Finding a Naughty Betty in Branson

By Sandra Scott


 

 


The only “naughty” thing that visitors will find in family-friendly Branson is the “Naughty Betty” painting at Moon River, Andy William’s restaurant. Hanging in a place of honor behind the bar is the oil painting by Donald Roller. “Naughty Betty” has her lunch on her head. She is enjoying lunch her way but is concerned that her view of heaven had been blocked. I preferred my lunch on a plate but with a name like “Naughty Betty” I just had to try the cocktail with the same name. Jake Fancher, the bar tender, prepared the delightfully naughty mix of one ounce each of Bicardi select, creme de banana, and Chambord vodka, with a half an ounce of Bicardi 151 along with one-half ounce each of orange juice, pineapple and cranberry juice. Oooh, so naughty…especially at lunchtime.

The waiter, Thomas Ralls, served my Naughty Betty with another Moon River Grill specialty—Chicken pot pie made from Andy William’s mother’s own recipe. And, of course, while sipping the cocktail and enjoying the pot pie, I listened to all my favorite Andy Williams’ songs: “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Born Free,” “Are you Sincere?” and “Moon River.” William’s gold and platinum recordings are on display above the bar near where the singing legend has his favorite table.

William’s personal touch is found in every aspect of Moon River Grill. “Naughty Betty” is just one of the many pop art paintings on display from William’s personal collection. His Moon River Grill art collection includes Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and “Elvis for Andy” by Donald Sheridan. Next to the Moon River Grill is the Andy Williams Moon River Theater where Williams often performs but the signature event is his annual Christmas show.

Branson is more than wonderful music. There are a slew of thing to see and do. In fact there are so many things to see and do John and I chose different things to do. Branson is home to many legends of titanic proportions. After lunch, John told me about his visit to the Titanic Museum, where he was greeted by the ship’s purser and given a boarding pass of an actual passenger. John was passenger Major Arthur Godfrey Peuchen. Peuchen boarded in Southhampton, England, heading for Toronto, Canada. He never thought the ship would sink, but because of his yachting experience he was put in charge of one of the lifeboats and survived. Visitors can shovel coal, try to walk on deck mockup tilted at 45 degrees, and feel the temperature of the icy water on that fateful day, April 15, 1912. Of the 2,228 passengers and crew members who set sail, only 705 Titanic passengers survived.

While John was at the Titanic Museum, I visited Bonneybrook, the home of Rose O’Neill, who is best remembered for creating the Kewpie doll. I learned that she was also well-respected illustrator for the leading magazines of the day.

Branson is an amazing place filled with great music and dining and fascinating museums. For Visit www.andywilliams.com and www.explorebranson.com.

 

 


Sandra Scott is a frequent contributor to travel publications and to Creators Syndicate
and has co-authored two books on local history. She lives in Mexico, NY.

Photos by J. J. Scott.

   

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