Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 44
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
other fire-place room to the men folks. There wasn't but one
bed in there, but four or five could sleep at once by lying cross-
Plenty of bedding is a necessity even when there isn't much
furniture. Many of the houses are open to the roof. "I wouldn't
live in a house that was ceiled overhead," one old-timer told me.
"It ain't healthy and besides there's too much danger from fire."
One family lost everything they had in a fire. (This house
wasn't ceiled overhead either.) A neighbor who had helped them
out said, "We got together fifteen quilts for them. They can
make out with them until Annie can get some more made."
Play-parties are much enjoyed and are usually attended by
the whole family. The host and hostess have little to do with the
invitations. They just tell their nearest neighbors that they will
give a party at their home on a certain night. The word spreads.
Someone sends word to the Jones family up the creek and the
"Woodses" who live across the ridge. It makes little difference
how many come because no one serves refreshments. They come
Sometimes they play inside the house, but usually there isn't
room. The babies are put to sleep on the beds, and the old
people too decrepit to play use the chairs. So most of the crowd
gather in the yard and play singing games like "We're Marching
Round the Levee," "Old Dad Tucker," and "Shoot the Buffalo."
Another favorite diversion is listening to the old ballads and folk-
songs. Sometimes these are sung by the older people, but not
always. I've known a young man who sings without accom-
paniment to entertain a crowd at a neighborhood gathering for
hours by singing these old songs. They also enjoy the more
modern songs so long as the theme is a sad one. "The Letter
Edged in Black," "When the Work's All Done Next Fall,"
"Mother, Put My Little Shoes Away," and "My Mother Was a
Lady" are some that I remember hearing.
Sometimes when there haven't been enough parties to suit
the socially minded, the young folks resort to "storming." This
means that they choose a home for a party and surprise or
"storm" the family by coming in unannounced. The most
popular people are chosen to be stormed, and the hostess must
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/52/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.