The Dance Hall
Across the floor the couple strolled, toes tapping, bodies swinging in time to the clink of the piano. It was Saturday night and the week was over, time to go to town and let off some steam. For decades this was a social center for many a country folk. The dance hall could be a barn in the country or a hall in town. Someplace in a corner was an old piano, usually not in real good tune but it worked. Set a chair or two nearby for the fiddler or maybe a guitar player and the music was ready for the dance.
Here many a young couple could socialize with their neighbors relive their days when they were courting. There was usually a young girl or two that would baby sit. It was also a time when a young man could go courting, ask the girl out he liked, meet other girls. Many a romance began on the dusty dance floor.
Cora was born in 1910 and she would reminisce of the days she was growing up in the country. “Yes this where I met my husband,” she said. Old man Baker had a big ole barn north of town and every month he would have a dance out there. Bill from down the road would bring his fiddle and into the night we would dance.
The hat would be passed around, pennies, nickels and dimes were collected to give to Bill for playing for the night. Benches lined the dance area and many of the people would sit there and visit while Bill was fiddling away. For many of the people it was the only time to see their neighbors. The weather was always a topic, then crops and how the market was doing. There was talk among the women about the sewing, canning or gardening. Then over there were the youngsters, the single ones, talking about this and that.
Into the cool evening breeze a young couple would slip outside to find a dark place to be alone. In the evening shadows could be seen the glow of cigarettes. The men had clustered around in small groups having a smoke and passing the mason jar.
Short distance away could be heard the whinny of horses. Patiently waiting to ride back home. It would be, a moonlit night of letting Nellie find her way home after the dance. The buggy would creak and bounce over the ruts of the trail.
Young girl and her boyfriend had crpt down to the creek. Laying on the bank, they counted the stars, listened to the trickle of water passing by. The squeal of delight as a shooting star passed by, cuddling up closer together. Romance on the prairie was in bloom.
It was another era that has passed, memories are but tales to be passed.