Freekly Fiction Vol. 6

Freekly Fiction Vol. 6
Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Saturday Night Street Festival

Submitted by Nancy Hartney

You hear the band crank into action, twang out the first tune, warm up. Heavy on the drum with rhythm guitar pulsing into the humidity. Hot damn.

Street closed off, asphalt radiating heat, fountain throwing water droplets catching the last light. Late afternoon that’s gonna stomp into the evening. Too far back to get a good look, but you know somebody’s dancing wearing a straw cowboy hat, cream colored with a narrow black band—the kind that comes from any western wear outlet.

You push through the crowd, do your own hip action as you gyrate toward the stage, music vibrating in your head. You shuffle and do a hand flutter and shoulder roll. Ease on over into the fringe of the crowd, jiving, feeling good.

Two male dancers in a circle of on-lookers got it going. You spot the cowboy hat, faux pearl snaps on a blue shirt. He’s prancing with a man in a baseball cap wearing a Harley-Davidson tee. You take in the smiles, notice the fellers sweating bullets. Lordy, you lose yourself in that raucous beat.

Cowboy got a small head, broad flat hands, and short neck. Tee-shirt wearing a beer-pot and ruddy face. They got moves incongruous with their doughboy appearances. Did you ever see anyone so flexible? Doing the bump, knocking hips cause it’s done that way. Girls off to the side, can’t keep up.

Line dance getting started. Youfeel it. Slide, slide, step back, cross leg bend, kick, spin and slide, slide, kick. Yee-haw.

Honkey-tonk delight from that guitar picker, seamless and fine. Tee, smiles gold tooth flashing, snatches the lead from Cowboy, moves into the groove, hips swiveling. They hustle with heads bobbing side-to-side and feet stomping, keeping time. Hands grasp, slide down the arm, do a pass-under, swing out and back in a round strut. Fingers jabbing air, acting sassy, doing a one-foot spin.

Band sits back, cools down, takes a break. You finish your brew and watch while Cowboy approaches the stage, got a song request. Lead guitarist smiles, nods, gives a fist bump.

Barefoot children splash through the fountain and shake strings of wet hair like dogs. Squeals jump iridescent blue into the crowd. Evening sun starts down.

Second set. Acoustic guitar got the melody line for Johnny Cash ‘I Walk the Line.’ You throw your head back when the keyboard mimics that trumpet call and glide up front with a flatfoot Texas Two-Step on display, strutting your fine kicker moves. Your country soul knows this rhythm, snatched vibrating from the poor side of town.

Third set starts to loop. Ropes of street light pop on and shove night aside. Air perfumed with beer, cotton candy, and hot dogs with kraut. Street barriers hold the delight, life abandoned to the moment.

You laugh right out loud. Cowboy and Tee still working it. Girls lounging on the side. You can’t be no better place. Dancing. Sweating. Strutting. Summertime street festival.

Categories: Galleries