“One year I picked up a group of senior citizens out of a small town north of Dallas. We were heading up to Branson, Missouri, on a week’s tour for the entertainment there.
“All through the week, we were all having a really good time. I was getting along with the group great. They were having fun because I had been to Branson so many times that a lot of the casts of the shows that we were going to, knew me and recognized me and would call me by name. We’d come in the back door and even some of the stars who were some of my fishing buddies were up there. I’d come in and here they would come over there and slap me on the back and say “Hey Glenn, how you doin?” And the group was just getting a charge out of that. Nearly every theatre we would walk in, you’d recognize one of the cast members and they would come over and greet me. We’d shake hands and hug and everything else. How you doin? Get caught up. That just tickled them silly. And they would talk about that the rest of the night.
“One afternoon they only had one show that evening and that was on the Branson Belle, the river boat up there. So that afternoon a bunch of the group wanted to go shopping. They all didn’t want to go shopping in the same place though. So I told them, “There is two or three different malls and there is downtown. So we will just decide who wants to go where and we’ll start at one end and we’ll drop you off and a couple of two or three hours later we will come back through and pick you up. Then we’ll all get together to go to the show.” That was good. They thought that was a good idea.
“So we did. We gathered everybody up and went out and made the first drop at a mall. I counted heads so I knew how many to pickup on the way back. We went up the strip and went to the second mall and counted heads there. Then we went on downtown as there were a few that wanted to do shopping in old Branson. So we went down there.“Sitting on the corner that was designated for bus loading in downtown Branson was an old gentlemen that had pretty much seen me grow up in Texas. Little had I known that that week that my mother’s church had a trip to Branson. Sitting on that corner when I opened the door, there he was. He had helped raise me from a little kid. It just shocked me. No way he could be up there.
“Well, I bounced out of there after we unloaded the ones that wanted to stop downtown. I bounced out real quick and went over and talked to him for a minute. While I was talking to him somebody else came over, then comes somebody else from the church that knew me, and then someone else and before you knew it was like an old reunion. I was getting my back slapped, my hand shook, my neck hugged. We visited for a little bit, real short and brief.
“And then I bounced back into the bus and the seniors group leader was sitting up on the front set of seats. And he was just looking at me real curiously. We started to pull off because the ones on the bus wanted to take a short tour around the lake and some other points of interest. The group leader just kept looking at me real strange. I finally said “Sir, what is the matter?” He said, “I am just sitting here trying to figure.” “What’s that? Maybe I can help,” I said. “I don’t know,” he says, “is there anyone in this town you do not know?
“I had to laugh. It almost seemed that way you know. He was just absolutely baffled.”
U. Glenn Leslie has been with Eagle Trailways for 24 years and currently handles company operations. In 1991 he took a short break from the charter business to work with some friends in Branson and was singing lead for the Texan’s Country Music Review. He had the privilege to work with many entertainers that were his heroes back in his childhood.