Monday, February 25, 2008

Honky Tonks & Dance Halls

I happen to like words.

Put a few of them together and you get a phrase, a clause, or even a sentence, the yeoman of language because it is a complete idea with a subject and an action, as in, "Jesus wept." String together related sentences and you enlarge the idea into the form of a paragraph. Relate enough words in sentences and paragraphs and you can write a whole book. Amazing.

All that to say that the lowly word is important. That's preface 1.

Preface 2.
One of the things you learn when you write a weblog is that your readers know more than you do, and if you "wing it" with your words, as I do, you will get caught.

Such was the case in the Gruene Hall post.

Now The Point (I try to have one):
I referred to Gruene Hall as a honky tonk and was informed by reader pkparks that it was a dance hall. And that there is a difference. My mistake. Gruene Hall does bill itself as the oldest Dance Hall in Texas, not Honky tonk. In my defense, Wikipedia defines a honky tonk as "a type of bar with musical entertainment common in the Southwestern and Southern United States." and if you do a search of "dance halls" on Google, the first website on the list is "Honky-Tonk Directory."

That aside, I enjoy these kinds of distinctions and I want to know the difference. If someone can enlighten me, I would be most appreciative.

Pkparks also referred us to the website dedicated to preserving Texas dance halls, here it is,

1 comment:

psparks said...

Great blog! Thanks for returning to the subject. Texas Dance Hall Preservation is a nonprofit organization committed to saving Texas dance halls (inclusive...'true' dance halls like Gruene, honky tonks, juke joints, etc). We love them all. In our dance halls, Texas has the largest, most physically and culturally intact resource associated with America’s music heritage. At one time there were perhaps a thousand dance halls like Gruene built by German, Czech, Polish, and other immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century. I'll look forward to your readers' comments on the distinctions among the various types of places to dance.