Thursday, August 5, 2010

Costume Dances

Subtitled: “Excuse me, Miss, could you put down your pipe and dance with me?”

For as long as I knew her, my mother-in-law, Louise, loved to dance.   Her father, Casper Kluthe, taught her to kick up her heels at his barn dances in the 1930s, when he wasn’t busy on stage playing his accordion.  The smell of the hay, the noise of the crowd as they whooped and hollered, the thundering stomp of feet and the clapping of hands got her hooked for life.  She grew up to be one of the founders of the Tri-County Dance Club in her small town, and as seen in the photo at left (that’s her in the dress), she never missed the opportunity to show someone a new dance step.

Some of her best stories came, in between bouts of laughter, the day after a costume dance.  You never knew who would turn up as your dance partner…

A witch, a hairy old guy, a strange pipe-smoking lady, a dirty bum, a ghoul, or perhaps… is that Michael Jackson on the right end??

Even Abe Lincoln might show up…

While his wife was on the dance floor, donning long-johns and a rubber chicken-head mask, her husband Herb was listening to the sad tales of this poor depressed snowman…or is that a snow-woman?  Who knows!


  1. Oh this made me smile. That's wonderful! I'd love to have a Casper in my family tree - boot stompin' dancin. That's gotta be fun... and the costumes are fab - I want to go to a costume dance like that! :D

  2. We all loved Louise at the courthouse! I still miss her and Barb Alley and the stories they could tell. Louise also, always, carries a small (sometimes not so small) bottle of her cough medicine (blackberry brandy) in her purse. If she heard you coughing, you took a swig, whether you wanted one or not. Those were the "good ole' days"!

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories... I think everyone who ever knew her, misses her.