One Man Makes Country Dance a Real Party

Joke played out in Oklahoma homesteading days, as one man becomes responsible for most aspects of a country dance.

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When the second schoolhouse in our Beckham County, Oklahoma, community was being built, neighbors got together and hauled lumber from Magnum, Oklahoma, the closest rail point but still 50 miles away.

When the schoolhouse was finished, some young men wanted to have a big country dance there. My Uncle August sometimes attended country dances with these fellows, a couple of whom were reputed to have done some cattle rustling.

Because the fellows were afraid to ask my grandfather, who was on the school board, for permission to use the school, they put Uncle August up to doing it for them. If August could get the schoolhouse, they said, they would bring beef for a barbecue and they'd have a real party.

In the afternoon before the dance, the beef was made ready. In the evening the country dance started and it lasted all night and into the next day. When all began to say their farewells, one of the young men asked August if he had enjoyed the dance. August said he had. The young man asked if he liked the beef. August declared the beef was really good.

A second fellow winked at August. "I thought you would like it," he said. "We got the steer out of your pasture."

Evan Fuchs Sayre, Oklahoma