Swing your partner round and round …
There’s a barn dance on Saturday night of the county fair. Every year young, old and in-betweens head down to the metal barn for a rip-roaring good time in the sawdust. Can’t dance? No problem. Don’t know how to allemande left? No worries — someone will grab you and spin you in the right direction.
You’re lookin’ at the dancing queens. After a hearty meal of pizza and only-because-it’s-the-last-night-of-the-fair Mountain Dew, they headed for the music, bright lights and big crowd.
This is the dancin’ king and he can bust a move. He was spinning and twirling and side-steppin’ with the best of the them — pure and exhausted joy on his filthy, sweaty, five year-old cheeks.
The barn dance is one of those things. Animal exhibitors, 4-Hers, FFA kids, alumni, parents and grandparents, and kids from neighboring counties attend.
Outside those doors and south of the barns there’s a fair going on. A show in the grandstand, perhaps. People screaming on rides and buying funnel cakes. In here, though, are people who’ve been doing this for years and years. And it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting on the bleachers or kicking up dust, there’s a camaraderie here … laughing, happy people paying homage to good old-fashioned fun and tradition.
When you’re little, this is the place to go crazy and expel energy until you crash on your mama’s lap. When you’re young, this is the place to meet, greet and smile pretty. You might even garner a slow dance or two from someone you’ve had your eye on. You’ll return here when you’re a slightly older, becoming-worldly-wise young adult who doesn’t quite realize how pivotal this event is in your personal history.
And then, when you’re even older and becoming wiser [I think] like me, you’ll return to watch your little kids catch the dancin’ fever. And you’ll sit on the bleachers and remember the good ol’ days. You’ll burn the hours in your memories and tuck the smiles away in your heart, wishing this could be how the world turns.
And then a handsome, blue-eyed guy will break his code of never again and ask you to dance.
And that puts a smile on every face.