Flyfishing is my only real hobby simply because I can’t figure out how to claim honkytonking as an actual hobby. Cause then I’d have two. I love old honkytonk music, and I mean I L-O-V-E love it. Not to brag, but I know it pretty well too. Luckily my husband loves me loving it, he digs the scene, and is getting up to speed on Texas outlaw and old western swing.
But midlife parenting duties and the who-knows-where-the-time-goes business of life have been keeping us from the neon glow of late. So Friday night it was time to plug back in to the Old South Austin hotspots: The Broken Spoke and The Horseshoe Lounge. We dined at the Spoke (famous for its chicken fried steak) then watched the band setup and the couples scoot around the dance floor during the two step lessons.
The Professor snapped this pic from our people-watching stools right at the bar. As you can see when I say honkytonk I’m not talking about the modern megaplex Cowboys linedancing type place. How fine is this?
I made a return trip to the ladies restroom just to document the straight up love the Spoke has for George Strait. Nothing but George on all four walls.
Until my keen eye noticed that ‘one of these things was not like the others.’ Did you catch it too? Apparently they snuck one Robert Redford photo in there and a Robert Redford pic is not going to slip by me.
First of all, I’d love to get inside the mind of the person that decoupages all four walls with George Strait collages, but includes just one Robert Redford picture. Why Robert Redford? And B…is it just me or does Bobby’s horse look like it’s wearing a blonde wig? Reminds me of some other fool…hmm, if I could just put my finger on who it is.
I’ll tell you what did slip by me…leaving the Spoke in the dark the Professor barely noticed this longhorn hanging out all by himself in the parking lot. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Random even by Austin standards…
I’d understand if there was some dude in chaps and a red bandana hawkin’ photo ops for tourists or a bunch of Longhorn fans in for the game who rented him for the night. But no one was nearby. Que paso?
A longhorn in front of a construction site…pretty much the new chamber of commerce poster for Austin. Don’t get me started.
We popped over to the Horseshoe for a few Lone Stars and tunes. Apparently I haven’t lost my magic touch because as usual I owned the jukebox. You know you’ve put in some good selections when the bartender, who is trapped there with that same jukebox night after night, cranks up the volume and raves about your musical taste. Thanks Dixie! I propped my elbows against the thick foam padding that lines the legendary horseshoe-shaped bar and sang my heart out. At one point The Professor shushed me in favor of actually hearing Willie and Merle’s voices. I pouted for a verse or so then kicked right back into gear, but louder. Can’t hide me under a bushel, no. I was happy, everything was good there. After a trip the ladies room where there are very favorable mirrors, I came back and gleefully announced my restroom revelation that I was even better looking at the Horseshoe! How was the Professor even keeping his hands off me? Wow, was he ever showing some restraint.
Of course this wasn’t the first time I had fallen victim to the false surge of late night self esteem brought on by beer, music, and lots of laughter. For they’re only fleeting things, my elusive dreams.
I could NOT wind down once we were home. Like the John Conlee song ‘Friday Night Blues’ the Professor was wiped out and taking his shoes off while I was revved up and putting mine on. I was bouncing off the walls singing Jody Miller ‘Queen of the House’ and acting like Eliza Doolittle dancing around crooning ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’. (That’s not honkytonk, nor is it a simile. I was actually singing the My Fair Lady Song, British accent and all.) When the Professor saw the time, he hit the panic button.
HIM: “It’s nearly midnight! I gotta get to sleep, I have to get up early and play golf in the morning!”
ME: “That sounds like white people problems. Your tee time is not my honkytonk concern.”
With that he reached into a nearby shoebox and uncast his ballot for me as Demure Model Wife 2012. Damn. So much for that hard fought campaign and all the money spent on an image consultant. Then, at the stroke of midnight my honkytonk fairytale turned pumpkin on me and I heard Willie’s voice in my head, just as I had so many times before. Turn out the lights…the party’s over…it seems that all good things must end….
We fell asleep watching the Brain Williams’ 5 o’clock newscast on DVR.
Here are a few of the badass songs I played on the jukebox Friday night. Go download:
- Tammy Wynette ‘Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad’
- Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard ‘Poncho & Lefty’
- Buck Owens ‘Tiger By the Tail’ (selection #2702 and I have literally played it every single time I have ever been inside the Horseshoe Lounge which is a lot of times.)
(Copyright 2012 by Christine Warren)
Have a honkytonk song that just popped into your head? Leave it in a comment! Maybe just a snippet of some lyrics? Share them! I am always looking for more songs to download on iTunes or punch into the jukebox. Don’t worry, excessive commenting won’t impair your ability to make decisions or operate heavy machinery.