Author: Angie Harris

Attacking adventures, searching for amazing food, and finding new friends.  Home in Branson, MO, or exploring Disney, I am searching for deals, finding new experiences, and sharing stories along the way.

It’s Complicated: Lines in the Sand

Dad and daughter in the 1960s in front of red Comet


There’s never been a bigger understatement than the social media status ‘it’s complicated’. When it comes to men in my life ‘it’s complicated’ started earlier than I have memories.  When I look back over the years, I can draw lines in the sand at the events that changed the trajectory of my world.  The lines did not stand out for me until after I was 50 years old.  

The First Line in the Sand

I was born Angie Roberts in a little town of Van Buren, Arkansas in the early 1960s.  It didn’t take my mom, a teenage bride,  but just a couple of years to figure out she had made a huge mistake and the best thing for her baby girl was to get a D-I-V-O-R-C-E.  WOW.  In the early 60s that took some guts.

In addition to the environment of the 1960s, my moms family did not have money, education, and didn’t own a home.  This combination shows the strength she had to be able to walk away from an abusive situation at such a young age without much support.

Mom was the oldest of 7 children, and I was blissfully happy growing up as the 8th child, in addition to being loved by my mother and grandparents I was cherished by my Aunt Charlene and adored by my five uncles.


Another Line in the Sand

One sunny day a very handsome man by the name of Fay Blount was discharged from the Army.  The bus took him to his home town of Van Buren, Arkansas and dropped him off at the Nations Drive-In where my mom was waitressing and caught his eye. The minute he stepped foot on the ground he was wrapped around her finger.

This handsome, dirt poor factory worker chose to have an instant family.  There was not enough money for legal adoption, so they just called me Angie Blount.   I felt safe, supported, and loved.

The Lines Get Deeper

One day, when I was seven years old, I was at my grandparent’s house and was playing with the little girl next door.  She had a TON of toys!   When I questioned my mother about why she had so many toys, she responded that she has two daddies.  I immediately wanted two daddies!  That’s the day my mother broke the news to me.  I had another daddy!  She reached out to him, but he said: “he did not have a child and wanted nothing to do with me.”   She, of course, did not tell me that part. It was after I became a grandmother that I learned the fact that he didn’t want to see me.

Blurred Lines

 When mom was 27, she had a complete hysterectomy.  This event meant I would never have a sibling.  But the awful part of that event was that they did not give this 27-year-old woman any hormones.  This same period was punctuated with the fact that my grandparents got a divorce.   

Our family was emotionally comprised most of the time that year.  It was tough.  Faye Blount stayed by my side, being the father figure that I would always know and remember. He would say,  “I’m going out the door.  Who’s going with me?” We would fish on Clear Creek or the Arkansas River, go to Pauls Bakery for maple bars and visit family all around town.  I loved going anywhere with that man! My favorite summer memories were spent at Blue Mountain Lake camping, swimming and fishing with the man who was always showing me how to live by going out the door.

The Canyon in the Sand

Less than two years later, when I was 12 years old, the deepest line was drawn in the sand that would forever change my life.  My daddy worked for General Tire and Rubber Company.  It was a company picnic, and we were playing baseball.  He and I were in the outfield when he said, “Go get your mother.”  As I headed towards mom, I heard a scream and turned to see him on the ground.  At 31 years old, he had dropped dead of a massive heart attack. My poor mother was a widow at 29.  

During the 1970s, people did not talk about depression and did not get involved in anyone’s business, so she and I did the best that we could.  Looking back, I can see where we were surrounded by people who were trying to help us from a distance.  It was a hard time.

The Line That Led Down the Street

The day finally came when I got to meet my ‘real’ grandparents, the Roberts family.  They lived just down the road and had my entire life.  My friends at school went to church with them, their parents grew up with my real dad, and everyone knew them except me.

I remember the first day I knocked on the door of the little house with the green shingles on 9th street.  The house I had passed and looked at my entire life, not knowing who was behind the door.  They were quite surprised to see me at their door but very sweetly invited me inside.  That is when I got a glimpse of him, he was in the kitchen, the man who was once married to my mother and was my birth father locked eyes with me and immediately headed out the back door.  I could see the pain in my grandmothers face, but she presented a smile and visited with me as if nothing had happened.

Many times I would stop out of the blue to visit with my grandparents.  Every time I walked through that front door, I could see into the kitchen, and he would walk out the back door.  Over the years, I have been able to build beautiful relationships with many family members from that side.  My grandmother was a saint and one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Our time together was brief, but I will always cherish the memories. 


Crossing Lines

Growing up, I thought I had a remarkable life.  Picking blackberries, riding bikes, fishing, playing sports with my uncles all seemed like a child’s’ dream.  It never occurred to me that things were not good, because so many people loved me. Thus, a few months ago when a dear friend that went to school with my ‘real dad’ said to me,  “I am sorry he disowned you, you didn’t deserve that.”  I did not hesitate to respond, “My life was awesome without him.  If he would’ve been around, no telling how messed up I would’ve been.”  

The little house with the green shingles has been torn down.  Mr. and Mrs. Roberts have passed on, and the family was never whole.  The man who shall not be named still exists.  He still denies I was ever born even though our paths cross from time to time.  Through the efforts of several amazing people, I was able to get the front door that hung on the house on 9th Street while they were tearing it down.  My heart is pierced with love for the man who chose to be my daddy.  Daddy, Fay Blount,  taught me to fish, cherish family, and look forward to going out the door.  I am thankful for all the devoted people in my life who have stood up and stepped up, teachers, preachers, friends, fathers of friends and mostly to my amazing uncles.

No More Lines

I am equally as thankful that a man that was ‘supposed’ to be there for me was always going out the door when he saw me. His absence has been a tremendous blessing, and I cannot imagine my life had he stayed in it.  My mother never spoke ill of him, and I have been allowed to love everyone.  

Growing up without a birth father around does not have to be a bad thing.  I grew up surrounded by love by so many people that it never occurred to me that I was missing out on something.  (Other than more toys)  Each Father’s Day as I think about my childhood, I think about the mother who allowed me to love and thankful for two men who were going out the door.  One because he wanted nothing to do with me and one because he wanted to show me the world.

Going Out The Door was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me.  

P.S. The Door is now being refurbished and will find a new home on the wall in my office of GoingOutTheDoor.com

Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ Festival 2019

A youth bluegrass band is playing outside at Silver Dollar City.

Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ Festival is kicking off the ‘Year of Shows and Festivals’ with a bang!  The annual festival boasts a Distinguished Achievement Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association for many reasons.  Bluegrass Nights

Bluegrass Nights

The 4000 seat Echo Hollow Amphitheatre features a different artist every night of the festival to create ‘Bluegrass Nights’.  This is punctuated with Grammy Award Winners Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and Diamond Rio!   Some of the award-winning entertainers that will take the stage are:

  • Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
  • Diamond Rio
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • MIchael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
  • The Gibson Brothers
  • The Rascals
  • Flatt Lonesome
  • Ray Cardwell & Tennessee Moon
  • Spillwater Drive
  • Route 3
Doyle Lawson at Silver Dollar City

“Our festival is a banquet of acoustic music, unrivaled anywhere in the world,” explains 6-time SPBGMA* Bluegrass Promoter of the Year, D.A. Callaway. Callaway coordinates all of the award-winning artists during the 24-day event. “This is without a doubt our biggest year for Bluegrass—ever,” says Callaway. “To support the park’s ‘Year of Shows & Festivals,’ we’ll have 70 of the best bluegrass bands from all over the country, but we’re also introducing a whole new experience to our fans with ‘Bluegrass Nights.’” 

Bluegrass Band Contest

A youth bluegrass band is playing outside at Silver Dollar City.


Silver Dollar City and KSMU have partnered again for the 18th Annual Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest. Be there on May 25 to watch bands from across the country compete. This special event is included in the price of admission.

Silver Dollar City ‘B Chord’ BBQ

The‘House of BBQ’ has found its home in the largest presentation in the park.  A custom made 20-foot smoker transforms smoked brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and ribs into dinner while bands are playing on the stage just a few feet away.  

Grab some Silver Dollar City BBQ sauce on your way out of the park in the Marketplace to spice up your summer grilling season.  

Crazy corn, or Elotes ona wooden cutting board.

What’s good to eat?

  • Crazy Corn with Smokey Parmesan or Bacon Jalapeño
  • Mason Jar Caramel Brownie
  • Mason Jar Apple Pie and Strawberry Pie Cheesecakes

All-You-Care-To-Eat Bluegrass and BBQ

Friday and Saturday afternoons on the square there is an All-you-care-to-eat BBQ Feast.  Choose from the Silver Dollar City’s famous smoked brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and ribs.  The carving station specialty is smoked ham and Tri-tip! 

There’s nothing like spring in the Ozarks until you surround it with the smell of amazing BBQ and the sound of bluegrass.  You might consider a season pass to Silver Dollar City because you are going to want to spend the month of May in the hills!   You can find me on the square with some smoked chicken in one hand and a mason jar apple pie cheesecake in the other one!   

Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ dates are May 2-27 Tuesday-Sunday and Mondays on May 20 and 27.  

Bonus: Kids FREE in May!

What’s New in Branson 2019

Wonderworks, Branson, Going Out The Door

Aquarium at the Boardwalk

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 27th for Aquarium at the Boardwalk! The 46,000-square-foot aquarium is scheduled to open in summer 2020 at the northwest corner of the former Grand Palace on the Highway 76 Strip. Sure to be an exciting undersea adventure!

Silver Dollar City’s ‘The Year of Shows & Festivals’

2019 will be a sensational year at Silver Dollar City! The park opens on March 13th, and a fabulous new lineup of festivals, shows, and special events are featured throughout the year. Please visit the Silver Dollar City website for calendar, pricing, deals, vacation packages, and much more!

WonderWorks

Coming to Branson in fall 2019, WonderWorks will be located at the old Baldknobbers Theatre at 2835 West, 76 Country Boulevard. This extraordinary mind and science focused indoor adventure will appeal to all ages with four floors of over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits!

The Skyscraper

Get ready for the thrill of being 170 feet in the air and spinning up to 60 miles per hour on a windmill-style propeller! The Track Family Fun Parks newest attraction, The Skyscraper, is located at Track 3 and has a height requirement of 52″ & up. The price is $29.95 plus tax for one flier or $49.95 plus tax for two fliers. Special offers and packages are also available.   

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen

Featuring Southern cuisine and hospitality in a family-style setting, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen will soon be coming to Branson at 100 Branson Landing Ste. 545! “As soon as our guests walk in the door, we want to make them feel like we are wrapping our arms around them and saying, ‘Hey y’all, come on in. Make yourself at home.’” — Paula Deen

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge, TN. Photo Credit: Paula Deen’s Facebook page

LandShark Bar & Grill

Missing the beach? Visit the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant, LandShark Bar & Grill, for a tropical experience! Offering beautiful views of Lake Taneycomo, the restaurant is located next to the fountains at Branson Landing. Hours are Sunday-Thursday from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Photo Credit LandShark Bar and Grill Branson Facebook page

If you enjoy keeping up with the Branson news you might enjoy the Going Out The Door Facebook page. Why Branson?