Recently I was in one of Nashville’s libraries of culture.
Oh well, you know, a honky tonk. Sittin’ there minding my own business. Cokes for two bucks and you tip the band once an hour. Listening to the music and watching the folks is pure culture at its best.
It’s a bit after 10 p.m., about the time all the college kids come out. I’d been sitting next to some folks from Boston, folks about my age. The space next to me was empty when in walks five or six young ladies. They were young people about the age or maybe a bit younger than our oldest grandchild (twenty somethings?). They asked if they could take those seats. Sure, we told them. Now on the bandstand that night was one of my Nashville favorite’s, ole Harry Fontana. He and his band are cookin’ and the kids are all dancing.
This little gal in the group sits down next to me and says, “Hey, you come in here often?” “Yes.” “How about you” I ask. “Yea” we come in all the time, we really like Harry.” About this time a guy walks up to her and asks her to dance. Now he does look a bit seedy. With a bit of hesitation she accepts. They dance and I must say the guy can dance. When she finishes she comes back to her seat, passing me she says, “Never met him before, he ain’t no ten, but he can dance.”
As she sips her drink she asked me, “How old are you and why do you come in here?” I laughed and told here “I am more than old enough to be your grandfather.” “Well my grandfather is” and she tells me his age. “I still have your grandfather beat” I reply. “Oh my” her reaction. “Yea you are older than him.” Youth and truth they often are brutally so.
Now ole seedy reappears and once again asks her to dance. Back up they go for another dance. This time with a bit more enthusiasm. Again, they both are good dancers and enjoyable to watch. The dance is finished and she returns to her seat. Then she says a classic line to me. The line: "I sure hope he asks me to dance again, but I sure hope he doesn’t ask if he can take me home.”
In life there are some things we want from people and there are some things we don’t. To the young ladies credit I think she had this one figured out. In the words of the old 50s’ rock-n-roll song by the Drifters: