Country and Western > I'm going over to the corner where the old people are

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by Steve Pastor, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Ended up talking to a long time Bushwhackers regular, Carla, in the parking lot last night. With all the young people that have been showing up recently - the place is packed - it's pretty obvious that we long time regulars aren't young any more.

    It was long time regular Bill who made that remark to me. "i'm going over to the corner where the old peple are." I've known Bill since before Bushwhackers. And I thought, Bill, awww, man...

    Well, Carla told me a couple of things that warmed my heart. She grew up in north Dakota, and that's where she learned to do the schottische, but with the step, hop, not the step, brush. She learned it from her parents as a youngster. Reminded me that if you know where to look you will discover that house parties and community events where dances were handed down from generation to generation were common throughout rural areas. Texas got all the attention when "Urban Cowboy" came out, but most of the books from that era were NOT written in Texas as far as I can tell, and that style of dance was all over the place - if you knew where to look.

    Carla also told me how the young women talk to her and say that they wish they could dance as well as she does. She tells them that they have to take the lessons, meaning the free classes taught before the dancing starts each night. And of course she laughs and talks about how it takes time, too.

    I've been thinking for some time now that there may be similarities with Argentine Tango, where people travel to Buenos Aires to be able to dance with the milongueros. Of course, this being the US, our culture doesn't quite have the respect for more mature, experienced people as, for example, those with more of a Latin sensibility.
    And while I don't expect anyone to travel to Portland, Oregon to see old country western dancers, I've had many young women, who I assume are locals, tell me that they were there because they heard that it was a fun place.

    I can tell you that after seeing the "old" dancers at Lo de Celia in Buenos Aires, I HAD to think, "old people are cool." Looks like more than one young person is thinking that about my friend Carla there at Bushwhackers.
  2. Steven123

    Steven123 Member

    I've never even heard of schottische before, but I like your post. In the future I will probably be moving to a more gringo area, and I am looking forward to that time when there will be a lot of traditional gringo style dancing to practice. Sometimes it is a lot of fun dancing with some of the older ladies in the dances I know how to do at an okay level now.
    pygmalion likes this.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I can only say that Bushwhackers is truly impressive
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    pfft I got them everywhere here!!!:eek:
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's awesome, Steve. Is anybody doing anything to preserve the "old ways" before that generation dies out?
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe you can understand why this might be a good place to share this.
    Great song, performance and video.
    I've spent a lot more time learning about the Town Hall Party and all, but this is classic.

    And in answer to pymallion's question, I sometimes feel that even something simple like the redneck two step hand on the should thing, and the mixer dances that we used to do are just, gone. Well, if you don't like that we don't have to dance. So I feel like I have to give fair warning when I ask someone new to two step; which is why I don't do it much.
    RiseNFall likes this.
  7. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I know that this isn't the place for it, but I have to agree, and ask, perhaps even rhetorically, why this is so? It seems so counter-productive. You even begin with, "Of course", as if to say it is an expected norm.

    Having lived there for a short, I have to, again, agree. :)
  8. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I would HATE to live in a tangent free environment.

    A recent show on geology explained how farmers in the East depleted the soil with the tobacco crop that was very important when that part of the continent was being settled.
    No problem. There was lots of land out west.
    When Blacks moved to cities in the North during the Great Migration, they didn't want to hear the old country blues from back home.

    When the Dust Bowl years came, people moved out to the then rather sparsely populated state of California.

    Maybe that moving on, progress is our most important product, being reinvented by successive waves of immigration, needing to have and know how to use the most recent tech gadgets, is what produced and is producing our national character.

    I may have written this somewhere else, but DJ at Bushwhackers this past week told me people actually have yelled at him when he played too many "old" songs.
    That's progress?
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I recently pushed a button on my car radio that I hadn't pushed for a while.
    The 3rd country station in Portland is now
    103.7 The Legend - Portland's Classic Country

    Looks like more company over there in the corner.
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I had a two week break from dancing while I did some traveling. And it usually seems that I lose interest in dancing as I get closer to a non dance trip. Sometimes it gets so bad that I wonder if I need a new hobby.

    But... I feel like I killed it last night (in a Good way.)
    How about Nite Club Two Step to Lady Antebellum's Bartender for instance, at 102 bpm a bit faster than most folks do NC2step. Thanks to Diane for being such a great partner. I could have gone home happy after that one.
    Two Step, West Coast.. it was all there.
    Oh, and there are several young women who are happy to dance with me even with the hand on the shoulder thing in two step.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    j_alexandra and raindance like this.
  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Does the word "ignorance " , come to mind ?
  12. davedove

    davedove Well-Known Member

    Along with all the migration, there was also a lot of separation of generations because of the movements. And this was all before the days of phones, planes, and cars, so you couldn't easily ask the older generation about something. Because everyone had to be so self-sufficient, veneration of the wisdom of elders began to fade.

    And, of course, since the US tends to be so technology driven, with new and better things, the younger generations assume that the older generation just wants to do things the "old, worn out way" instead of the "new, better way".

  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    New does not always translate into " better " ( as you know)

    The irony is that the "new " has its foundations in the old .
  14. ralf

    ralf Active Member

    I'm no spring chicken anymore myself, but yesterday I had a 20-something woman offer, in the middle of a song, to take off her dress right then and there :eek: :eek:

    OK, that requires lots of context :)
    This was at the KISSME in Ann Arbor lindy exchange, whose "special thing" is dancing in the Huron River on Sunday afternoon. The young lady in question had put her dress back on over her bathing suit to hang out on shore, and I got to talking with a small group that included her. When she asked the other guy to take a photo of her and her friend in the water, I asked whether we could also get some pics of me dancing with her to send my mom (who had asked for pics of me in the river). It was after we finished the photos and were continuing to dance to the same song that she offered to lose the dress. We agreed to finish the song with the dress and then dance one without, during which I dipped her for real....
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Interesting comments... I can remember that when I was a young child, my mom and dad did not listen to country music, and neither did any of their friends. It was years later before I understood why -- to their generation, of people who were trying to invent the New South as it were, country music represented the sort of thing that they were trying to get away from. In doing so, they were rejecting some of the musical history in their families, particularly on my father's side (some professional musicians there). So I never got much exposure to that aspect of music history.

    The last few years I've been trying to dig into some of the family stuff, and I've found some things that surprised me. I had an aunt who passed away last spring. At the funeral, they played some records she recorded in the earl 1960s. The songs were spirituals, but she sung them in a style that would have been right at home doing torch singing. I was amazed; I had no idea.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, oh my gosh. I was thinking about writing about what a great sense of satisfaction I had after dancing Saturday evening at Bushwhackers. By coincidence the above referenced Bill (1st post) was out dancing, and I hadn't seen him for quite a while. That first post was over 3 years ago!

    Two different young guys stopped by to talk about how they were going to try to get involved with the dancing in the future, and I shared by opinion on why West Coast Swing shouldn't be the first dance you learn (has something to do with actually dancing in time to the music), and how I manage to avoid disappointments and bad situations that can override all the good stuff that happens.

    Style note here - I danced with a woman from Idaho who noted that we seemed to do a awful lot of pattern dances compared to what she was used to. And another partner and I talked about how the "same" pattern partner dances have different patterns sometimes in different locales.

    I just learned that there is yet another Western Swing band playing in Portland. Years ago I got to see Rebecca Kilgore, a jazz singer / guitarist when she had a group Becky and the Beckaroos. (I cant find anything about that outfit. I saw them one time at a local truck stop, and there was something about a remake of Patsy Cline songs that inspired her to create the band.) She's has, what, dozens of albums listed on her web site.
    This is not the first time in history there has been crossover from "jazz" to "country western." I have at least two examples from the 50s. Looking forward to hearing what she's doing (with some top notch players) later in the month at the Secret Society.
    Now if I could only get all those swing dancers to realize that they could be doing two step when a song doesn't swing.

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