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DOTTIE'S FAIRLAINE: Arriving at yet another dance hall, I found the car but no Dazzling Dottie.
                               

Goin' Honky-Tonkin'
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

The door hadn't quite closed when in walks a pair of jeans so tight they might have been painted on.  The bottom part was tucked into a pointy-toed cowgirl boots.  
The jeans were held up, as if that were necessary, by a silver concho belt
that reflected light like beads of dew. 

      

H.jpg (7579 bytes)higher up she wore a white cowboy shirt with sleeves cut off at the shoulders and pearl snaps down the front that strained to honor their task.  She had just about run out of places to wear silver and turquoise jewelry, and topping off the outfit was a straw hat that blended into a long blond ponytail.
       "See what you can do with a little extra effort,?" Ollie congratulated me with a rowdy slap on the back.
       "A round for the house, " Ollie hollered to Married Marilyn as he swung his arm out wide taking in the whole bar. "And don't forget my sidekick, he's just getting started."

       Quicker than thought the place filled up with a small crowd.  "Jeez," I thought, "who's story is this anyway."
       Reaching as deep in my pockets as I could out came a wad of bills the likes of which I'd never seen.  I peeled off a hundred dollar bill while Ollie was introducing me to Dottie and Boots.  Smoother than the slightest shift in the wind, Ollie and Boots were on the dance floor two-stepping to the Hank Williams' tune, "Hey Good Lookin".
       That left me and Dottie to ourselves. 
       Now I was really on the horns of a delima knowing this scene was at least partly my doing and anything I pondered might transpire.  I had to be extra careful and back off from my usual train of thought around pretty womenfolk. In short, I had to pretend to be somebody else.
       Then, looking out on the dance floor, I saw Ollie and Boots doing the Texas swing.  As he spun her around an extra turn he winked at me again as if he knew my situation.
       I was slipping deep in thought -- or to put a finer edge to it -- out of thought as I tried to keep my imagination under control when the tune on the jukebox turned to Kitty Wells singing "It Wasn't God Who Made Honkey Tonk Angles."  
       As Ollie and Boots joined Dazzling Dottie and me at the bar he leaned over and whispered,  "Relax pardner.  Nobody shares your reality.  Figured you'd have a handle on that by now."
       "Ollie," I whispered back, "the road trip.  We're supposed to be on a road trip."
       "Hot dang!" Ollie shouted.  "Ladies, how's about going honky tonkin?"
       Like a shot out of a shovel, Ollie and Boots were in the back seat of a red and white '56 Ford Fairlaine with white tucked and rolled leather seats, a brilliant red dashboard and Dazzling Dottie at the wheel. We were going honky tonkin'.
       The landscape was different to a fraction.  The highways were all two-lane and the traffic was thin to the extreme.   As I was pondering this Ollie put in, "Ya know, pardner, your friend Nigel wasn't made for these roads. Not yet."
       At my best reckoning we were tourin' Texas back in 1958.  The weather was ideal in every respect, including that little white puff of a cloud that followed along overhead blocking the sun just right.  
       On the radio Hank Williams was singing:
              "If you've got the money honey, I've got the time,
               We'll go honky-tonking and we're gonna have a time.
               We'll make all the night spots, dance with the music fine
               If you've got the money honey, I've got the time.
"
       Dottie and Boots were laughing at Ollie's lies, but I was still busy trying to pretend to be somebody else.   The trouble was I couldn't settle on one that didn't share the same too-familiar thoughts regarding Dazzling Dottie I was laboring so diligently to avoid.
       We must have hit every dancehall in the Hill Country -- Gruene Hall, Devil's Backbone, Fisher Hall, Twin Sisters, Cherry Springs, Sisterdale, Anhalt Hall and several others.  As soon as someone mentioned a honkey tonk we'd be pulling into the parking lot. As if that wasn't confusing enough, sometimes it'd be well into the night, then afternoon, then night all over again.
bikes.jpg (93506 bytes)       I thought I heard Ollie say, "Looking back," as I was pondering parallel universes, black holes, remote viewing, time warps, stargates and therapy.  Suddenly things started looking right familiar.  We were in Luckenbach.
        Or at least I was.  Dottie, Boots and Ollie were nowhere to be seen.  I was sitting inside Nigel the Land Rover and staring at a congregation of shiny motorcycles across the street.  Grabbing my camera I went looking for everyone. Approaching the General
TurnA.jpg (4971 bytes) Store/Post Office end of the bar I came across Dottie's Fairline, empty.
      

PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT   /  PAGE 2: HONKY TONKIN'
PAGE 3: LUCKENBACH  /  PAGE 4: HEADIN' HOME


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