The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Texas Dance Halls - Folkins

Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit    Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit.  By Gail Folkins, Photographs by J. Marcus Weekley, and Preface by Andy Wilkinson. Lubbock:  Texas Tech University Press, 2007.  212 pages. 132 duotone photos, ISBNs 978-0-89672-603-1, $34.95 tan cloth, pictorial endpapers, sources, index, Series: Voice in the American West.
Yee Ha!!! Put on your jeans, boots, hats, and fancy, flairing skirts.  The folks at Texas Tech Press have found the early version of Dancing with the Lone Stars.
Here, Gail Folkins, a journalist and creative writing teacher provides the patter and Marcus Weekley chimes in with the photos.
Andy Wilkinson's preface describes the volume as "A curious mixture of community center and honky-tonk ..."  Boot scootinig folks will find that this cultural institution has its roots in Czech and German immigrants.  The 18 chapters two-step you mostly across the center of the state in over a dozen dance halls, starting with the Twin Sisters Hall and ending at the Lukenbach Dance Hall.  For the city slickers, the editors have wisely included the Broken-Spoke-on-the-Colorado.  I'll not mention any other big names for fear of charges of favoritism, but you can see Little Joe y La Familia over at Indian Springs Park right in the middle of the book.
They've got Weekley's pictures of screen doors, singers, fiddlers, tamborine artists, guitarists, drummers, dancers, bartenders, ticket stalls, stools, wide wooden floors, outdoor barbeques, folding chairs at tables, old men, beautiful women, smiles, songs, a Juneteenth celebration, mechanical bulls, real to life horses, kids, pool tables, and, it seems to me, couples standing kinda close together and whispering secrets to each other.  And Folkins' stories go with it all. 
I'm already a bit winded just flipping through the pages and thinking about it all.  Where's a fellow get a Shiner?
As Willie would say, let's dance little longer.  And at home, turn the pages of Tech's new book.

1 comment:

Gail Folkins said...

Hi, Will,

Glad you enjoyed the book. I had just as much fun writing it, and am now working on a dance hall article for the Round-Top Register, coming out in December.

I appreciate your write-up, and keep on dancing!

Gail Folkins