Editorial: If There Was Ever A Day For A Hoedown, This Was That Day

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August 30, 2016 - Local

by Jed Rufter, Monrovia.

It was mid-autumn. That time of year when the sun’s glow is calm and amiable, like a respected old mule who has finished his life’s most grueling labor and is now content to laze in the grass all day. The warm light colored the town in sparking shades of orange.

It was just before five. A group of children marched home from their extra-curriculars, singing songs and chiding each other with exaggerated jeers. Others played baseball in the street, as their mothers called out that supper would be on in just a minute.

I was standing on my porch, smoking tobacco. My mutt was by my side, watching an ant that was inching up his front paw. As if he sensed something in the air too, he met my gaze, and I nodded.

In the distance, a crow cawed.

Uncle Rufus had finished chopping his wood and was already saddling up his whiskey pack. Hoedown or not, he’d be drinking tonight. The only hope now was that his inebriation was a merry one, and not of the type that ended with angry tears and him eating corn chowder in the shed by himself.

The farmers were taking their animals in. There had been talk of rain this week, but so far the weather had held. Although the farmers needed the rain, they were still happy to not have to be trudging through slop to chase chickens scared off by the thunder. They would at least sleep easy tonight, if not tomorrow.

The girls were changing into their evening gowns and talking with their mothers as they brushed their hair. Johnny is kind, but Robert sure is a great dancer. Wonder if they’ll be lucky enough to get kissed tonight?

Outside the barn, the band was practicing their two-step bop. It’s the one that goes ‘ba dum, ba dink. ba dum, ba dink.’ It might be the only tune they know, but it sure is a sweet one.

The band was hoping for a show tonight, and they could sense there was something in store as well. Their instruments, though not well-tuned, still seemed to blend perfectly in a cacophonous twang of pure country pleasure.

I took a deep breath of the autumn air. It was nutty and sweet, like pecan pie.

The stars were aligned. Tonight was a special night, and if I knew anything about anything at all in this world it was this:

This town would be getting funky tonight.