HEADER PICTURE

The header picture shows the organizers of Texas Heritage Music & Dance Club when they originally met on June 26, 2010 to organize THMDC.  The organizers felt it was important to highlight “Music” as well as “Dance”; therefore both words are in the club’s name.  The purpose the club was organized was to help keep the heritage dances and their music going for future generations – not on life support, but going strong.  To achieve that, we need musicians and dancers of all ages to embrace this music and dancing as part of who they are as individuals, as having certain heritages, as wanting to use the music and dancing to improve their physical and mental well-being.  Thanks go out to each organizer and to each club member!  Pictured, from left are:  Lee Roy Petersen, John Roberts, Donna Roberts, Rosina Christensen, Karl Micklitz, Catherine (Cat) Radziejewski, Gwen Petersen, Arlyn Visentin, Joyce & Willie Bohuslav.  Not pictured:  Tom Visentin

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WHO ARE WE? WHAT ARE WE ABOUT?

We formed the Texas Heritage Music & Dance Club in late June, 2010.  Our purpose is to help ensure that couples dancing and their music continue for future generations to enjoy as we do.  We need YOUR help!  As you know, so many who dance the heritage dances and enjoy the music that goes with that dancing, are getting up in years and are not able to dance as often as they used to, if at all.  We need to help the younger folks embrace these dances and music that were brought to Texas by our forefathers.  We are talking about polka dancing (Czech, German, Polish, Slavic), country-western, Cajun, western swing, big band, Latin, etc.  What a great heritage they are!  What a shame it would be to have it die out!  Those dances need dancers, bands and halls, and by joining our club and by actually going to dances you can help them continue for future generations!   You know how much fun it is, and it certainly is good for your health, both physically and mentally.  SO, join our club and help us be sure we leave that heritage alive and well, not on life support!  For a mere $12 per person per year you can help, and we’ll do our best to keep you informed through our web site.  From time to time we’ll “spotlight” a dance where we encourage club members to join other club members.  We also teach dancing to anyone who wants to learn.  And, of course, we sponsor our own dances.  So far we’ve sponsored two dances.  If we get enough members we’d like to be able to sponsor two dances a year.  For a membership form, click on “Membership” under the header picture of this web site, then on “Join”, and you’ll be able to print out a form to send in to us with your dues.  For more information, you can call us at 936-894-2804.  Together we can help ensure that the kind of dancing and music that we love will not only survive, but flourish!

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THE FREE-STYLE COMBO POLKA

This is a new style of polka dancing that should bring new life to polka dancing.  It is a style of polka dancing that will be enjoyed by the young kids and couples in the future.  It is a combination of steps in the “one-step”, “two-step” and “four-step” polka dance pattern, but with a lot of Latin style hip and arm action.  It can be done in a small space and on any type of floor.

You can do this dance by yourself,  with a partner or with a small group.  Singles can finally get out on the dance floor and enjoy life.  It is unique, in that each person can bring their own creativity to the dance according to their feel of the beat of the polka music.  If you will watch people standing in front of a group of bands doing a jam session, some will be doing this style of dancing in front of the band without realizing that they can enjoy this style of dancing regularly at the center, corners or ends of the dance floor away from the regular polka dancers.

Gwen and Lee Roy H. Petersen of Plantersville, Texas created this style of polka dancing on their Caribbean cruise in April, 2011, due the lack of adequate floor space like a regular dance hall.  They performed this dance on ship cruises and at every polka dance since, with a lot of attention and pleasure of the audience.

Click on  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxWqN1_cchE  to watch Lee Roy do this new dance at a polka dance in Taiton, Tx

Also, click on  http://www.funuc.com/?p=402 to see “the horniest man on the earth” illustrating this style of a dance.

So, give it a try the next time you go to a polka or country dance.

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ACCORDIONS FOR SALE

The sound of Accordion music is wonderful.  If you are interested in buying a good used, refurbished accordion, please click on the “Other” caption and sub-caption “Want2Sell” and check out the accordions offered.

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BIRTHDAY AND MORE

Lee Roy officially turned 81 on Saturday, so naturally we celebrated the event while at the Wallis American Legion for the 3rd Saturday of the month dance hosted by the Wallis Dance Club.  Thanks to everyone who makes that happen, and thanks to all the dancers who support that club.  We need all the dancers we can have at every possible dance.  Let’s not let our dancing die!  This dance was pretty crowded with dancers, as the popular band Charles & the Fabulous 4 played.  They have really become a very good band, enjoyed by many folks, and we have hired them to play for our next club dance.  That, of course, would be for the Texas Heritage Music & Dance Club (aka THMDC), and our dance will be at the Sealy American Legion Hall on Sunday, September 17, from 2-5:30.  Of course we welcome members of the public as well as our own club members.  Be sure to put it on your calendar!  You’ll be sorry if you miss it, and we know you’ll have a great time when you go there.  We took a fancy chocolate cake for Lee Roy’s birthday and also a home baked poppyseed cake, made by yours truly.  Also celebrating that night was Harold Kosel, who turned 90 on Sunday the 20th.  His wife, Jane, brought a delicious German chocolate cake that she had made.  We had enough cake that Lee Roy got to bring home some of the poppyseed cake.  That made him happy!  We enjoyed the offerings of the band, and certainly appreciated the company of a table full of friends, and other friends throughout the hall.  And, yes, Lee Roy enjoyed all of his birthday cards.   Dancing is always fun, but it’s always the friends who make it special.  Without friends where would we be?

We enjoyed dancing with friends again on Sunday, this time at the invitation of some folks who were generous enough to include us, and we thank them and the other hosts and hostesses without whom this dance would not have happened.  It was at Shelby’s Harmonie Hall, and the band they had hired was Central Texas Sounds.  The music was very enjoyable.  We will miss this band which is retiring, but stepping up to fill the gap is Tim Kulhanek and his band, Lost Cause. Tim, of course, has been with Central Texas Sounds quite some time.  His band knows many styles of music, and does a good job of playing whatever the dancers want to hear.  Naturally I requested birthday songs for Lee Roy at both of these dances, on Saturday “Waltz of the Angels”, and on Sunday it was the “Austin Waltz”, two of our favorites.  Each time I also listed “Catherine’s Waltz” as an option.  Those are three really beautiful waltzes.  Our host couple on Sunday brought some delicious food which their guests enjoyed at intermission, along with various food that their guests had brought.  Everything I tasted was really yummy.  WHEN am I going stop being tempted by these delicious foods and get back to losing some more weight???  Then the next question, “WHEN am I going to start actually exercising???”  I do have good intentions, but not enough willpower!!! But, I promise it will happen very soon…….

We didn’t get to do any dancing on Thursday, and there were several things that were calling our names.  Lee Roy just felt like we needed to be home that night, so that’s what we did.  We do have at least two more places to dance before August bows out for this year.  We hope we’ll see you at one or both of them.  We’ll be looking for you!!!!  Put on your dancing shoes……

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FORGOT THREE

Yesterday when I was referencing various dances and events for this week, I inadvertently left off three dances!  Sorry; folks!!!  Hey, if I do that in the future, contact me so I can get the word out there!  You know how to email me.  It’s luvtopolka@aol.com.  Okay, here are the ones I didn’t mention for this week, all on Thursday, August 17:

Conroe at the Carriage Inn (retirement center) – FREE dinner and dance 4-6 PM.  (Dinner is a little light, as they are accustomed to feeding retirees who don’t use much energy, and therefore don’t eat much.)  Our club member, Mike Gest, has a 3-piece band (sometimes it’s 4 or 5 pieces, depending on what the people hiring them want), called Night Session, and they’ll provide the music.  They play all types of music, yes literally all types.  The dancing is in the dining area, and the atmosphere is pleasant and welcoming.  Some of the residents also will be in there, and YOU will be their entertainment.  They like to interact with the folks who come to dance.

El Campo American Legion - 7:30-10 PM – The Texas Mavericks will be playing.  Mostly they play country songs, but they also play polkas and waltzes, perhaps even more styles.   This dance is for seniors, although anyone is welcome.  It’s also a pleasant atmosphere.  This is a nice floor for dancing.  We’ve danced there several times for school reunions (Lee Roy’s home territory), and just recently only 3 weeks or so ago.  No matter how far you drive to get there, you’ll be home by a reasonable time since they finish at 10 PM.

Waco’s Sul Ross Senior Center - 7-10 PM – Sponsored by the Boot Scootin’ Club, they always warmly welcome guests.  This club always features a country band, as the name implies.  This week it will be the Midnight Mustangs. We’ve not heard that band, but we know this club hires them from time to time, so they must be okay.

So now you have three more dances to choose from – on Thursday! – to enhance your dancing for the week!  Isn’t that great????

 

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MORE AUGUST DOINGS

Lots of folks must have thought Rosenberg’s American Legion was the place to be on Saturday.  It was the monthly “second-Saturday-of-the-month” dance put on by the Happy Cousins Dance Club, and it was the largest crowd we’ve seen there in awhile.  Charles & the Fabulous 4 played for the dancers, and the dance floor never lacked for dancers.  We surely have heard Charles and his crew a lot lately – but they’ve made some positive changes and are very good.  Clearly, lots of folks wanted to be there.  Something I should mention is that this club operates on a September-through-August fiscal year, so if you have not paid your renewal dues, please be sure to do that when you go to their next dance on September 9.  Also, the club will be having an “appreciation dinner” for members only on October 14 ahead of their monthly dance.  If you want to participate, you need to pay your dues (now $90 per couple of $50 for singles) and ALSO sign up at the front table at the September 9 dance for attending the dinner.  They have to know how many dinners to order.  The meal will be served at 6 PM so that it can be finished and cleaned up before the dance starts at 8 o’clock.  Folks who come to the dinner are also asked to bring a dessert of their choice (preferably homemade).  All can share the desserts, and any desserts that are uneaten when the dance starts can be enjoyed by folks who come to just the dance.  That sounds right friendly, huh?  We took pigs in blankets (li’l smokies wrapped in crescent dough and baked), with a little container of honey mustard, to share with our table mates and other friends.  They seemed to be pretty popular, as it didn’t take too long for them to disappear.

Sunday we finally were able to go to Elgin’s SPJST #18 again for a dance.  It had been a very long time since we had been able to get there.  It’s such a nice hall, with a nice floor, and nice people work there and dance there.  We always enjoy it.  It was quite a pleasure to dance to the outstanding music of the Jodie Mikula Orchestra (a wonderful band from Ennis).  This band was one of two that were Lee Roy’s favorites when we were dating (nearly 40 years ago).  The other favorite band of his was the Lee Roy Matocha band.  In a way, we still get to hear parts of both of these bands, as their keyboard player is none other than Lee Roy Matocha’s daughter, Janice, now married to Mike Marek, who plays the tuba in the Mikula band.  It was so nice to see some of the folks who frequently go to that hall, whom we had not seen in way too long.  It was especially nice to see LaVerne Dancak there.  She’s had some very serious eye problems and no longer is able to drive other than in really familiar territory close to her home.  Fortunately, some of the nice folks who frequent this hall offer to go pick her up and take her to and from the dances at Elgin.  We should all have nice friends like that!  Before the dance started I went up front to pick up some dance schedules for the hall, and I was so surprised (and pleased) to see three friends approaching the front door, brother and sister Lewis and Debbie Stewart, and their dancing friend from Colorado, Elaine Rosequist (I think I have that right).  These three folks are such nice people, and excellent dancers, and it’s always such a pleasure to be in their company.  We’ve never seen them there before, so it was quite unexpected.  They had gone to the dance at DaCosta on Saturday night to enjoy the music of the Red Ravens.  They said it was a good crowd, and why not?  Everyone likes to dance to the Red Ravens!  Elaine will stay here through Tuesday so they can go to the big annual shindig at Praha, which happens every year on August 15.  I wonder if Elaine knows just how hot it can get in Texas on August 15.  Well, it doesn’t seem to deter many folks, although we are among the ones who prefer not to dance in that kind of heat.

Lots more things are happening this week.  Not only will the shindig go on at Praha on Tuesday, but that’s also the day when the Houston Accordion Association has its 3rd Tuesday gathering.  Then on Thursday it will be time for the Bluebonnet Opry in Brenham, which is always the 3rd Thursday of the month.  Saturday we’ll celebrate Lee Roy’s 81st birthday (who would ever be able to tell by looking at how great he looks and how wonderfully and actively he dances?), and that will be at the Wallis American Legion for the monthly dance of the Wallis Dance Club, of which we are members also…..and guess who will be playing.  None other than Charles & the Fabulous 4 again!  Yes, they’re quite a busy band! Other dances and events will be going on, including private dances at Shelby and other club dances…..and that’s just for THIS week!  Don’t let me hear you say you don’t have anywhere to go enjoy dancing and/or enjoy music!!!  We’ll probably run into you somewhere.  If we don’t happen to see you, then let us know where you enjoyed our favorite pasttime.  You can email me at luvtopolka@aol.com.  BTW, did you enjoy our little quiz last week?  Congratulations again to Norbert & Carolyn Janik for solving it!

 

 

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WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!

Okay.  We have found a winner of our “quiz”.  Norbert & Carolyn Janik didn’t take long to figure out the title of my recent post about our weekend dancing.  The “puzzle” read:  C+F4X2+TK=GS20817, which these puzzle-solvers solved as:  ”Charles & the Fabulous 4 times two plus The Kreneks equals Good Start to August 17″.  It will be interesting to see if others solved it, too.  No prize.  Just fun.  (Hey, Norbert & Carolyn, I also love to solve puzzles.  It’s good for our brains, huh?)

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HEALTH UPDATE

I was able to ask Marie Kucera over the weekend how her daughter is doing.  You may recall that her daughter in Florida, Marenda Rapp, suffered a deep brain bleed earlier this summer (because of high blood pressure) and she was in intensive care.  No one knew if she would even make it through alive, and if so, in what condition.  Well, it has been remarkably good news, but you certainly are welcome to continue to pray for this lady, as she has not reached her full potential yet.  She was released from the hospital to a rehab facility where she received three types of physical rehabilitation – speech, occupational (hands and arms, maybe legs and feet), and another type.  At some point, they decided she could go home and go in for therapy as an outpatient.  They also decided she no longer needed any therapy except for speech.  She can talk, but her recall is not optimal yet.  Therapy is a wonderful thing and brings about some results that didn’t used to be possible.  She even was washing her husband’s clothes one day when her daughter (Marie’s granddaughter) called to see how she was doing.  SO – keep up the good work with your prayers, folks.  The family certainly appreciates any and all prayers offered up on her behalf.  God is GOOD!!!!

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C+F4X2+TK=GS20817

Before I finish this post (no sooner than Monday, 8/7) see if you can decipher the title to this post.  Send your version to me at luvtopolka@aol.com, and in the subject line, put “quiz”.  Gwen

I’ll finish this post and you can still see if you can solve the quiz.  Send me an email at luvtopolka@aol.com to give me your solution to the title of this post.  No prize, just a fun brain challenger.  Be sure to put “quiz” in the subject line of your email.  I’ll provide the answer later this week.

We danced three times this past weekend.  On Friday it was at the Eagle Lake Community Center. They were celebrating the 25th anniversary of this first-Friday-of-the-month dance.  The couple who have kept it going (sorry, I don’t know names) started it after a dance club or a hall folded, and initially there was another couple who teamed up with them to find a new facility (the community center currently used) and to keep the dance going.  The other couple has since departed this earth, and the remaining couple has faithfully taken care of hiring the bands, sitting at the table to admit dancers, making sure all the details are taken care of such as printing schedules, and their children and grandchildren have joined in the effort to keep this dance alive for US, the folks who love to dance and/or to hear the music and to socialize.  This family decorated the tables with red and blue tablecloths and cute little glittery decor in the middle of each table.  They also bought with their own money some extra door prizes to give out every 15 minutes during the dance, and got the band to donate some prizes.  Folks who won the extra door prizes were allowed to keep their admission tickets so they would have a chance to win again when the “regular” door prizes brought by dancers were distributed.  This family probably also brought additional food to put on the smorgasbord table with food brought by dancers to share at intermission.  Next time you go to the dance at Eagle Lake, be SURE to thank these sweet, generous folks.  They are, indeed, special folks.  The band hired for this 25th anniversary dance was none other than the very popular Charles & the Fabulous 4. The crowd was huge – yes, filling nearly every seat.  Let’s hope these folks continue to go to this dance and keep it strong.  The music was very good.  Sometimes the dance floor was a bit crowded, but that’s not a bad thing, for sure.  We’re glad we included that dance in our schedule last week!

We didn’t get in bed until 1:37 AM, but still got plenty of sleep, as we didn’t have to leave the house until 1 PM on Saturday.  We had been invited to this afternoon dance by some dear folks who also made sure we didn’t leave the dance hungry.  They provided us with very tasty pimiento cheese sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches as well as potato chips which go so well with sandwiches (what did we do in the days before potato chips were so readily available?), and some excellent cookies they had purchased at HEB.  I’m all in favor of doing business with HEB.  We started buying our groceries there after the tri-county fire several years ago when I saw 5 HEB disaster-relief trucks on the road after they had helped provide food and water for the fire fighters.  HEB never called notice to themselves for doing this service (you never heard a word on TV about it), but I decided they are such a good corporate citizen that I wanted to do my shopping with them.  I haven’t regretted it for a moment.  Every single HEB employee I have told this story to LOVES working for HEB and some have told me other good things about HEB that make me appreciate them even more.  Back to dance info.  The band for this “party dance” was none other than Charles & the Fabulous 4, so we danced to their very good music twice in a row.  There was a time that we would not have considered that a good thing, but they really have improved a lot from when we first started hearing them.  Now we definitely enjoy them and are glad they are helping to keep our dancing alive and well.  We thank our host couple and all the other folks who helped sponsor this dance at Shelby’s Harmonie Hall.  We always try to go when we’ve been invited to a dance, as we think the hosts are very nice to include us.  Occasionally there is a conflict (such as the family reunion in mid-July that kept us from three dances that weekend), but almost always we go when we’ve been invited.  If you’re not familiar with this hall, you need to give it a try when you see that there’s a dance at Shelby.  We think it has THE BEST DANCE FLOOR of all the halls where we’ve danced – and it beats concrete by a long shot!

The second dance on Saturday happened right after this dance, and we had exactly enough time to get from Shelby to the Sealy American Legion hall where the Sealy Lions Dance Club was holding its first-Saturday-of-the-month dance.  This dance club almost folded – in fact, was folded for 2 or 3 months a couple of years ago – but several nice folks stepped up to do the work needed to have a dance club, such as booking the hall, booking bands, putting out schedules, getting the dances listed in the Texas Polka News, etc.  We definitely thank these nice folks also – and have noticed that Roy Liebscher always helps clean up after this dance.  We thank Roy also.  Let’s see if I get the names right of the folks who helped save this dance:  Tom and Kathy Gardner (I hope it’s Tom!), Catherine Kellner and Don Lipke, and Bob Mueller and Dusky Lane.  I’m hoping those names ALL are right, and in any event, please know that we appreciate what you do!  By the way, the band next month, on September 2, will be Country Knights.  This dance used to share food in the kitchen at intermission, but it seemed that the folks whose table numbers were drawn early had little to no regard for the people whose tables were called late, and the later ones often had very little to choose from – so now the policy is that people are welcome to bring food to share, if they wish, with their table mates.  That seems to work better.  Folks still bring items to be used as door prizes at intermission, and that adds an extra touch of fun.  The band for this dance was The Kreneks.  I think they used to be a polka band (judging from the name), but they play very few polkas, and those don’t sound too good.  In fact, their music all sounded pretty draggy to us, although toward the end of the dance it seemed to improve.  Why is that???  We heard a lot of complaints from people that the music was WAY TOO LOUD.  In fact, one friend had to take out his hearing aids because they were squealing.  That’s really unnecessary to have the music that loud.  The man who took out his hearing aids is totally deaf without them.  Do you think he was having a good time having to make a choice between squealing hearing aids and not being able to hear anything?  I don’t think so.  We hope these bands will learn that they do NOT have to play so loudly that people can’t even carry on a conversation.  Some folks either don’t dance at all or dance very little for various reasons, and surely most of them want to converse when they’re not dancing.  Our table is at the very back of the hall, and if it was that loud for our table, we can’t help but wonder how bad it was for folks closer to the stage.  The Kreneks are scheduled to play for this dance in December.  Let’s hope they have learned by then to lower the volume.  We saw some of you at dances this weekend.  If we didn’t see you, we hope it was because you were at a different dance!  Let’s keep on dancing, or as Theresa Parker, owner and publisher of the Texas Polka News, would say, “Polka On!” By the way, Theresa is having a subscription drive to have 3000 subscribers by May of 2018.  If you subscribe from NOW to the deadline of next May, you can name a dance club that you’d like to benefit from your subscription (and the same applies if you renew and name a club you want to benefit), Theresa will donate $5 to the organization that you name as the one you’d like to benefit from your subscription.  That’s really generous of Theresa!  Don’t miss the opportunity.  We hope that YOU will name Texas Heritage Music & Dance Club (THMDC) as the beneficiary when you subscribe or renew your subscription to Texas Polka News.  There are some other aspects of her subscription drive, too numerous to list here.

We hope to see you soon!  God bless!

 

 

 

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TWICE IS ALWAYS NICE

Thursday evening we danced at the El Campo American Legion hall to the sounds of Charles & the Fabulous 4.  We had not been to that dance in a number of years (possibly even before the year 2000), but we wanted to get some flyers for our next dance into the hands of this band so they can distribute them wherever they dance.  Plus, Wharton County is “home territory” for Lee Roy, having been reared in Louise, just south of El Campo on Hwy. 59.  He broke in his dancing shoes and developed his dancing abilities at Plainview Hall (now open only for birthday parties, etc.) and at the Taiton Community Center, when it was smaller than it is now.  It was a good dance on Thursday.  It’s a nice hall – Lee Roy’s school has had several reunions there including dancing to the Dujka Brothers – and this band (Charles & Co.) has lots of followers for a good reason.  Don’t forget that we will be having Charles & the Fabulous 4 playing for our next dance on Septemer 17 at the Sealy American Legion Hall.  That’s a Sunday afternoon, and dance time will be 2 – 5:30 PM and will include a silent auction, door prizes, and the always-popular 50-50 pot.  Put it on your calendar NOW so you won’t inadvertently plan something else that day.

Friday and Saturday were “at-home” days for us, and we definitely needed that time to catch up on some things around the house – and with the extreme heat that we had it was good to be in the house as much as possible.  We had to venture out on Sunday, the 30th, to the aforementioned Taiton Community Center because Texas Legacy Czech Band was celebrating its 10th anniversary as a band.  Part of this band was also with the Bobby Jones Band, but when Bobby disappeared Bob Suttie took over the band under its current name; some musicians stayed and some found other bands to play in.  Fomer Bobby Jones musicians who are with Texas Legacy Czecn Band are Bob Suttie, Mike Gest,  Jimmy Heinsohn, and Joe Zetka, Jr., all excellent musicians.  Drumming for this band is Darrell Pavlas, a lifelong friend of Mike Gest, and also those two guys were in a band together as young children.  Yes, their musical talent goes way back.  The main thing is, we did not “lose” a band.  The music was very good Sunday, and some former band members from the early days of TLCB’s existence came and played a few songs.  The band also welcomed amateur musicians to join in on a few songs.  It was fun.  Bob made it a point to recognize former band members, including our dear friend, Wally Boyer, who was an outstanding accordion player until he was unexpectedly taken from us.  That role is filled by Joe Zetka, Jr. when he’s not playing with the Jodie Mikula Orchestra.  Joe’s an outstanding accordion player, but has musical talents way beyond the accordion.  Besides good music and good dancing for the very nice crowd, a delicious dinner was available for purchase.  Pork steak (grilled and nicely seasoned), pork sausage, pinto beans, broccoli rice casserole, homemade sauerkraut, bread, tea, and peach cobbler were available.  The dinner was only $7 per person, and at only $1 the cobbler was a nice addition.  You missed a good dance AND a good dinner if you did not make it to Taiton.  Look for this band in the dance calendars coming up from now until late in December, and they’ll be playing after that, too.

Now we have a new month, August, and already our dance calendar is getting pretty full.  That’s a good thing, isn’t it?  I’ll be getting additional dances on this site very shortly.  Find some to go to.  It’s good for your body AND your soul!  And think about all the wonderful people you see at polka dances – and other dances, too!  We hope to see you soon!  God bless!

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PARTYING AGAIN

It was a different kind of weekend for us.  We went to a surprise birhday party Cathy Cernosek had planned for hubby Randy.  We were asked to be at the hall on the La Grange Fairgrounds no later than 2:30 PM.  So we were, and so were lots of other folks.  I was glad I had worn shorts since all of the “window” coverings were wide open.  Not even a water-cooled giant-sized fan could cool off the high temps on this July day.  We were told there would be two bands, and we actually saw the Red Ravens and Jeff Woolsey (a popuolar country band) – BUT when we left at 4:30 (for another obligation) the music still had not started.  We had enjoyed visiting with friends, and had enjoyed the bounty of snacks and cold drinks, and would have liked to be able to stay for the entire event, but we had promised that we could “do” both La Grange and the bon voyage party in Houston that club member Linda Maoirana was throwing for long-time church friends and neighbors – and her cruise companion Norman Smoot (another club member) and Lee Roy and me.  Linda was a gracious hostess, and we enjoyed meeting and visiting with her other guests and later eating lasagna, salad, garlic bread and delicious homemade brownies.  We’ll see Linda and Norman next Sunday at New Taiton when Texas Legacy Czech Band plays for the band’s 10th anniversary.   It’ll be a good dance floor, air-conditioning, good music and there also will be a delicious meal available for purchase at a very reasonable $7 per plate.  We’ll get to enjoy a meal of pork steak & sausage, potatoes and another veggie, and cobbler.  Sounds like a good deal to me!  We hope you’ll be there, too!  Go early.  I think it’ll be a big crowd.

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MORE DANCING INFO

Larry & Carolyn Gilmartin have reported to us that they and Eugene & Jeanette Mikes enjoyed dancing on July 15 (last weekend) to the Red Ravens at the Shiner KC Hall, along with many other dancing friends including club members Norman Smoot and Linda Maiorana.  They said it was a stormy night (like some of the weather we experienced at Lake Texana that same day), and that they got 3.2″ of rain at their home in Cypress, though at Shiner it was less rain.  That news makes us a little jealous, as we’ve had only 2.1″ for all of July up through the 21st.  Well, we are happy for whatever rain we do get blessed with.  They also enjoyed the Red Ravens the week before at Rosenberg and said it was the biggest crowd they had ever seen there.  We were there, too, that night for the Happy Cousins Dance Club dance, always the second Saturday of the month.  We have seen larger crowds there, but the sad truth is that these days there seem to be fewer dancers than there used to be.  Could be that folks are getting older and less able, as well as some deaths happening.  Maybe those folks are happily dancing in Heaven.  Thanks, Larry & Carolyn, for letting us know where you were enjoying polka music and dancing when we were unable to dance at all that weekend thanks to an annual family reunion.  Let’s all go as often as possible so that we can keep it alive and well for as long as we are here, and also for future generations to enjoy.

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NO DANCING???? YIKES!!!!

It was a rare weekend in mid-July – NO dancing for us!!!  Couldn’t be helped, as we had a reunion of Lee Roy’s cousins and their descendants.  It happens every year at Lake Texana, just outside of Ganado.  Folks who have travel trailers bring them and make it a several-day event, including us.   This year, though, people started leaving Sunday afternoon, even some who always stay longer (and had paid for Sunday night’s stay), so we were left almost totally alone on Sunday.  It was an eventful Saturday, though, when late Saturday afternoon the wind picked up, it eventually rained (as it had for 15 or 20 minutes on Friday), and according to the Victoria TV station winds were 60 mph.  According to what happened to my hair, I can readily believe that.  Rain came into the pavilion, where we eat, have an auction and play bingo.  Even though the rain was coming from one end of the pavilion, it was reaching us near the other end.  Fortunately, most of the rain stayed out of the pavilion……but for my hair it was definitely a lost cause.  And fortunately it had stopped raining and blowing before we ate.  We hope you danced at least once for us, since we missed out entirely on our dancing this weekend.  Let us know where you danced, how many others did the same thing, and which band you danced to.  We’d like to hear from you.  Shoot me an email to luvtopolka@aol.com.  Next weekend will be lighter than usual on the dance schedule, but I bet you can find a dance somewhwere.  Hope to see you soon on a dance floor.  Be well, and be safe.  God bless.

 

 

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APOLOGY HERE

I’m going to have to eat my words!  Recently I said that when we heard Rabbs Creek Band (several years ago) they were SO BAD that we vowed never to go to one of their dances again.  Well, Friday was my birthday and I hated not to go dancing.  Lee Roy always takes me out to eat on my birthday, so I got to thinking.  We had said several times that we needed to give a restaurant in Eagle Lake a try because we frequently see lots of vehicles there.  So, I thought we could try out the restaurant and then just bite the bullet and go to the first Friday of the month dance at the Eagle Lake Community Center EVEN THOUGH the scheduled band was Rabbs Creek Band, and if the music was intolerable we could always leave early (something that only happens for a very good reason, and very seldom).  So, we headed for Eagle Lake on Friday.  Lee Roy very much enjoyed his meal of gumbo (over white rice) and an egg roll.  He also shared my salad and we shared a shrimp cocktail appetizer.  My meal was fairly tasty, and the cook cooked my steak just right (medium rare), but the steak was tough.  For starters, it was quite thin instead of being much closer to an inch thick.  My experiences in the past have told me that when the steak is thin it is not very desirable.  I also believe that a rib eye should ALWAYS be tender.  There is no reason for it not being nice and tender.  So, we will try that restaurant again, but not the steak.  I’m always quite receptive to shrimp, and friends have told us their shrimp is quite good.  We arrived in plenty of time at the hall, and I had bought a decorated  birthday cake at Brookshire Brothers to put on the table where food is placed by the dancers who bring it to share with everyone.  I did cheat a little and cut a piece for me and a piece for Lee Roy as soon as I put it on the table.  My piece was the one with two beautiful purple roses, and I enjoyed every bite!  Of course it was a dark chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  YUM!  We saw the band setting up, and it didn’t even look like the Rabbs Creek Band we had seen and heard awhile back.  Clearly they’ve change most of the band members – and lo and behold, musically they were quite decent.  The band member in the center at the front of the stage is quite a good musician, vocally and with 3 instruments, the button box, the sax, and the trumpet.  So, the lesson I have learned is not to write off any band.  Give them all another chance (or several) from time to time.  So, I definitely apologize to the band for my earlier negative remarks, and I recommend that you try to give them a listen when you have a chance to do that.

Saturday we went to the monthly club dance at the Rosenberg American Legion hall.  We are members, but this club always welcomes members of the public.  Folks we know (and others) kept on coming in, clearly eager to dance to the music of the Red Ravens.  We even saw some relatives of ours from Pflugerville (Leona and Joe Blackmon), and a second cousin and his wife from Danbury (Jerry & Jackie Kocurek).  Once more we celebrated my 76th birthday, and dear friends Donna Roberts and Lucille Antrich were so kind to bring a beautifully decorated birthday cake for my birthday, dark chocolate with chocolate icing, of course, and red roses, etc. on top and around the edge.  We had also taken the cake from Friday night that had not been eaten, and it was so nice to have so much cake to share with friends.  Quite naturally, everyone enjoyed the Red Ravens’ music, and why wouldn’t they?  Always a pleasure, and also a pleasure to call all of them our friends.  Very nice folks loved by many.  We spent the night in Sugar Land, thanks to Donna & John Roberts’ kind invitation, so that we would be closer for going to Sealy the next day.

Sunday was typical for July in Texas – hot, humid, scattered clouds (which later at night brought .65″ of rain to us), badly needed, and thankfully received.   That makes 1.2″ total for July so far.  We certainly pray for more, but preferably not with a hurricane.  It was the day for the semi-annual meeting/dinner/dance of the Polka Lovers Klub of America, Texas chapter.  The meal was catered by Koopman’s in Schulenburg.  (Thanks, Ron Foley, for selecting a good caterer.)  Ron is a member of our club, also, and we are so happy for that.  Attendance by members was fairly light, but guests who came later made it a good audience of dancers for the band, the Holub Polka Band from Columbus.  Three of our club members are in that band (at least yesterday) – Mike Gest, Jimmy Heinsohn, and Gene Hackemack.  Those 3 guys are very good musicians.  The music was good and everyone was enjoying dancing to their music.  We had good dessert, too.  Klub members brought desserts.  I was so full at dinnertime that I had to wait until close to the end of the dance to eat my dessert, a delicious Yummy Berry Sopapilla Cheesecake I had made and brought, my newest favorite recipe.  We enjoyed participating in the silent auction also, and had to keep a good eye on the things we had bid on.  Even so, two of the items left the hall with other “new owners”.  We are SO looking forward to frying some of the beautiful, freshly-picked okra tonight for dinner!!!  Thanks, Frank Milder, for picking those and putting them in the silent auction!!!   We definitely intend to enjoy them!!!

Well, that is all I know for now.  I’m wanting to hear from YOU about how you enjoyed your weekend – where you danced, how much of a crowd showed up, how the band was, and who they were, etc.  Whatever you’d like to share with us, we’d be happy to hear.  We won’t be able to dance at all next weekend and will definitely miss dancing, so please be sure to dance at least one for us – and let us know about it!!!  God bless, and safe driving.  Spread the word to your friends, relatives and neighbors and invite them to enjoy dancing with you.  If they don’t know how, they can certainly be taught, and how much better off they’ll be if they include dancing in their lives.  And, most likely, happier!

 

 

 

 

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!

Summer is definitely here.  Folks who have been dancing outside (no A/C!) know that for sure.  We danced once inside, once outside, and decided we didn’t need to go to St. John for its annual Fourth of July bash.  We did that once, and decided that 107 degrees is NOT fun even if you’re dancing.  Our dancing this past week started out on Saturday, July 1, when we made our usual trip to the Sealy American Legion for the Sealy Lions Dance Club first Saturday-of-the-month dance.  Yes, it’s a dance club, but they certainly welcome the public.  Charles & the Fabulous 4 was the “band du jour”, and they did an excellent job, even playing more polkas and waltzes (and Czech music) than they usually do.  By the way, don’t forget that we’ve contracted with them to play for our next club dance on September 17, a Sunday afternoon, from 2-5:30.  Be sure to mark your calendar, and invite friends along.  It was a good crowd, and Lee Roy and I were especially happy that Lee Roy’s middle daughter, Micah, joined us.  She still remembers how to dance, as Lee Roy taught all his children how to dance when they were quite young.  We all had a great time and we hope to see her at some dances now and then.  We did hear some sad news, that one of the folks who used to be instrumental in the Sealy Dance Club is in the hospital again.  Robert Galabeas had suffered a stroke a few years ago, and lately he’s had several mini-strokes which also have affected his memory quite a bit.  I’m sure that his wife, Alice, will appreciate prayers for Robert and herself.

Sunday was the annual church picnic at Dubina, where Lee Roy has a special connection.  His great-grandparents are buried at the cemetery on the church property.  We went there a couple of years ago in September and cleaned their gravestones.  It was a pleasure to see them looking much better after we finished.  This is a popular church picnic.  They have a delicious dinner of fried chicken, sausage and all the trimmings including dessert, and they had three bands.  Also a live auction, a country store, Bingo and activities for the kiddos.  The Shiner Hobo Band started at 11 AM and played for two hours; after that, there was a battle dance with music by the Incredible Music Makers and Mark Halata & Texavia until 8 PM.  The food was good, the music was wonderful, the dancing was hot (but still enjoyable), and the socializing was the icing on the cake.  God even sent us a nice little breeze occasionally.  We needed to get home before the music ended, but not too far ahead.  We always hate to miss any of the good music and dancing, but this time we just couldn’t stay until the end.  It was so nice when we discovered that our friends from Clovis, NM had made the trip to Dubina.  They only had one granddaughter with them, precious Lileigh, who even was recognized by the Shiner Hobo Band for her excellent dancing ability (always accompanied by a beautiful smile).  The other 4 grandchildren (siblings) were unable to come on this trip, as their family was having Fourth of July plans at home.  The Hobos even gave Lileigh a CD.  I think Grandma Susie deserved one, too, for teaching these 5 delightful children how to dance.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our dancers would do that?

As I said earlier, we chose not to go to St. John’s annual Fourth of July celebration (typical church picnic with delicious food, excellent music and HOT dancing).  Undoubtedly tons of people chose to go there.  They typically feed 4000 to 5000 people.  Yes, really.  The early music was by the Dujka Brothers and the Red Ravens, so we know for sure that the music was outstanding.  Later they had another band.  I believe it was Texas Dream.  Not much of a polka band, but pretty popular among folks who are not such avid polka aficionados.  We were invited by dancing friends for a pot luck dinner and a wild game of Chicken Foot.  Once more, delicious food (BBQ chicken and ribs, fixed-up beans, homemade potato salad, broccoli salad, and of course desserts – poppyseed cake and Berry Yummy Sopapilla Cheesecake).  Quite a delicious meal – and of course a fun game.  Thanks to all the cooks and to everyone who helped in any way – and for the good polka music on their sound system.

Quite a few things are going on this weekend, and we had to turn down two dance invitations.  We don’t like to have to turn down any invitations, but sometimes it does happen.  I’ll be celebrating my birthday Friday (a happy 76th), and we definitely plan to go out to eat.  If we decide to go to the first Friday dance at Eagle Lake’s Community Center, where Rabbs Creek Band will be playing (definitely NOT our favorite band by a long shot), we’ll eat in Eagle Lake at a place we’ve noticed several times for its apparent popularity.  If we decide against hearing that band, we’ll eat closer to home and miss out on dancing.  There are several dances on Saturday and Sunday, so please be sure to find one or more to your liking.  We must try to dance as much as possible so that we can all continue to enjoy dancing to our favorite music by our dedicated bands.  We all need each other for our dancing to continue – bands, halls and dancers.  Do your part – and invite someone to go with you.  Even if they don’t know how to dance, there are folks who are happy to help them learn.  Lee Roy is one of them.  He’s really dedicated to that, and it’s truly a joy to help people learn something that we know can benefit them for the rest of their lives.  Check your calendar, make your plans, and we’ll see you at a dance soon.

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