Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 92
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
hangover from the days of square dances. It is played mostly
by the children of farmers in and around Poteet. It was ex-
plained to me in a letter from a lady who is fifty or sixty years
old, who played Toodala when she was a girl and whose children
play it now. She said, "I can't tell you much about Toodala
parties, but I know they were invented before I was. Folks
that didn't dance or that lived too far from where they had
dances, in the horse and buggy days, would get together and
play to singing instead of dancing to music, and the sillier and
funnier they could make the song, the more fun there was in it.
I never did dance, but I've had lots of fun at parties, but I
don't know who started them."*
Toodala parties come in with the robins and roses and water-
melons-at all seasons. The people who attend usually range
from twelve to twenty years. No refreshments are ever served,
and no invitations are sent. The word gets around that the
Russells are having a Toodala party Friday night, and Friday
night the Russell's front yard will be filled with young people
singing and playing. Sometimes Toodala is played inside the
house, but it's usually too crowded, and often in the winter time
Toodala is played outside around a big fire.t
I have been to a few Toodala parties, and I have always
enjoyed them. There is a gaiety, a freshness, a spontaneity
present seldom found in our present-day social gatherings. One
time I went to a Toodala party at which not only the young
people, but also the members of different families of the sur-
rounding farms, were present. Some of the fathers and mothers
stayed inside the house and played Forty-two and Dominoes
by lamplight; some of the women were in the front bed-room
gossiping; and then some of the men were out on the front
porch smoking Bull Durham, chewing Brown Mule, and dis-
cussing the weather and crops. The young people were in the
front yard playing Toodala, while the younger children were
in the back yard playing Hide-and-go-Seek and Flying Dutch-
man. Then some of the young men who had outgrown Toodala
were sitting and leaning on the bed of one of the "Pickup"
*Excerpt from a letter received from Mrs. W. W. Goldman, Poteet, Texas,
on June 24, 1940.
tExcerpt from a letter received from Lois Goldman, Poteet, Texas, June 24,
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/100/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.