Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Broken Spoke in Austin, TX

If you are in Austin, TX and want a change of pace from Sixth St, please visit the Broken Spoke, an old school country-western dance hall. JP saw that Texas legend Gary P. Nunn was playing, so we made the jaunt down there (no, I didn’t have a clue who he was). You walk through the restaurant to the dance hall, where the stage is at one end, a giant wooden floor is in the middle and tables fill either side.

Like Louie Mueller, this place is also straight out of a movie. JP and I took our chicken fried steak, chicken nachos and pitcher of Lone Star to our table and watched in awe as folks walked in all decked up in country attire. We were the only guys not wearing cowboy boots.

When Gary P. Nunn took the stage, almost everyone in the crowd got up and took the dance floor. I’ve never seen anything like it. Couples old and young got up and line danced, two-stepped and swing danced their way through the evening. They wore cowboy hats, boots, button down shirts tucked in and large belt buckles. Whatever picture you have in your mind right now, I guarantee there were two of them at the Broken Spoke. Hell, there were even two Texas flag button-down shirts.

Of particular note was the 80 year old couple that had been doing this every Friday for over 50 years. The old man in his cowboy hat, bolo tie and Texas belt buckle appeared to have been taken from God’s waiting room for the evening, but once he got out on the dance floor he danced his wife effortlessly across the room all night long.

The other great thing about these types of places is that guys go up to girls and ask them to dance and they actually say yes. It’s the damndest thing. JP became the beneficiary of this custom, as after several pitchers of Lone Star I convinced him to ask the cute brunette two tables over to dance. Turns out she was an Ike evacuee from Houston and she joined us in closing the place down. JP and Jody are still dating six months later. God Bless Texas.

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