The Odd Man
It was a dance like the six hand reel. Three boys and three girls would go out to dance and then when you’d be dancin’ a couple times roun’, Glory be to the Lord, the first thing you’d know, you’d be away. Somebody would rise out of the ‘congregation’ and take the girl off the man that was out with her an’ he’d be standing’ “The Odd Man” in the middle, luckin round him. Then he’d make a grab and get some other girl.
There was a big tare of a dance in the forge at Newtownsaville an’ we were all down at the big party. It was a farewell dance for Mary McNelis and Joe Hackett. Mary was home on her month – first visit since her wedding. Anyhow, near the last dance they did the “The Odd Man.” Joe and Mary were out dancing and along comes Michael and knocked poor Joe out. Glory be, sure it was the height of ‘eejyosity!’
I mind another night in McSorley’s shade in Newtownsaville. It was for Joe Hackett too, the time he got married. They wouldn’t go to a shade now and dance. They would not! They wouldn’t think it was half good enough. The upholstery wouldn’t be right for the youngins. Naw deed!
Well, there was this man at it – John McGirr, and he had notion of Biddie Polkie. He was wanting to leave her home but she was ‘kickin’ at the briches’ an’ wouldn’t go when he wanted.
Whether he got leaving her home or not I cudn’t tell you but she was on the high horse when we left. You’d be on bicycles that time or if you hadn’t wan you walked.
I mind Annie and Minnie Hackett and Maggie Queen were at it. Minnie was dressed in white satin.
Johnny Paterson was a yankee who lived down in Fernaghanddrum, where Becks have the place now. There were some great dances there, and in Johnny Lynn’s. There was a gramophone in Lynn’s and that was quite a novelty. They had got it from Oxendale’s Catalogue. Mrs. Lynn used to carry it from her sister’s, who lived in Emyvale. Incidentally, those of us who remember Mrs. Lynn recall with admiration that no matter how bad the weather was she was always the first person into the chapel, having walked from Kiladroy.
I heard Cissie telling wan time that their father never allowed them out with coloured stockin’s. They were called ‘Lyle Stockings’. There were no tights them times, oh! Devil the wan! They were stockin’s held up by suspenders. Right! But what they used to do, they’d put them on the light coloured stockin’s an’ pull the pair of black ones over them. Then, when they were headin’out to the dance, they took off the black ones and hid them in the lane an’ went on to the dance!
Anything you wanted done long ago you’d go to Oweny Bogan and he’d get it for you. If anyone wanted Marshall’s loft for a dance they’d say, “Ask Oweny Bogan, he’ll get it for you”. No matter what the loft was to be used for, if Oweny asked for it he’d get it. He was everyone’s favorite.
It is recalled that Joe Gormley was so keen on dancing that he walked as far as Fivemiletown and Trillick to dances.
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