Along the Natchez Trace

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday Night Hoedown

Saturday night for me and Bill usually means a quiet evening at home, listening to Prairie Home Companion...  Bill doing genealogy research on the computer, me knitting, reading or on my computer.  Last night was  totally different.

I saw a flyer announcing a square dance in Stewart, Oh... which is only about a half hour drive from our farm.
What caught my eye was that music would be by The Dancehall Desperados.  I'd not heard of them, but...  just below that line was the names of the musicians.  On the far left it lists Glenn Jarvis.
In another life, my former husband and I had spent many a Saturday night in Columbus, listening to the music of the band Glenn played in.  He's an exceptionally talented fiddle player and plays everything from bluegrass to country to well... you name it.   Glenn was from Stewart, but worked in Columbus (even talented musicians have to have jobs).  We became friends with Glenn and his wife, Wanda.  In fact, we went to their wedding over 40 years ago.  Time passed...  things changed.  I'm thinking it was in the mid to late 70's since I'd seen them.  I'd often wondered how life was treating them and hoped someday we'd cross paths again.

When I saw the flyer I asked Bill if he'd want to go to a square dance.  He doesn't dance, and really, I don't either, but I had talked about Glenn and Wanda off and on over the years and told him I'd really like to see them again.  

So, this blog is kind of a double story...  the photos show what fun folks can have on a Saturday night.
Hoedown square dancing isn't as sophisticated as those fancy dancers doing precision dance steps and all dressed in coordinated dresses and shirts.  Nah...  you get out there and listen to the "caller".  He'll sing out the moves and if you don't understand or go the wrong way there'll be someone who'll help you out.

The women kind of outnumbered the guys here, so some of the couples were two women.  You could see the confusion on some faces when a woman would go to swing her corner and thought she had done wrong because "he" was a "she".  

You can see the band on stage with the square dance caller standing at the left with the microphone.  You can't see Glenn as he's directly behind the caller.  But that's my friend Wanda, in the red shirt, dancing with one of her grandsons. 
As you can tell, this all is pretty informal.  It started at 7pm and was over at 10 pm.  Three hours with only 1 short break for the musicians.

One really nice thing about these events...
They are family oriented.
Lots of kids...  even 2 year olds getting out there and trying their best.
It was especially nice to see a young father holding his daughter and doing the waltz.

Lots of laughter...
This couple were seated just below us (we had a great "ring side" seat) and they joked and kidded around all evening.

Here you can see Glenn on the fiddle (right)
Playing a waltz...  with the lights lowered and the atmosphere rather romantic..
This couple did a right nice job of dancing the waltz as it was intended.

One of the last square dances was kind of complicated....
It was fun for me and Bill to watch as folks figured out the moves.  You could see a bit of confusion in the beginning but by the end of the set, everyone had it down perfect.

I spent a lot of time talking with Wanda.  We caught up on our lives and our kids and all.  They are now retired and moved back to Stewart. She and Glenn just got back from a cruise last week.  It was a bluegrass themed cruise and Glenn spent his week on stage as part of the entertainment.  He's played with various groups all over the eastern US, and now it looks like he'll be travelling even more.

Wanda and Glenn Jarvis

We got home around 11pm or so...  late for us.  Bill attended his first square dance, and while we didn't dance even once, we both enjoyed every minute of it.
Not only did we hear good music and watch fun people, I loved seeing my old friends again after all these years.  I hope it won't be so long before we see them again.

That's All For Today!


  1. Wow, Sharon, it pays to be on the lookout for adventures as they come up. It looks like you had a great time from the fantastic photos. And, such fun to reconnect with people from the past. Woo haa!

  2. It's such fun meeting up with old friends like that. Great post!

  3. I haven't been square dancing since I was a teenager. I've listened to a lot of bluegrass between then and now, though. Thanks for the memories.

  4. I love blue grass music and I like to watch square dancing. May even get up enough nerve to try it some day. Glad you two had fun.

  5. I used to do a lot of square dancing, but I just couldn't stand the frilly ladies costumes. I don't have a skirt or dress in my wardrobe any more. How nice that you got to catch up with old friends.

  6. Wonderful that you got to see old friends!! Mike's Dad Nat used to teach square dancing--glad he was out of that business before I came along--I'm not much of a dancer!

  7. Your header picture is a knock out! and what fun is that... good ol salt of the earth folk having a ball... love it. PLUS seeing old pals... good stuff.

  8. What a fun evening for you! And yes, your Header is fabulous!

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  10. Oh, I remember those days....what fun we had...we advanced up to mainstream and then for some reason we quit going...probably it was time to move north where there was no square dancing!!!

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