Sunday, April 2, 2017

Dance Rally - 2017 - Bandera - Texas

April 2, 2017.
I am now in Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World, that is what they call themselves.
Driving here was not easy. I left D’Hanis after a large thunder storm. I should have waited a while before taking off.
When I came to Hondo I was in the same storm again. I stopped at a large parking lot, of a furniture store, for an hour until the storm had moved east.
At the Skyline Ranch RV Park we have full hook ups with cable television and WI-FI. I believe we will not have much time watching television with all the things to do on the schedule.
When I arrived I signed in at the office and paid for my camping site.

At 10:00 AM the registration for the dance rally started. We were handed our batches and schedule. I am a member of the green team. We have to cook breakfast and clean up Thursday this week and Monday next week.
Dance lessons are from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM and from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. The evening dance is from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Wednesdays we go to the 11th Street Cowboy Bar for dancing and burn your own steak or other meat.
At 3:00 PM we had hamburgers, beans and hot dogs at the big dance hall.

At 5:00 PM we walked to the Wildhorse Saloon which is next door to our RV Park.
The band was very good and I danced almost every dance.

April 3, 2017.
From 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM the committee team served breakfast.

At 9:30 AM we had an orientation meeting.

After the meeting the four teams had their own meetings and jobs were assigned. I volunteered for cooking.
When I was done with the meetings I went to the motorhome and started working. Since I have full hook-up with sewer connection I cleaned out the black water tank. I used a rotating device and after I was done the gage indicated that the tank was empty. I have not seen empty for a long time. The little probes are usually covered with toilet paper.
Then I vacuumed the whole inside of the motorhome and cleaned the floor.
When I was done I took a rest and then went into town.
Bandera has a beautiful park on the river.

A mother duck had only one duckling.

Main Street looks like in any western town.

It is a cowboy town.

The court house is most of the time the biggest building in town.

At 4:00 PM we had Social Hour with snacks.
The evening dance started at 7:00 PM. I was surprised that not everybody showed up. The band was very good and I had a good time.

April 4, 2017.
The morning beginner dance lesson went really well. It was the two step and I like that dance. The afternoon intermediate lesson was different. It was again the two step but more advanced.
The evening dance was fun. Bimbo and Borderline is a very good band and the “Roaring Twenties” theme had many women and a few men in 1920’s costumes. 

April 5, 2017.
I attended both, the morning and afternoon dance instruction sessions.
In the evening we went to the 11th Street Cowboy Saloon for dancing and cook your own steak. Most of the group brought some meat and bought the baked potato and trimmings. I ate at home before I left.
We had our own section at the dancing area. Most members of the group wore their green dance rally shirts.

Janet does her own thing; she does not need a man on the dance floor.

When it got dark the decorations on the trees looked wonderful.

The saloon has special concerts throughout the year.

Bandera is a special cowboy town.

April 6, 2017.
My team, the Green Team, was in charge of breakfast this morning. I was cooking the bacon. We cooked for seventy five people. Some of the members of the group do not come, they probably can’t get up that early.
We had French toast and bacon.

There is also a line for cold breakfast, with cereal, fruits, yogurt, toast, and juices.

At 10:00 AM we lined up for the torture, today it was the cha, cha.
I still have trouble with the fancy moves.

At 4:00 PM we had the daily Social Hour. The green team brought the snacks.  

In the evening we danced three hours to the music of Bimbo and Borderline. This is the fun part of the dance rally.

April 7, 2017.
I struggled with the morning cha cha lesson. For lunch I cooked a big meal and after eating took a nap and decided I needed a rest. I skipped the afternoon lesson and prepared for the evening dress up dance.
Most of the women dressed up and looked nice. Some of the men did the same and the rest looked better than normal.

Keith, our professional Santa Claus made an appearance. He is a hit with the women. They sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

We had a new band and they invited the women on stage and gave them noise makers. It was an  evening with a lot of fun.

During the bands half hour break some people line danced to music on a CD.

April 8, 2017.
On the weekend we do not have any dance lessons.
I drove 80 miles today to Johnson City, to the Lynden B. Johnson National Historical Park. I had been there before, many years ago, and felt like doing it again.

The park has two locations. I started with a guided tour of the boyhood home of the former president. It is located in Johnson City. Half a block away is the Visitor Center.
From there I drove fifteen miles west to the Texas White House. It is on a two thousand acre ranch with Herford cattle all over the place.

Johnson started attending school when he was four years old at this plain old school house. His mother was a journalist and an educator.

He was born in the house of his grand parents .

The family cemetery is nearby.

One of the presidential airplanes is on display. Johnson had an airstrip built.

The Texas White House is on a small hill overlooking the Pedernales River. A large swimming pool is located next to the house.

Johnson had outdoor meetings with his staff.

He had large barbecues with entertainment on the property.

Spring flowers are in bloom right now.

My next stop was Fredericksburg. The city was founded by German Pioneers. The Adelsverein was instrumental in bringing a lot of Germans to Texas. Some of the street signs are in English and in German.

At the Marktplatz or Market Square there is the eight sided Vereins Kirche ( church) and the Mai Baum. The church is now a museum and has a lot of information about the German settlers.

I felt like eating a Jaeger Schnitzel with red cabbage and mashed potatoes.  The Auslander restaurant was the right place.

Across the street was another German restaurant.

April 9, 2017.
In the morning I visited a little park on Main Street in Bandera. There are several signs telling about the history of the town.
The Great Western Cattle Trail started in Bandera.

Another sign explains why Bandera is called the “Cowboy Capital of the World”.

In the evening Rich, Barbara, Lyn and I drove to Helotes and danced at Floor’s Country Store. It used to be a dance hall, store, butcher shop and real estate office.
John T. Floore was did it all.

The ceiling of the dance hall is decorated with cowboy boots and hats.

The band was very good until they got reinforcements at 9:00 PM. Then it became a contest who could play the loudest.

Most of the group went dancing next door to the Wild Horse Saloon. We did not go there because the dance floor is small and people can smoke and in Texas are still a lot of smokers.

April 10, 2017.
The morning dance lesson was the waltz. I am able to dance the waltz and did fine. The afternoon advanced lesson was different. It felt more like torture.  

At the 4:00 PM Social Meeting we got a surprise. The team in charge for today cooked hamburgers and hot dogs, with beans and cole slaw. Normally we get only snacks.
When I walked to the dance hall rain clouds were coming to Bandara.

The theme for tonight’s dance was Hawaiian. Many ladies dressed up for the occasion. Men had it easy; they wore a Hawaiian shirt.

Unfortunately not everybody got up for a group picture.

During the band's break people danced the Hoop.

April 11, 2017.
I slept through a big storm. At breakfast people were telling me about the thunder and lightning and the rain.
Today was the last day for dance lessons. I attended the morning session. I have a problem learning the fancy turns of the waltz, and I am not the only one.
Since I have electricity I took out the vacuum cleaner and did a thorough job cleaning the inlet for the furnace and the converter. Then I did the furniture and the floor. I also washed the floor.
Some people left today. There were not many people at the evening dance. I suppose rally participants are worn out.
I called the dance lessons torture but I always learn something new and meet a lot of wonderful people.
Attendance was low this year. There were all together 85 people, 38 of them were WINs.
The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful part of the state.
The people talk slow here and are relaxed and helpful. I had a good time in Bandera.

April 12, 2017.
After breakfast we had a meeting where plans for next year’s dance rally were discussed. People  volunteered for team leader positions  and comities.
Left  over food, in closed packages, was sold and food in open packages was given away for free.
There was one T shirt left. I usually do not buy printed T shirts, only embroidered ones, but they sold it for half price. Now I have a green T shirt from the Bandera Dance Rally.
I have to be careful where I wear it. On a dance floor people expect a Fred Astaire like performance when they read the back of the shirt. I am far from it.
Most of the day we had rain clouds in the sky. It is warm though.
Most of the day we had rain clouds in the sky. It is warm though.
Early afternoon I went to the Heritage Museum.

Since Bandera is a cowboy town there are displays of saddles and other items cowboys use when they work.

There are also Items used in daily life.

Outside of the museum is a steam locomotive and wagons. 

In the evening we went to the 11th Street Cowboy Saloon for dancing. Some members of the group cooked their steaks on the grills and bought the baked potato and salad.

1 comment:

Donna Huffer said...

I took my parents to the homestead years ago. While Mom & I went to see the school, my father stayed by the car. He didn't want to see anything regarding "that damn president". So who should drive by and wave and say "hi" to my Dad but LBJ himself.