conservation.
    • Love the color green, and the most beautiful greens in the Ozarks sprout in the spring.
    • Love hearing the birds, watching the swans, and walking the beautiful courses that host the tournament.
    • You never know what to expect. This year Kid Rock played in a Skins Shootout with Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Lee Trevino. You had to be there. I’m banking on Mark Wahlberg next year.
Medallion for service given to veterans, military, civil servants at the Bass Pro Legends of Golf Tournament
“Service Beyond Self” Medallion presented at the gate to military and civil servants by sponsor H.E. Williams Electric
  • I volunteer to celebrate the conservation efforts of Johnny and Jeannie Morris to make golfing a premier event in the Ozarks. [Fun fact: Golf became an Olympic sport again at the 2016 Games in Rio.]
  • I like crowds and meeting interesting people.
  • Top of the Rock overlooks Table Rock Lake, an idyllic setting.
  • The tournament expands each year. (Johnny Morris recently announced his purchase of the Legends of Golf franchise for another four years.)
  • It’s meritorious to volunteer at this prestigious golf tournament that not only celebrates golf but also raises money for education at College of the Ozarks.
  • Finally, you get back much more than you give, thanks to the generous support of Johnny Morris and the tournament sponsors.

Continue reading Volunteer at Legends of Golf Tournament Bass Pro

Ozark tourist at heart! Travel to the Ozarks

How to be an Ozark Tourist

My son on mule at Silver Dollar City, an Ozark visitor from 1970
Fun trip to Silver Dollar City, 1970 – nothing like a mule ride!

I am an Ozark tourist every day. It’s one of the perks of living in Harrison, a burgeoning city in the Ozarks.

Because I have lived in the Ozarks for over 30 years, I officially attribute “hillbilly” to my nomenclature.

Travelers flock to the Ozarks because  (1) it is an amazing place for family vacations  and (2) it is within a day’s drive from the big cities of St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Oklahoma City, etc.

For instance, over 71 million tourists have passed through the gates of  Silver Dollar City, alone,  since it opened in 1960.

Shoe Essentials for an Ozark Tourist

Eric caught a trout on the White River
Trout, caught in the White River

Campers and RVs roll into Branson, filled with fishermen and show goers. When the tourist season rolls around, I become a tourist, too — I throw on my flip flops and sun glasses and off I go. That’s the beauty of living in a tourist region.

Further, in a mountainous terrain filled with lakes and rivers means countless occasions for entertainment. Suggested shoe wear: cowboy boots, wading boots, hiking boots … flip-flops, boating shoes, water shoes, sandals, tennis shoes, loafers, golf shoes, pumps, slippers, and heels. Continue reading Ozark tourist at heart! Travel to the Ozarks