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HooHah!

Agriculture.com Staff 07/20/2009 @ 10:45am

The event is lost in the mists of time, but it probably happened something like this:

A cave guy is sitting around his cave one day and is bored out of his skull, mainly because he doesn't get ESPN. He idly picks up a stick and whacks a hollow log. This produces a very pleasing "thock."

The cave guy repeats this thumping and thus invents this thing we call "rhythm." Other cave guys soon gather around him and begin to chant in time, inventing the very first word uttered by mankind: "Par-tee, par-tee, par-tee!"

This primal urge to gather and share music has been passed down across innumerable generations.

For example, my great-uncle Stanley told me how folks used to have house parties Back In The Day. He said that these gatherings would take place at farm homes and would commonly involve a thing called "potluck." He didn't say so, but I surmise that liquid refreshments were also part of the picture.

At some point in the evening all the furniture would be cleared from the house's largest room. Somebody would produce a fiddle and maybe someone else would pull out a harmonica. Perhaps even an accordion -- the most salacious of all musical instruments because of its nickname "squeeze box" -- would be trotted out.

Stanley said that the entire farmhouse would soon throb with music and laughter and dancing. Maybe this is why old farmhouses tend to look so worn and saggy.

The art of the house party has fallen out of favor as of late. Thanks to TV and the Internet, we have become both more connected and more isolated. We can spend days and days observing people yet never actually interact with anyone. A virtual connection can never compare with a real one.

But there are those who are working to bring back the grassroots gatherings known as house parties. Rich and Patty, a couple of friends of ours, are two such people.

For the past 10 years Patty and Rich have, on an irregular basis, hosted a gathering called HooHah at Cottonwood Grove, their aptly-named rural home.

HooHah is an outdoor affair put on in late July or early August. It's simply a celebration of the fact that it's summertime, glorious summertime, and we are alive. And also that we have all these yummy vittles to share with all these friends.

The main highlight of HooHah is the performance of the infamous Wild Women. And by performance I mean "lip-sync and dance to old rock tunes while dressed in silly get-ups."

This year's performance included a song that required the Wild Women to appear in sleepwear. Most of the young ladies -- and by young ladies I mean "none are under the age of 50" -- wore flowing nightgowns, although one Wild Woman was decked out in her heavy winter long johns.

The next song, "These Boots Are Made For Walking," clearly called for go-go boots. Most of the Wild Women indeed wore such footwear, although one had donned some very colorful rain boots. But they were still technically boots, so I guess it's the thought that counts.

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