I can remember Mormor telling this particular bedtime story as she sat on the edge of one of our beds. It's not one of her most colorful tales, but I remember it because her eyes lit up and her voice sparkled when she spoke of dancing.
(Photo stolen from these guys)
Along with the other customs we inherited when Dad leased the ranch at Camp Grant was the holding of dances in the summer, as well as in the winter. The summer affairs were held every two or three weeks, depending on the weather, and were out-of-door dances since someone had constructed a dance platform down in our pepperwood grove. It had quite a good floor helped by liberal amounts of candle wax rubbed in by sliding a bale of hay over it. This platform even boasted a mini-shell for the musicians.
My father had the job of providing ice cream, candy, gum and soft drinks, which he ordered from Scotia ahead of time. He had only to go to the railroad siding on our place to pick up the stuff in the early evening on the appointed date.
Who took the admissions, if any, or who arranged for the musicians I never did know. Music usually consisted of a violin and an accordion, and they played country style music. I recall seeing folks dancing, waltzing, and doing the two-step.
Of course, I begged to go down to the dance with my father, partially because of the excitement, the music, and the ice cream. Dad, bless him, was always generous in the latter regard. Also, because there were benches around the platform, I could peek through to watch the dancers.
One night when I was standing on the ground behind the benches watching the people whirl around, I heard two elderly women talking about the dancers. One said, "Isn't that awful! Just look at the way Grafford Myers is dancing!" The other woman tut-tutted too, and said she thought that particular dance was called "The Rag." Well, then I looked most carefully at Grafford and his partner, and I thought they were doing beautiful dips and whirls, so I couldn't understand why the ladies said such things.
So I went back to my father and told him the whole story. Dad just laughed and told me to pay no attention to them -- some people would criticize The Lord Himself.