Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-14-12 |

Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-14-12

I love to dance, gentle readers, I really do. It’s one of my most favorite things to do. I have been told that I am a pretty fair country and western dancer. I know, I know, I sound a little pretentious and maybe a wee bit smug. Dizzy Dean, that famous baseball pitcher, always said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up.”

I got an e-mail today from a dancing partner from the past that is dating someone else and after dancing with her once last night she requested that I always save her a waltz. Just one, could I just set aside one waltz during the course of the evening. She assured me her boyfriend wouldn’t mind. I told her I would.

The waltz is my favorite dance as it is sort of a sweeping eloquent dance. I am not a ballroom dancer I am just an old country boy that has always been an admirer of folks that really were smooth with the waltz.

My “little Miss Martha,” bless her heart, was not a dancer. She had very little rhythm and was very uncomfortable on the dance floor. We never went dancing and I really missed it all those years. After she passed away I began to go out some months later and tune up my dancing skills. As a result I have a good many dancing partners and I really enjoy taking some young cutie that wants to get on the dance floor and learn how to Two Step, Waltz, Polka, Cha Cha or whatever and get her started. I know, I know that sounds a wee bit pretentious, but Dizzy Dean said, “It ain’t braggin’ …”

I was raised in a Southern Fried Baptist family and dancing was not encouraged. My dad on occasion would come to my brother’s and my room when our rock and roll music was playing and do a little dance step in the door way and he had the biggest grin on his face. I had been told by my uncles that my mom at one occasion played the piano in the local dance hall and my dad was the bouncer. I could tell my dad missed dancing, I just some how knew it.

When I was 14 and my brother 15 years of age our mom decided that being the “red necks” that we were, we should be exposed to a little more culture. I had no idea what she was talking about. On our summer vacation we went to ‘Orleans (New Orleans) and mom and dad had reservations in the Blue Room at the Roosevelt Hotel. That was a big deal back in the 50s. My bro and I had to wear our little white dinner jackets and black pants and dad was in a suite and mom in an evening dress. When we were seated to eat, dad ordered two glasses of wine. I was shocked, but tickled to think that maybe my parents were normal. They, of course didn’t drink it, they were Southern Fried Baptist and their two boys were there. The band struck up a waltz tune and our folks grinned at each other and got up and excused themselves and I never in my life witnessed such gracefulness and “culture” as they glided around the dance floor. I was never to forget that sight. They hadn’t ever danced before that I ever knew of.

When I was in college I took a dance class and learned how to waltz. It’s my favorite dance you know.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all.

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Mad Jack Hanks

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