Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rural Entertainment: The Dance

All summer long I missed every dance at the community center for one silly reason or another - but finally last night on a cloud swirling, rain approaching evening I finally made it to the Big Sandy Mush DANCE! It was not what I expected, mainly cause I have watched alot of HBO growing up and thought it would be Blue Grass clogging old people, some kinda River Dance affair - instead it was a family gathering which mostly involved eating hot dogs, fries, soda and what I think was cupcakes (I did not partake). The crowd was on the very light side (alot less then wrestling turns out) but the band was totally real! No DJ's for dis' dance, a southern rock band was playing loud and live for the empty dance floor. Free bird, dude.
Now meet Charlie Brown (yep, that's his real name) - Charlie Brown is the BSM community center organizer and also a serious freakin' dancer. He put on a curly wig, funny hat and I swear to gawd his cowboy boots had TAPS on them- and he went to town, rappin' and a tappin' like he wasn't the only one dancing.... but he was! So fast and furious I couldn't get a still shot of the man with my camera.
Since the night was young, no one was dancing, and I was adjusting to the whole scene - me and my dance date Bort decided to go explore the old school building we were in. There are these amazing old stairwells with beautiful wooden rails - flat on top... I started sliding down them. :)
The windows reminded me of home (New Orleans) because they were flippin' HUGE, tall, amazing and gorgeous - surrounded by the bricks it made it look like the inside of a carefully restored old warehouse. I wanted to move in.
Out the window was a sad number of cars, a playground, pond and what looked like a tobacco barn. So we went down further and further on the stairs into the basement....
And I made the best discovery of the night! A little cushy chair, just my size!!! Sitting on top some crazy barn door and formica storage cabinet - it was like the obscure white trash thrown I had needed to sit in all my life.
PLUS it was a lazy boy with a retractable foot rest :) Never mind that is had some Nickelodeon type print on it that clearly said the word "Kidz".
After sneaking around the basement like a curious teenager & enjoying my 7 minutes in lazy boy heaven, I went back up to the dance which was still suffering from an empty dance floor syndrome. That is till CHARLIE BROWN asked me to dance!!! I am not going to lie either, I could barely keep up with the man - never in my life have I had to dance in that particular country style and I think I stepped on his tapping boots at least twice. Not that Charlie Brown cared he said "Don't worry, you come ta a few dances and we'lls learn ya to dance"... and of course he also said "Yer do'in GOOood"!Since CB was wearing something that smelled like Brute cologne (and I am very allergic to fragrance) that sadly was my first and last dance of the night. Totally worth it though. I left in the rain during intermission like a thief in the night.


Lou Cheese said...

I'm guessing the "no spitting" is a lot better than what the sign probably would have said about 60 years ago, which would have been "whites only". In graduate school I ran a website that many of the local bars and clubs advertised on and I got to know many of the owners well. During a casual conversation about history and culture with one of them she took me up to the bar's attic and showed me all of the segregation era signs that were in place during the building's prior life as a restaurant. It's amazing to think that all that happened until a relatively short time ago.

I think the big windows were a popular feature in buildings that were constructed before centralized air conditioning and that housed a large population. Opening the windows allowed the interior heat to escape during the warmer days. Central AC (and the TV) is also why houses before the 50's all had front porches and those after don't. In the old days people would open all the windows in the house when the got home at 5 so the heat could escape, and they'd sit outside on the porch and read a book or talk to neighbors until the house cooled off. Now of course, every cranks the AC and watches TV inside all day.

My favorite architectural artifact is the transom, which is a long thin window above doors that are cranked open horizontally. They're mainly used to allow heat and soot from the old gas lamps to escape. The gas lamps were used for lighting so these buildings pre-date the incandescent bulb, and it's rare to find them anymore. But in today's age they help to keep the house cool and allow fresh air to come in without letting the wind blow anything off the table, and they just look soooo classy. I wish my apartment here had them.

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Lou Cheese !

Ya know what's funny, it isnt even a sink. It's a water fountain. ;)

I love the nuances of old architecture too, I think I am from one of the most beautifully built and oldest cities in America. No city seems to ever come close to the beauty and richness of new orleans for me- it's one of the things i miss most about living there- cause it shows history and it shows a passion for being creative.
Not everything in the world needs to be fancy, but I think when a human is going to construct a big ole' building, better make it awesome!
I also like everything the old way- we needed alot less junk and used alot less chemicals.

Ted said...

Congratulations! Our selection committee compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 Environmental Health Blogs, and yours was included! Check it out at

You can claim your Top 100 Blogs Award Badge at


Ted... :)

Lou Cheese said...

Dang. I knew I should have been riding my bike more often.......

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Wow- thanks ted- that rocks. :) How did ya'll know my outfit at the dance was all organic and vintage!? Struttin' the eco!

Lou Cheese -
I told ya' ! Do it!