ANSON, TEX., OCT. 8 -- This West Texas town of 2,600 souls was in a tizzy today over the prospect of its first legal dance in more than half a century.
The Footloose Club was sponsoring the dance tonight, the first legal such shindig in the city -- except for the private annual Cowboy Christmas Ball -- since 1933.
"From what I've heard, we may be dancing in the streets because there won't be enough room in here," said Footloose Club member Jane Sandoval.
Club member David Herring said the town's clergymen have changed their tune on the issue. "They used to be really against us. They told us we were going to hell and things like that," Herring said. "But lately the churches have been nice. One preacher who said dancing was a sin has told me this week that he didn't think it was a sin because we were doing it properly."
The Anson City Council this spring passed an ordinance replacing the one enacted in 1933 that banned dancing.
Under the new ordinance, curfew is at midnight, and there is no alcohol allowed, something that doesn't bother the band, Mason Dixon, which is waiving its fee for the event.
"I came up in honky-tonks and I've seen drunk people just fighting and clawing each other's eyes out. As far as I'm concerned, that's why that ordinance was put into effect," band member Jerry Dengler said.