Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tom's Barn Party

This past weekend we drove down to Delaware to attend Tom's Barn Party. Lil' Ann & the Hot Cayennes provided the music. We ate, drank and danced until midnight. It was definitely worth the six hour drive.

The Barn Party was by Tom's personal invitation only. There were about 180 people there, almost all of whom were experienced zydeco dancers, so the level of dancing was pretty good. Folks came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., and probably from elsewhere too.

I had met Tom at a couple of festivals, although my attending the event came from being with Judy and Cordy. Tom hosts the barn party periodically, the last time being two years ago. When we first got there I thought I saw him twice - directing the parking of cars on the lawn and then standing at the registration table. I did a double-take only to find out he had a double. It was his twin brother helping with the parking.

I recognized many of the dancers from other festivals I've now attended- Buffalo Jam, Ninigret, Moodus, and Strawberry Park. I'm tellin' ya, I'm traveling the circuit.

Like almost all of the dances, there was a pot-luck dinner. The food was excellent. The highlight was the chur-ducken (a duck stuffed inside a chicken stuffed inside a turkey). I also had pesto tortellini, roasted and fresh vegetables, and shrimp. There was more but I didn't want to stuff myself. The dessert table was fantastic. I limited myself to homemade brownies, oatmeal cookies and fresh-baked apple pie.

The barn itself was very cool. It was a big, giant room with a high ceiling and low walls. The floor was wide-planked, polished wood. The walls and the ribbed cathedral dome-like ceiling were wood and was stained what looked like to me a mahogany color. It really reminded me of an inverted wooden ship. It was the classiest barn I've ever seen. Parked outside of the barn, in its driveway, were several beautifully restored cars. I noticed a baby blue 1957 Chevy BelAir, among others. Afterwards I learned that the barn was used as a storage facility for antique cars. I think, were I to see the barn in its normal usage, it would make the beautifully restored cars look even better.

Heather Rabinowitz, photographer extordinaire, had an exhibition of her photographs along the walls. Of course, I had to walk around to see if there were any pictures of me. I did find one and realized I was wearing the same shirt in the picture as I was wearing just then. My festival shirt.
Heather took a picture or two of us; I'll look the same again.

As before, I danced almost every dance for the entire evening. Afterwards, when we got back to the hotel and had showered and bedded down for the night, my feet stiffened up so bad I could hardly walk. Another case of Festival Feet. Fortunately, my body loosened up sufficiently for the long drive home the next morning.

The Barn Party had been described to me as magical. I think, looking back on it, it could be described that way. There was excellent food, friendly conversation, top-notch music and wonderful dancing. The high, domed, cathedral ceiling that arched down to the low walls created a womb-like environment which enveloped us and in which we all felt the camardarie of sharing a special time together. I hope I get the chance to go again. It just might have been the best dance I've ever been to.


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