acrylic on canvas
“NO! We don’t do THAT,” I complained. “We dance, do the do-see-doe and other calls but we don’t hee-haw like that.”
“Okay. So I guess you just ride your horses and do a John Wayne huh? Hehehe…”, he chided.
It will be seven years since my brother and I have been doing squaredance.
Yes. Squaredance… where men wear cowboy hats and boots, dress up in plaid shirts and have their fingers slide into these wide belts with big metal buckles. The women don on dresses that are a bit more colorful – collared, plaid blouses with fringes, boots and yeah they wear petticoats. To do a squaredance, there must be four couples or pairs – male and female. Then there’s a caller – or one who calls out the steps.
“What’s your group called?” asked Olive, one night when I taught a group of friends four years ago how to do it.
“The Manila Hoedowners Club,” I said.
“So, do you get to ride a horse and wear spurs on your boots?” asked Nelson.
“We don’t have HORSES,” I said.
We slowly filed into the chapel where PL’s ashes are interred. His ashes were in a white urn with golden trimmings on top of a mahogany table that served as an altar. Beside it was a big photo wearing a somber stare and had a black frame.
“That’s the picture I framed,” my brother whispered, and motioned with his lips towards PL’s picture.
“Didn’t you get goosebumps while you were doing it?” I asked him in a hushed tone.
“Yeah, I did,” he said.
“And to think that we used to see him in the squaredance sessions doing the more difficult calls,” I added and my brother nodded.
We walked to the front pew and said our condolences to his wife M.L. She was wearing her silver tie clip, the same kind that PL used to wear when he’d go squaredancing.
The tie clip was a horse’s head.
Note: The Manila Hoedowners Club is the first squaredance club in the country meeting every weekend at the Manila Golf Clubhouse.