L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dancing & Cleaning The Floor

One of the favorite pass times on Bearhead was to spend the day cooking. The women did the cooking and one of the things the men and boys did was racing horses. After eating late in the evening, the dance started.
One other thing, some of the men did, was to have a "snort" or a "shot" of something to drink. Not everyone drank, but a few did. Most of the time they kept their drinks outside and hidden. They hid them in very unusual place, They hid it in the trees. Small pine trees. After I had heard of this method of hiding their drinks, I had asked myself a hundred times, why hide it there? My father in-law had the answer for me. He was at many of this dances, so he knew why. The way they did was this way. They would find a small pine tree and one of them would climb it until it started to bend and they would ride it to the ground. They took some rope or string and tied the bottle or jug to the top of it and let the pine tree go and it would snap back to an upright position, with the jug in the top of it. Seems some of the characters at these dances would try to find the others jugs and steal what the drinks that others had. By putting it in the tree tops, only the ones who put it there, knew which tree it was in.
Back then, there were only two types of floors, it was either wood or dirt. Before the dance started, they went down to the creek and hauled a bunch of sand back to the house . They would spread the sand all over the floor. Then the dance started. With all that dancing and moving about over the floor, it would more or less polish that wooden floor. It would be so clean and shinny, you cold eat off of it.
The main two types of dances were either a "Square or a Jig". A square is what we know today as a Square dancing. A Jig was were you Petty much danced any way you wanted to. I have heard some old timer also called it "Buck Dancing".
My Great Grand Mother use to call these dances. That is one thing that was hard for me to believe. If you had ever heard her talk, it was with a long drawn out accent. I just could never picture her calling these dances because you had to have a pretty fast rhythm and speaking ability. Which, when she just talk, it was with a slow pace in which she spoke.

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