Cutting the Rug, Oysterville Style

Apr 2, 2015 | 4 comments

Carol and Tucker at Larry's House Concert

Carol and Tucker at Larry’s House Concert

My mother loved to dance; my father, not so much. Ditto me and Nyel. I think I can count the times my sweetie and I have danced together on one hand and now, after thirty years together I can hardly remember how. So, it wasn’t surprising on Sunday, when Larry Murante invited everyone to dance during his last number, that Nyel didn’t leap up and lead the way. It was Tucker and Carol who did!

Afterwards, Tucker said that it was actually Carol who reached out for his hand and led him into our dining room where there was floor space. He told us, too, that they didn’t dance often – he claims not to be a very good dancer – but, he said, there was something about the sweater she was wearing that transported him right back to dancing with her in high school.  He loved it. Larry said in an email to me, “Tucker’s story today was very heart warming and summed up…my reason for being a songwriter.”

Nicole and Tosh at Larry's House Concert

Nicole and Tosh at Larry’s House Concert

The only other couple who danced that evening were Nicole Freshley (Tucker’s cousin!) and her friend Tosh. They headed in the opposite direction, into the east room where there was space to dance on the carpet. Something about seeing them there reminded me of my 95-year-old mother dancing with Nancy Holden’s friend Roger at her 95th birthday party in 2006!

Dale espy Little on Her 95th Birthday

Dale espy Little on Her 95th Birthday

And that made me think of a square dance that was held at Oysterville’s Community Hall back in 1954 on the occasion of our Centennial Celebration. During a “break” between sets, they played ‘slow dance music’ (was it the “Tennesee Waltz”? Was there a band? Or were we dancing to records?) and my courtly 80-year-old grandfather asked me to dance.

Sydney and Nyel, Oysterville Sesquicentennial

Sydney and Nyel, Oysterville Sesquicentennial

Somehow, I had thought that he and my grandmother disapproved of dancing – probably because they were teetotalers and, also Baptists, which I have since learned had nothing at all to do with one another. He was a wonderful dancer and I was filled with sentimental sympathy for my late grandmother who had probably danced very few times since her girlhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. There just weren’t a lot of opportunities in Oysterville where she had lived for more than fifty years.

The last time Nyel and I danced was in 2004 – at Oysterville’s Sesquicentennial. There was Contra Dancing in the street and Dave Ambrose and some others were the musicians. I remember that we danced for what seemed like hours – until our legs simply gave out and we had to take a break. I think that we are still on that break almost eleven years later!!

Larry’s dance invitation to his audience was definitely a first here at an Oysterville House Concert. I hope it won’t be the last. Maybe next time I can follow Carol’s lead and ask my husband to dance. And maybe he’ll follow Tucker’s example and acquiesce. There’s always hope…

4 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Surely Nyel is too much of a gentleman to refuse you!

    Reply
    • sydney

      You’ve got to be kidding, right?

      Reply
  2. Nancy Holden

    Before I finished reading I was going to remind you of Roger and your Mother dancing. I think she was really having a good time.
    I know that Roger did.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Us too! It was the highlight of the party! Hard to believe that it was almost nine years ago!

      Reply

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