Walk and talk, Suzy

Since the 1995 installation of Dale Chihuly's colorful glass swirls in the Hart Window of the Dallas Museum of Art's atrium, I've imagined the pieces as swirling flowers and sea creatures. They usually remind me of the amazing twirling plates act on the Ed Sullivan Show in the Sixties. Last night, for the first time ever, I contemplated square dance skirts and petticoats, Dr. Pepper and Shiner Bock bottle caps while staring up at the art.

Image respectfully reproduced from the Chihuly website.

The DMA was celebrating Texas bluebonnets and swing music, and showing the classic movie, "Giant" with James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor. Grandpas in western shirts were twirling little bitty granddaughters on the dance floor to the music of Maurice Anderson and his band, "The Dukes of Western Swing". The event had pulled in a different demographic for a Friday evening of special activities. Sharp marketing!

My companions were adamant about their allergies to "country music," and afraid they would break out in itchy rashes from prolonged exposure. Once upon a time I would have rejected it without listening, too. Now I just wear a great big smile, and never do look sour.

Sitting around the table and watching the dance floor, stages of life twirl before me. How wonderful to be those lucky little girls dancing with their attentive grandpas. Party and dance in the evening, and have a dish of butter brickle ice cream, too. Swirling in your dance skirt, you are the center of the known universe, pulling everyone into your personal movie with your amazing gravity!

Another guy, hopefully a gentleman, holds your elbow on your first encounter with inebriation. It's a funny dance, but the steps are tricky. He makes you a cup of Folger's freeze-dried instant coffee and sings softly, "Oh, walk and talk, Suzy; walk and talk Suzy. Walk and talk, Suzy; walk and talk Suzy." How does he know this incongruous dose of Bob Wills is the best way to sober up?

Three sons and a freeze-dried if not instant-divorce, it is time to get out of Dodge. A solo road trip to Caprock and Palo Duro canyons in the Texas panhandle yields and unexpected connection to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Spend a little time in Turkey, Texas where Wills was a barber by day and musician by night.

When the boys were little we had a cassette tape of railroad songs, truck songs, and songs about Oklahoma and Texas. It had "San Antone" and "Take Me Back to Tulsa" by Bob Wills' band. They probably don't remember it at all, amidst all the "Wee Melodies" and singing multiplication tables we listened to on road trips. Maybe a little fondness for Texas swing will show up in their eclectic music tastes eventually. And, psst! Their mommy still says they are too young to marry!

Take Me Back To Tulsa - Bob Wills/Tommy Duncan

Where's that girl with the red dress on? Some folks calls her Dinah;
Stole my heart away from me, way down in Louisana.

Take Me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry;
Take me back to Tulsa, I'm too young to marry.

Oh, walk and talk Suzy, walk and talk Suzy;
Walk and talk Suzy, walk and talk Suzy.

We always wear a great big smile, we never do look sour.
Travel all over the country, playing music by the hour.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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