Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper

Did you grow up watching Roy Rogers and Gene Autry on Saturday morning?

♫♪♫♪ Happy trails to you until we meet again...♫♪♫♪

Those silver screen cowboys are a thing of the past, faded memories for most of us. But just walking into the Hopalong Cassidy Cowboy Museum at Prairie Rose brings it all back. Movie posters on the walls, saddles, guns, even a theatre showing old black and white cowboy flicks with free popcorn!

I was walking around looking at the pictures lining the walls when a man said, "If you have any questions about anything here, just ask… because this is my collection." Thus began the personal tour of the entire museum, several rooms worth of history, a lot of it personal to collector John Birdeno. He pointed out how many of the pictures were autographed to him personally, reminiscing about the time he met Lash Larue and family members of Tom Mix and Roy Rogers.

The museum and wagon rides are just perks to the real visit to the Prairie Rose - the chuckwagon dinner and live music is the real draw.

The dinner bell rings at 6:30 and everyone finds their seat, you better come hungry! A plate filled with BBQ beef and beans and taters and biscuits, with lots of refills brought around in buckets, finished off with apple crisp and ice cream.

The live music is provided most weekends by the Prairie Rose Rangers, house band, a group of very talented local musicians who were also our servers at dinner.

Last Saturday night at the Prairie Rose Opera House a special guest was there, Lucky Bill Parrish, who was very entertaining. When he started out by saying he would be singing old cowboy songs from the 20s and 30s and inviting us to sing along, I figured I would be just a spectator, but we did indeed sing along and had a great time.

We were singled out as being the folks who came from the furthest distance - all the way from Georgia! - and received a free CD! Some folks came over after the show and asked where in Georgia - when we said Ellijay, they told us their good friend moved to Ellijay to marry a local girl there. It turns out we know her, she went to school with our daughter Melissa, small world!

As we rode off into the sunset we were still smiling and humming along to the old songs.

Dinner and a show, cowboy museum, old cowboy movies, cowboy songs, horses and saddles and guns, great food, great folks! Prairie Rose Chuckwagon, don't miss it if you are visiting Wichita!

♫♪♫♪ Who cares about the clouds if we're together
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather
Happy trails to you 'til we meet again ♫♪♫♪

Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, Rex Allen, Tex Ritter, Hoot Gibson. That’s quite a roster of western movie heroes from yesteryear. A person could make a museum about those characters – and now, someone has...~story on the museum by KSU

~photo album HERE

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