Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas @ Teague

The Corsicana Swing Orchestra played last night in Teague, Texas - about 30 miles south of here. I realize that we have the tendency to make fun of stuff. . . no, make that I have the tendency. I have never played a job like this before - and we did it for free - makes it more different.

Teague is a small town. As with many small towns, they have a Christmas tour of homes - y'know the drill. 4 or 5 houses are decorated for being to tour - pay ten bucks or so and drive the the houses- be nosey - punch and cookies. In a small town, you know all the important people, especially those who can afford ten dollars.

The Venue: I drove into town on U.S. 84, nice 4 lane. Turned right onto Whipporwill Lane - a one lane paved road heading north out of town, barbed wire fence on the right edge and houses on the left. About a quarter mile up the road I met a bus and had to leave the actual roadbed. Eventually I found 1511 and pulled in the circle drive. A volunteer fireman directed me to drive around - across the grass - behind the house and behind the gazebo and behind the bell choir. Yes, that's what I said - the bell choire.

More set-up: They had a one-story ranch type house with the circle drive. A small barn set in the far corner of the lot. You walk out the back door, step off the porch on to a path. The path is lined with real rough bricks. Between them are rough pave stone. It winds about 15 feet and opens into a large patio - but it continues winding to another building.

The building: If you can think of a wood frame house, roof and 2x4s....that's all.
A concrete floor with a roof over it. The side are 2x4s placed every 12 inches. The inside is covered with screen - but they have completely wrapped the outside of the house with thick plastic. It is what they call their outdoor living room. Inside are patio type chairs and recliners. Hanging from the ceiling is a quilt rack for sewing on a quilt.

So, I arrived. Somebody's church bell choir was inside the room performing. I didn't get there early enough to praise them. They finished about 7 - broke down their tables - we set up and started to play. This building is about 20 x 20. covered in plastic. No audience really. Two hours we played Christmas music as people toured the house and walked down the path to peek inside the plastic mansion.

We got so much praise, it oozed out my ears.

I have never played in an outside room, covered in plastic, as a cold front rolled through. I played one song with my coat, one song without. People who play dances and the likes would never believe the venue. It was fun, I suppose. I like to play my horn... even played a couple of solo ballads. I do love ballads.

In my youth, I'd have made all kinds of jokes about this - but, now, I see it as a great thing for the town of Teague. They were really happy.

On the drive home, I was stopped for no license plate light. Warning.
an aside. Today, for lunch we drove sough to Fairfield to eat at Sam's. We had heard about the place and thought we'd check it out before company comes and we need to find a place to eat. It was a good buffet - the BBQ was really yummy.

We finished eating and stepped into their gift shop. Within 5 minutes, the boss of the band and his wife talked to me -- our female bass player came by and talked to me - and the lady owner of the above mentioned house stopped to chat with me. I met 5 people from Teaque in 5 minutes - more than the number I meet in Corsicana in 5 weeks.

we go on - Happy Christmas Season and all that jazz.

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