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Tag Archives: “Life on the American Frontier”

dancing up a storm

Russell Lee photograph

Pie Town, New Mexico

Buck Dancers

Russell Lee wrote:

One of the most interesting events that I photographed was an evening of square dancing at Bill Stagg’s.  In one corner the orchestra, consisting of a fiddle and two guitars, was tuning up.  Square dances, Paul Jones, broom dances, round dances, individual exhibitions by the women and the men followed in rapid succession.  The children slept in the other wing of the house.

At midnight there was an intermission for food, cakes, cookies, pies, coffee.  Somebody produced two cases of beer–it was rapidly consumed.  The party went back to the dance.  Bill Staggs forgot his game leg, Adams forgot that he hadn’t danced for three years, Les Thomas let himself go.  The orchestra played with more pep and zip.  The jigging started–it became an informal contest.  They were still whooping it up at 4 a.m. when I had to back to town to change film.

[Lee, “Life on the American Frontier,” 107 –  Pie Town Woman by Joan Meyers]

Doris Caudill:

One night we were all at a dance, and the end came for the poor old pants.  Toy and Billie were there, and they still laugh today about Faro’s pants being split wide open.  Every time he moved a certain way his seat flared open like a morning glory, and the cheek of his backside shown like a new dollar.  We didn’t know it, however, so we danced right on . . . having a good time.