Stewart, Bud - Hall dances in Montague & South Kings | Bowing Down Home


File: stewartbud06-oh-dancehalls_M.mp3


BS – Bud Stewart

KP – Curator Ken Perlman

KP: What was life like growing up on a farm.

BS: Not that great, not easy. There wasn’t a lot of money but everybody was pretty much in the same boat. We didn’t really know any better. The things we have today, the material things we did without all that, and so did everybody else. There were some people that didn't have a car when I left. I had one, but - That was 1954. Shortly after that things started getting better: cars and trucks, and tractros and that sort of stuff.

KP: Did you go to dance halls?

BS: Oh yes.

KP: Where:

BS: Around different communities. There’d be a dance in Iris, there’d be a dance in Caledonia, a dance in Iona. It only cost 35 cents. And you might buy a hamburger or whatever if there was that sort of thing. You'd help pay gas for whoever had the car or truck. And lots of times it would be on the back of a gravel truck.

KP: You’d ride to the dance on the back of a gravel truck?

BS: Yeah, think nothing of it. There wouldn't be gravel in it but it wouldn’t be all that clean I suppose, either. We'd meet at the Corner [in Caledonia, now the intersection of Rtes 315 and 24], especially Saturday nights, and there'd be a whole [bunch of us] and whoever came along, whoever would stop: truck, car, bus, it didn’t matter; it didn't matter at all. We were only too happy to get it: 50 cents maybe some of them would charge. Some of them they were goin' anyway, they wouldn't charge.

KP: What were the dances like?

BS: In Montague, first of all you'd go to the show, there was a film theatre in Montague. You'd get the early show at Yeo's Theatre. The building is still there, it's now the Arts Center. That was 35 cents. Then you'd go to the dance after, and that was 35 cents. And you'd buy whatever, they'd sell hotdogs and hamburgers there, drinks. Two bucks didn't take long gone, [that's] generally what you got for Saturday night. Yeah, everyone was in the same boat. In Montague it was called the Beaver Club Hall. And it was Jack Webster, he was the resident fiddler for Saturday nights. And it was one big hall, and it was one great big dance. It was a great place to meet girls, and girls to meet guys.