It must have been once a week that there would be a sitter or once I was old enough to be left alone, that my Mother would go out dancing to the Country and Western hits of the 90’s. It was part exercise, and part social interaction, I am almost positive. I received the occasional assuredly watered down story or two as there would be nights that she would come home and I would help her take her boots off. I knew these locations, much by their brand, and at times, gaudy symbols that would represent the businesses.
Longhorn, Wild West, Midnight Rodeo, and The FireHouse Saloon are all Houston area dance halls I remember, not by muscle memory, the way that a dance step may come to mind, but by the symbolic imagery chosen with their marketing.
I have tried to learn to two step over the years, all never practiced long enough to hold onto where my two feet should lead. I have watched youtube tutorials, all of which have lacked maybe the regional style that my partners were accustomed to. No one told me two stepping had it’s own dialect, depending on the venue.
So, where I am more familiar with a cha-cha slide, cupid shuffle, Macarena, or quintessential snap and sway; Firehouse Saloon and the like provide ample opportunities as music venues for live bands ready to crank out the tunes.
This week’s selection is “The Fireman” from the undisputed King of Country, George Strait. The saloon’s branding is what captivated my attention every time I passed the location as a kid, even if I was oblivious to the workings of what it meant to be a live music venue and saloon. The song expertly plays on the double entendre, very slyly pivoting a tongue in cheek charm through the choruses. In many ways, I imagine “going out” to be the same kind of statement. When we have the ability to gather more freely, I imagine that there will be plenty of two stepping.