The Muleshoe Heritage Foundation hosted a dance party Thursday night at the Heritage Center.
I arrived around 6:15 and the crowd had started gathering. Bringing one’s own chair was encouraged, so I brought mine, but they also had some picnic tables with benches set up as well. Large fans for air circulation were also set up, considering the heat we have had lately, but the wind took care of that for us.
Chris and Gina Mardis directed people to the serving line inside the Santa Fe Depot for the barbecue sandwich cooked by Craig Black, along with chips, cookies provided by Heritage board members and friends, and a cold bottle of water.
Inside, Charles and Sharon Riegel were selling tickets for the barbecue and dance, and Vickie Burch, Rhonda Myers, and Scott Miller were serving the barbecue.
The meal was enjoyed in the shade of trees and shadow of the Depot as more people gathered and the band set up on the trailer provided by Kirby and Vicki Burch.
A dance floor was brought in from Lubbock, just the right size for the approximately 200 people who came to eat, dance, and visit, happy that their ticket money would be used by the Heritage Foundation for renovations and general upkeep of the grounds. Brittany Pendley, who wears two hats these days, one as manager of the Muleshoe Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, and one as the bossy person at the Heritage Center office, as she put it, said the Heritage board’s wish is to keep the history and heritage of Muleshoe and this area alive, so we can all be a part of Muleshoe’s future. She said the funds raised will also help the board put on more events at the center for the community to enjoy. Craig Black, United Supermarket, Chase Lloyd and Capital Farm Credit, and several other generous donors helped make the event a reality.
Tickets for a 50/50 raffle were on sale to add to the funds raised. Billy Pendley, Thurman and Rhonda Myers, and Londi Blackwell manned the raffle ticket booth.
The band, Jake Hooker and the Outsiders from Decatur, Texas, provided the Western Swing music.
For me personally, the upright bass, or what I always thought was called a bass fiddle, really adds to any musical genre, so that was a treat for me.
At first, no one was willing to be the first to dance, but it didn’t take but a song or two and the ice was broken.
It’s never too early for dads to teach daughters the two-step.
A new member of the band, Eugen Kim, was spotlighted to play a classical excerpt to demonstrate the difference between a violin and a fiddle, since a violin, as Jake told us, tongue in cheek, has strings, but a fiddle has strangs. You get the idea…
Near the end of the music, the drawing for the raffle was held, and Dani Heathington won $880 of the $1760 collected from ticket sales. Dani had already departed, but daughter Mindy collected for her.
The band wanted to end with a couple of favorites, Silver Wings, and Faded Love, both of which filled the dance floor to overflowing. Jake then surprised us with what I think was originally done by Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag, which brought everyone to their feet, after which we all sang God Bless America.
The finale was a rousing Deep in the Heart of Texas, and the night was over, a success for the Heritage Center and lovers of dancing and country music.
We must do it again sometime.
Thanks to Brittany Pendley and Gina Mardis for their help with this story.
For tours at the Heritage Center or more information on how you can help the center, call 806-272-5873 or Brittany at 806-477-9649.