by Angie Roberts Harris
In 1912, the Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) Titanic was touted as the world’s most celebrated luxury steamship. While sailing on calm seas under a clear sky, however, the ‘unsinkable’ ship met its doom on April 14th when it struck an iceberg that rose over fifty feet above the water and dove over 1,150 feet below the surface. In the early morning hours of April 15th, 1,503 souls perished and 706 passengers survived to tell of the terrifying event.
Preserving the Legacy
Two incredible Titanic Museum Attractions, located in Branson, Missouri and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, preserve the legacy of the RMS Titanic and pay tribute to the lives of the crew and passengers.
The museum is a replica of the Titanic and visitors are captivated from the moment they enter! Each guest represents the name of an actual passenger and experiences the ship as that individual would have done. Explore the steam room, music gallery, grand staircase, discovery gallery, first class accommodations, third class living quarters, captain’s bridge, and more! The destiny of the ships passengers and crew is revealed in the memorial room.
Hands-on activities throughout the museum include touching an ice berg, shoveling coal, attempting to stand on a sinking ship, riding in a life boat, and submerging your hand into 28 degrees water!
Knowledgeable crew members are located throughout the ship to answer questions, tell stories, share experiences, and explain truth versus fiction concerning the real Titanic and the movie.
Observe over 400 precious artifacts exhibited at the museum including a deck chair, shaving equipment, dishes, and the only Bible that was saved, opened to John 6:16-24. These irreplaceable relics are valued at millions of dollars.
The Titanic Suite
Continue the adventure by staying in the Titanic Suite at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center, located two minutes from the museum in Branson! An amazing wall mural portrays the passengers boarding the RMS Titanic and the room is filled with mementos such as a deck chair,
port hole mirrors, vintage luggage, and magazines of the day. The large jetted tub is a soothing and modern ending to a historic day. A yummy hot breakfast buffet, reminiscent of cruise ship life, is included.
The Tale Lives On
Although the tragedy of the Titanic was over 100 years ago, the tale lives on! James Cameron brought the harrowing story to life on the big screen twenty years ago and we continue to learn about this historical event. Watch history unfold at the Titanic Museum Attraction and Titanic Suite at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center in Branson, Missouri!
John 6: 16-21
16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.
20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
By Angie Roberts Harris
What makes a successful musician? Many musicians spend their entire lives on the road, sacrificing the comforts of home and missing important family events such as little league games, birthday parties, and eating together. Branson entertainers have found a new level of success as they are able to perform and still be home every night with their families. In many cases, they also have the opportunity to work with their loved ones.
Such is the case with Clay Cooper. This professional musician, entertainer, and excellent story teller has been performing on Branson stages since he was sixteen. Thirty great years later, he is married, has three children, and charms audiences in his very own theatre located in the heart of the famous 76 strip in Branson, Missouri!
Clay and his wife, Tina, have produced an interactive and hilarious variety show featuring country music. The large cast of twenty-four musicians, dancers, and performers travel the country and rock radio dial as they perform music genres from many eras and play instruments ranging from a hammered dulcimer to a bicycle tire pump and everything in between!
Warning: there are three awesome stages! The main and biggest stage is in the front with a smaller stage on each side. The main stage also has a stage above the drummer pit. Throw in the cast and you have a three ring extravaganza! Clay also creates another side show as he jumps off the stage to sing and dance in the aisle with an unsuspecting lady.
Clay Cooper’s Country Express variety show features solos, group numbers, impersonations, and comedy. The incredible cast includes Ezrah Noelle, a twelve-year-old powerhouse; Kari Garrison, a stunning female vocalist; and Matt Gumm, an extraordinary comedian, musician, and vocalist who I think is made out of rubber bands and held together with chewing gum! You won’t forget Johnny Lonestar as he twirls his pistols and cracks the whip down in the ‘Backwoods’.
Band members Jimmy Hyde, Dave Clark, Robby Springfield, Jonathan Black, and Barry Bales constitute a fabulous band! Each of them have an impressive list of accomplishments and they produce an amazing sound. Their music director, RP Harrell, has a beautiful voice that I could listen to all day long. He plays the keyboard and also sings several numbers.
Clay’s voice has a strong, vibrant, deep country feel and Tina’s voice is beautiful and clear as a bell. Together, they make an incredible blend! Thirteen-year-old Colt Cooper is blessed with a high, clear, soulful voice and when he performed ‘Walking on Sunshine’, his voice reminded me of his mom’s with a performance style echoing his dad’s. Eight-year-old Caden Cooper channels Michael Jackson as he performs ‘ABC’ with the Jackson 5 in the second half of the show. He not only keeps up, he knocks it out of the park!
Clay takes a ‘chug’ into country legends like Roger Miller and flies on the silver wings of Merle Haggard. The cast takes the audience on a journey from Woodstock with Joe Cocker to the Judd’s ‘Girls Night Out’. The show is complete with an inspiring gospel segment and a grand patriotic finale.
The cast earned a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the show. Although it was over and the guests were free to leave, they remained standing and listened while Clay visited with a fella in the audience about a $3.00 coupon. The guests bonded with Clay and his endearing personality captivated everyone until the very end and they left wanting more!
The spacious suite is located at the end of the hall on the third floor and has a beautiful view of the Ozark hills and a large and refreshing jetted tub.
The country décor features many of Clay’s favorites such as oversized furniture, cow hide, leather belt straps, the Texas star, and luxurious hand stamped leather furnishings!
Success is measured in many ways. Clay Cooper has the opportunity to live what he loves every day surrounded by his family and dear friends. I think we can all say that is success. Visit Clay Cooper’s Country Express for a wonderful and memorable experience and reserve your suite at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center to make your perfect cowboy themed vacation!
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