When it comes to country music, I have my favorites; Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw to name a few, but the one artist that really touches my heart and floods my senses with memories is George Strait. That guy is not only good looking, can sing like no one else and his songs, well they are life, my life. I love to dance, got that from my parents and the yearly Christmas Party that my dad put together for the local union lumber workers. It was a huge scene with families, speeches, gold watches, music (always country) and dancing. I loved that time of year, I was the star when my dad would sprinkle down corn meal on the linoleum floor to make it easier for your feet to slide and we would two-step around the hall. So when I grew up it seemed natural to gravitate to the dance halls and country western swing.
I was in my early 20's and was recently divorced from my oldest son's father. Working very hard during the the week going to school, being a single parent and holding a part-time job, my parents felt strongly that Friday/Saturday nights were mine to go out with friends and be a "college student". It was a time that I could unwind my uptight life and have fun. There were 2-3 country western bars in Chico, CA: "The Jolly Fox" was an older bar with a small dance floor, a live band and if you had been going there long enough you recognized everyone. It had the best band with a cool Juke Box for the breaks, so the music never stopped. Then a new bar called "Western Lights" opened. It had younger crowd and a slightly bigger dance floor, along with another bar "Wild Horse Saloon" that was in downtown, had the college atmosphere and a mechanical bull (that I never rode).
I frequented the Fox along with a friend, Carla that I met in college, we never paid a cover charge and hardly had to by drinks because she was friend's with the door man. It was a great time in my life, I loved the atmosphere, the jokes and the taste of Coca Cola from the bar, I was usually the designated driver. But one day, my friends Carla and Heather got together and planned a birthday party for me because I never had the official "turning 21" smash and they thought it was time for me to cut loose. So on my 22nd birthday, I cut loose, got smashed and met the love of my life, my best friend, my future husband, David.
Thinking about this now, destiny has a sense of humor. Picture this, me with drinks of various mixes all with straws lined up in a row with a birthday cake. It seems that when bar patrons find out it is your birthday, everyone buys you drinks and with me being a total light weight, I was pretty smashed by my second "Sex on the Beach" and here comes this tall, good looking guy that wears his wranglers well asking me to dance. It had to be a joke, I could barely walk and he wants me to dance. So I pull myself together and out onto the dance floor we go. I don't remember the song, I do remember it was a 4 count and he had to teach me some steps, and it was magical. So much so that by the next weekend, I am back at the "Fox", sober this time and he asks me to dance again, but in his mind he thinks I have forgotten the steps and when we hit the dance floor, it was like magic; him and I just clicked. He was talking to me through his hands, guiding me along the floor. All the girls wanted to dance with him, he was very good actually one of the local radio stations "Country Kickers" and I was mesmerized.
To be continued......