Dear Colonel Scott,
I'll be doggoned if I didn' have myself a good 'ol time! I sure do hope
the Tucson Barn Dance becomes another We Make History tradition! Thankya'
I was delighted to see so many of my fellow Tucsonans and Southern
Arizonans -- and most of them newcomers, too. No doubt many of them will
be making the journey north to one of the many other balls.
It's getting mighty difficult to pick a standout Miracle Moment, but in
dancing the quadrilles, I couldn't help but think of the 180-degree
difference between the happiness of those moments and the disquieting
dread of square dancing in middle-school gym class. All those years ago,
all those kids around me were merely walking by command, devoid of any
grace or heart or desire to lift people up, with girls thinking, "I have
to hold hands with him?" And on that Saturday evening, I saw all
the young people plugged into the joy of the dance and each other's
company. I saw the newcomers welcomed with open arms -- literally. Yeee-haw!
Once again, I see the Holy Spirit working through us.
And I have hope.
On a personal note, thank you so much for the invitation back to the hotel
for cheesecake and conversation. I dare say I needed to hear the various
observations, warnings, and advice as much as the young people at the
table. I wish somebody would have been around to tell me those clear and
sensible approaches to dating when I was growing up. And hearing how God
has changed the lives of the young ones, I have no doubt they will change
other lives. It's a reminder to me, and I hope to others, that we all
need to pause and recognize and Give Thanks for lives gone right... and
don't let up.
May God Continue To Bless You And The We Make History Family.
Yahoo!!! Thanks again for an amazing night of music and dancing. I had a
rip-roarin' good time, especially during the Arizona reel. I loved the
twist where we improvised the end of the dance, my partner and I were
dancing circles around all the other couples (literally).
It's always great getting to know more and more about the We Make History
family. I also really enjoyed the talks (and the cheesecake) we had in the
hotel lobby. It's always comforting to see people so concerned about the
world around them and how their beliefs affect that world and vice versa.
I hope I was able to contribute some helpful insight into the group; if
nothing else I have this to say: Never stop asking questions, and continue
to search for the truth. We must be wary when we become content with our
Anyway, lunch was wonderful and a fitting end to a
wonderful weekend. Thank you once again for all of the hard work and
planning you and your family put into your historic balls.
The Lone Prescottonian: Colonel Zach
Farmer Scott and Family,
Thank you very much for having us in your Barn Dance. We had been looking
forward for many years to such an occasion. Weren't we glad to be part of
surely had a wonderful weekend. It was so nice to be back in Tucson. We
realized it had been thirteen years since we had visited Tucson and Mount
Lemmon. Though we have passed through many times, it had always been just
that, passing through. The city has grown a lot just like Phoenix.
Ball was, as expected, a great success. The music, the relaxed atmosphere,
yet very busy foot stomping, partner swinging, and altogether lots of
laughter and joy, was wonderful. You surely proved that Barn Dancing is a
beautiful part of our American heritage, a joyful way to bring together
the best of many cultures. Though very different from all the other Balls,
it was by no means any less enjoyable. We hope you make this a tradition.
We had the opportunity to see many new faces and to fellowship with others
for the first time.
Hotel was very different from any other we had been to, but very
Southwestern. The architecture, the courtyard and the decorations were
very inspiring and the service was very pleasant. It was a good choice,
time spent together the next day was as enjoyable. It is so wonderful to
fellowship with other like-minded Christians in a relaxed, peaceful
atmosphere. The time went by too fast, but the memories created will
linger for a lifetime.
have blessed us again. You and your family are a blessing. Lady Scott has
done such a beautiful job sewing. The pictures don't really show all the
details of her accomlpishments. You are surely blessed with a lovely
wife, fantastic hostess and an excellent seamstress, as a farmer's wife
should be! We appreciate all your work to give us moments of joy, good
entertainment and lovely memories. Sometimes it seems unfair to work so
hard for just a few moments of entertainment. We deeply appreciate it.
At last -- a hoedown in my town!
We Make History
heads for Tucson to capture
the boot-shaking flavor of rural America,
granting me the chance to pay tribute to my heartland homeland.
As recounted by "Huckleberry" Francis
Memories of Missouri send me off into a dreamlike reminiscence:
growing up in suburban Kansas City, finishing high school outside of St.
Louis, and mentally toiling in Columbia for a journalism degree. Summer
thunderstorms putting an Arizona monsoon to shame. Snow up to my knees --
or higher. Journeys back and forth on I-70 between old and new homes, with
at least three hours to study the alternating green-and-amber hills of the
countryside, plowed and lined with grain or dotted with cattle. Grain
elevators. Lonely county roads dubbed "HH" and "Z." A humble town
overlooked by a tall white water tower painted with an American Flag and
the words "High Hill." Twice per trip the family car would cross the
"Mighty Mo," and my eyes would fixate upon its gentle flow and tree-lined
So when plans for a barn dance emerge in Tucson, I face a fundamental
question: cowboy or country boy? I choose the latter.
* * *
I'm walkin' up to the hall in my best straw hat, overalls and kerchief.
An' everybody's takin' me for a farmer. But I'm righ' thinkin' about a
famous fictional Missourian.
"I'm thinking Huckleberry Finn," I say -- or Huckleberry Francis.
Now our host is thinkin' of a famous Kentuckian in that fine white linen
suit an' hat. "Lord Scott just doesn't fit," he explains to us, saying
"Colonel" seems more fittin' seein' as he hears this rumor that a relative
is gonna open all these restaurants and such.
Everybody's samplin' the refreshments off to the side, standin' aroun' in
their best duds -- string ties, ranch shirts, tailcoats, Stetsons and
boots. Pretty fancy stuff, and all like that. But what I can' figure out
is why everybody's so quiet. I know we gotta a lotta new faces, and maybe
they're a bit shy, or maybe that's some doggone good punch. Anyway, no way
are we gonna pull off one of these hoe-downs with everybody actin' like
they're in church... oh that's right... they are in a church.
But Colonel Scott, he's still a little puzzled about everybody.
I try my best to offer some sorta explanation, real diplomat-like. "We are
filled with anticipation of the joy yet to come."
Well, the Colonel thinks we oughta loosen our tongues and introduce
ourselves, and he gets me to start off. Now dog my cats if I can remember
more than a few names, but I can at least remember my own. So I start
talkin' and it's kinda like when you see a wagon settin' off, the way it
roll forward like and it gets faster. And then this kindly lady from
Tucson and her family come in, and she starts talkin' and it's like this
wind blowing across the fields, you know, how everybody starts smilin' and
talkin' and such.
So we starts dancin', and the Colonel yells out "Give us air!" He and Lady
Scott wave to part everybody in the crowd, beginning the promenade like we
always do, and we got us some fine music from the Privytippers! I don't
have to go very far to find my first partner. She's this young cowgirl who
doesn't mind it if I gallop like a pony. So we go around and around and
into a circle, in and out like that, with a hoot and a holler --
"Yee-haw!" Now this is how it's s'pposted to work. I figure them
old Missourians shouted "yee-haw" if they were close enough to Kansas.
Next we do this mixer,
and the kindly Miss Becky tells us, "Don't get to attached to that
partner." And sure 'nuff, we mix everybody up. The Texas ranchers are over
here next to the Arizona cowhands, and the prairie ladies are over there
with the townsfolk. And I look real careful and I see this glint, like
from a sheriff's star. I see there's this young deputy who must've moseyed
up from Tombstone. And I'll be jiggered if it he, his sister and his
mother ain't all packin' pistols. I get to thinkin' the Town Too Tough To
Die is like the Town Too Quick To Draw. Oh golly gosh, what are they gonna
do if I promenade a lady with the wrong arm in front? You know my friend
Huck Finn lived in a rain barrel, poor soul. So you gotta understand a few
Missouri downpours likely soaked through his hat into the windmills of his
mind. Well, I know what it feel like when your head don't work during the
first line dance. I keep having to remember to swing my partner with my
right hand -- my right hand.
I say, "I'll get it." I say, "I'll remember." He ain't here, but I keep
hearing this Confederate Sergeant friend of mine, an' his voice keeps
bouncin' around my skull: "YOUR OTHER RIGHT! JUST LIKE YOUR MAMA TAUGHT
Doggone it, I keep using my right hand to keep my hat on. As soon as I put
it back on my head, it wants off like a stubborn Missouri mule. But I'm
real lucky 'cause my partner has more patience than any cowgirl I know.
"Whatever!" she laughs, and we keep on dancin'.
Now I gotta ask, is this a barn dance or a barn burner? You see, it got
all hot after just two dances, and the ladies were fannin' themselves and
the gents were wavin' their hats in front of their faces. So when we had
the first break, that punch and water was flowin' like the rapids of the
I could sure use that rain barrel right 'bout now.
So our host was able to get the air fixed, but it's gon' take awhile in
such a big place. But he's makin' everybody happy: "The temperature has
dropped three degrees!" This one fine young lady, she teaches me a box
step waltz. Now I'm thinkin' I already knows it, but she shows me I ain't
been doin' it right all this time. It's a lot more fancy than what I
figure to be a box step, and when I look at my feet on the floor, it don'
look like no box at all. But that lady, she's such a good dancer. I'm so
lucky she'd learn a boy like me to dance.
We all place ourselves for a quadrille, what them modern folk call a
square dance. And now things are gettin' a mite bit complicated. Couple
number one: joins up with couple number three, circle left and right,
swing your opposite, swing your partner, promenade, and all like that.
Now, go through it again with couple number two, and on and on.
That kindly lady I know from Tucson is chucklin' a little nervous. But 'ol
Huck has seen worse.
"We can do this!" I tell her. "We'll be just fine!"
And she replies, "Your faith is boundless!"
So it all plays out like it should, more or less, with a few messed up
swings and blown calls -- you gotta listen to the call now, y'hear?
Not too shabby. How 'bout another? Second gent, swing the third lady. Oh
dog my cats, that's the second lady. I just done messed up this
"Bird in a cage, fly right in!" Miss Becky calls as we join hands and
circle 'round a lady in the center. She does this happy little jig, like.
"Bird flies out, crow flies in!"
Now it's my turn, and there's all these hands around me. So I only gets to
jig for a few little moments. But you oughta see my smile, 'cos I just
done conquered this horrible old memory.
You see, I remember the last time I stood in the middle of a circle during
a square dance. It musta been sixth grade gym class. I was this odd fella
out in a dance they called "Ninepin." Now they done taught it on a day I
was either sick or playin' hooky or somethin'. So there's this one part,
where there's nine boys and eight girls, and they tell you to swing, and
you're suppost'a swing any girl you could find. Only I didn' know that,
and so all the other boys got themselves a girl and I done got nothin'. I
was smack dab in the middle'a that circle without a pretty girl, and they
were all dancing around me and laughin' and teasin' me, and I'm just
standin' there crying 'cause I don't know what to do. I think that there
had to be one of the saddest days of my life.
But anyhow, I'm all happy now and everybody's laughing with me, even if it
took all those years. Yeeeee-haw and Hallelujah!
We do all these set dances, and I get all these pretty ladies to dance
with me. But I'm never gonna forget the smile on this lady from Sierra
Vista. She got a smile as wide as the Missouri River. But I gotta be
honest, I might never'a seen she was wantin' to dance had her friend not
pointed to her from behind her back. That's kinda sneaky, ain't it? I
betcha' ol Tom Sawyer never danced with as many fine belles. Of course, he
was too busy worryin' about Miss Becky Thatcher.
Hey Tom! You ain't never done the cookie dance, have ya? So here we go,
sittin' in three chairs and passin' them cookie tins to one lady and
waltzin' off with the other. It's real easy if there's a boy on one side
of you. Otherwise, you gotta do what you haveta. We're just gettin' warmed
up when the band stops playin.'
Everybody's right confused. I shout, "Encore, Encore!" and everybody
starts shoutin' too. And bless their hearts, th' Privytippers give us a
whole mess more.
We're gettin' along really well, but I keep wonderin' about this one
dance, because I asked Colonel Scott if we were gonna do a Virginia Reel.
And I forget exactly what he said, but I know he's got somethin' cookin.
"Ladies and gentlemen, find your partners for the Arizona Reel!"
He calls it from the stage, and 'cos there's enough people who know it, he
doesn't have to teach us anything. Now I heard 'bout this. The way it goes
is first corners honor each other and then second corners, do the same.
And these corners do all these turns, and do-si-dos. But dog my cats if
the Colonel doesn't start mixin' them steps up. I guess that's the Arizona
"And in Arizona we mix it up," he says.
Yeah, you right I mix it up. I mix up the reeling part. You see there's
these ladies in the line left of me, and these ladies to the right, too, 'cos
all these ladies are dancin' together. I don' have no idea why there
aren't gents where the ladies are, but anyhow, I start swingin' the wrong
line. But somehow I gets through it, and I keep wishing the Privvytippers
will keep on playin' so I can do it again right.
But that Colonel, he's got some sly ideas.
"Swing your partners!"
And we do... and suddenly...
"Every man for himself! Free for all!"
All the lines break up and everybody starts jiggin' and twirlin', swinging
and spinnin' around and promenading each other across the entire floor.
It's on now! It's a hoe-down! Yeeee-haw!
We only got time for one more mixer before that last waltz.
"I learned a box step," I say to my partner, "but I don't think I want to
try it out."
But nobody ever gets all uptight when I keep it real simple like. And
that's really something, 'cos I can see all the young frontier boys and
girls trotting across the floor like they in a St. Louis ballroom.
I reckon' it's time I turn my attention back to the pretty one in
front'a me, I think. Remember to smile real nice for the lady. Make
sure your hat's on tight.
See more memories from this historic first in Tucson!
Dance & Dance Ability