Yeah, well, I like Texas, ain't it fine hereI like to pick my guitar down at Ol Gruene HallAnd drink that Miller Lite beerYeah, well, I like Texas, man, there ain't no doubtJust listen to me, 'cause I know what I'm talkin' about
Well, there's old dancehalls and little cafesWhere you can get a taste of the Lone Star StateYou can strap on boots and have yourself a laugh or twoWell, there's no line dancing just straight romancingThat Hill Country love is what I fancyThe streams running clear and the skies they are so blue
In May, our family went home to Texas for a visit. While there, we visited the quaint, historic town of Gruene with my in-laws, taking the opportunity to introduce our kiddos to the old Texas dance hall tradition. You see, Texas dance halls are not the den of iniquity that is the modern club. Although there's plenty of drinking (which leads to scores of risqué behavior among the participants once they leave the dance hall), dance halls are generally family-friendly places to grab a beer, listen to live country music, and two-step around the dance floor in your favorite pair of scuffed cowboy boots. Gruene Hall is one of the oldest halls and the longest-running dance hall in Texas, so it was a lovely treat to plop down at one of the long communal tables, sip a cold beer after an afternoon of antique shopping in the Texas heat, and listen to a couple of old guys pick their guitars.
It was just a Tuesday afternoon when we were there, so the hall was fairly empty. My husband and I have visited many a dance hall in our youth, so we couldn't resist the urge to twirl around the barren dance hall floor and two-step our way down memory lane--despite our lack of proper footwear (PS--flip flops are not the ideal shoes for dancing). Brad and I made a few lonely turns around the floor, staring into each other's eyes and remembering those first twirls around a different dance floor in our dating days, oblivious to the stares of those who sat on benches and watched. Then we each grabbed a kiddo and began the painstaking tradition of teaching them to dance the Texas two-step. There were a few toes injured in the process, some aching backs as we bent down to dance with our short little partners, but it was such a treat to laugh and smile and twirl around the floor.