My next thought was,”What am I going to blog about that has to do with petticoats or pistols and in relation to my new book, Flowers and Stone?” It didn’t take long to come up with an answer.
My story is set in the rowdy honky-tonks of Texas in 1970; and back in that time, it was not uncommon for men to carry pistols (most often in their boot) and also very common to find ladies wearing a petticoat in the honky-tonk. After all, that was the best way to get a dancing partner for the night.
So, what I want to blog about is how that although time periods change, some practices do not. In the 1800’s music was the main source of entertainment. People worked hard and needed to have some way to relax and unwind (much like 1970). Alcohol was normally found to be a part of the event as well (much like 1970). There might be a fight or two break out (much like 1970) and two people might fall in love (much like 1970).
Then there were the saloons…now that’s where a big difference comes in. Women were shamed and ostracized in the 1800’s if they went inside a saloon, much less worked in one. In 1970, the honky-tonks thrived on the business women brought in because where there were women, men would follow and men drank, therefore spending money. All of the waitresses were women and in Texas, 1970, go-go dancing was a new rage.
In “Flowers and Stone” you will find young Darlina Flowers, a fledgling go-go dancer trying her wings out in the world, and a seasoned musician, Luke Stone, who finds himself inexplicably drawn to her. He has a strong urge to protect her from the rough honky-tonk world he’s lived in for a very long time.
As the story unfolds, they fall deeply in love and Darlina embraces the lifestyle, traveling with him and his band up and down the many roads of Texas playing their music. Luke decides to make her a part of his show bringing go-go girls to country music crowds. She is ecstatic to be included.
I loved weaving some of Texas music’s history throughout the story and noted often how people came in great numbers to hear the band.
This is a true story based on my life with my husband, Rick Sikes. The band was Rick Sikes and The Rhythm Rebels, and they played in most of the honky-tonks, military bases, rodeos and even high school dances all over Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and on out to California. They must have traveled at least a million miles over the many years they played. Here are some pictures of Rick and the band and of him dressed in his confederate uniform that he loved.
Music brings people together and it doesn’t matter if you are making it or listening to it. The energy of music draws people into the emotion of the song. Sometimes it is the person making the music who draws people in, but it always captures our attention and sometimes even a little part of our soul. There is nothing better than true “soul” music and that is simply music that touches us.
I’ve really enjoyed reading some of the recent blogs on this site that shared what particular song the writer listens to while writing, or the history of a song that we’ve heard all our lives.
It truly is the universal language and remains as important today as it was 200 years ago. Some things won’t ever change….
Please click HERE to watch my book video. Rick is singing the song we used.
Tell me your favorite Honky-Tonk story for a chance to win an autographed copy of FLOWERS AND STONE.
FLOWERS AND STONE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, My Texas Books, and through www.JanSikes.com.
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Jan began writing poetry at a young age, which coupled with her passion for music led to songwriting. She’s an accomplished singer and guitar player and she’s written a screenplay in addition to her first novel. You can visit her at www.JanSikes.com.