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The Last Hoedown - True Story From My Childhood

The last hoedown

This is a true story as I remember it of the last hoedown at my grandparent’s home.

I will relate this story as I remember it. And relate the incident in a poem. Remember this is from the memory of a little girl, although I don’t know if what happened had anything to do with ending the hoedowns, it was the last one I remember, at Mammaw and Pampa's home.

Shyron - Little Brother - Shelby

Shyron - Little Brother - Shelby

High Cotton

Walking to the wagon at the end of another tired cotton picking day

Shelby and I dragged our cotton sacks with their heavy contents, and mine made heavier by my two year old little brother as he climbed onto my sack for a ride, along with our weary little bodies for our walk to the buckboard wagon, to have our cotton sacks weighed and emptied for the last time of that day. We were anxious to climb up on the freshly picked cotton to lie down and unwrinkled the kinks in our tired bones after another long, hot, sweaty cotton picking day.

We put our bonnets over our eyes and relaxed on the ride back to our grandparent’s home, where Shelby and I along with our four siblings were living at the time.

A cool breeze was blowing as the wagon pulled into the barn yard Shelby and I both sat upright the aroma of Mammaw's peach cobbler was intoxicating and told of more than just peach cobbler. Mammaw made her favorite special peach cobbler when something was up, like family get-togethers, but they were always earlier in the day and usually on Sundays.

The sight of Uncle Julian gave us renewed energy, a hoedown was in the making. We ran past him and into the house as Mammaw called out "You girls, hurry-up and get cleaned-up, before people start showing up!" Pampa had not said a word, of course he hardly ever spoke to me or Shelby or any of the little ones for that matter, except to warn us of something dangerous. In fact sometimes I wondered if he even knew any of us by name.


Preparing for the Hoedown, how did the word get out?

By the time we drew water and filled the wash basins it was chilly and we hurried to wash-up and get dressed even though Mammaw had built a fire in the fireplace to take the chill out of the room. Strange weather, it had been so hot during the day, now here we were needing heat.

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The Last Hoedown (Poem)

© by Shyron Shenko


The hoedown started out just right

No inkling of danger in sight

The instruments all tuned

It would be a good night

With good food, music and dancing

All were content


Although a stranger came in with the musicians

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Without an instrument

And no one knew who he came in with

No one knew when he left

Or knew where he went

Certainly nobody knew of his malicious intent


At the end of the night

As soon as the musicians all went

Off to bed we were sent

The fireplace was lit

To take the chill from the air

The light from the fire had burned low

All the light we had was the firelight’s glow


There in the darkness

Beyond the firelight’s glow

Sat the stranger just waiting….

Just waiting for us to sleep

And wait for the right moment

Then out of the darkness he would creep


We were startled awake by a slight sound

Both sat bold upright in the middle of the bed