swiss alp dance hall

it was supposed to rain on friday and it didn’t. it was supposed to be nice on saturday and it rained like crazy. so i didn’t get to make my trip on my motorcycle, but went in my car instead. to make up for it, i drove most of the way with my windows down (except when there was too much rain) and took more rural roads than just shooting down i-10. the drive was nice and i was looking forward to the evening. i stopped in la grange and ate at the dairy queen. then i headed north on 77.
yeah, north. i had forgotten to take any directions and for some reason — even though everything i’d read said swiss alp was south of la grange — i thought the online map had shown it being north of la grange so that’s the way i headed. after driving awhile i realized i had no clue where it was and it might be off on a county road or side road or something. being a resourceful and modern type, i broke out the cell phone. called my brother — no answer. again — no answer. called sue — no answer. called my parents — no answer. sue again — no answer. parents again — no answer. so i tried using the web/media access on my phone, but it couldn’t display the website. huh.
at this point it was getting to be around 9pm and it started at 8:30pm and i was frustrated. and i was in giddings. i stopped at a convenience store and asked the lady there if she knew where swiss alp was. she didn’t. she said she could call her daughter…or tom…”yeah, tom delivers oil rig parts to all these small towns no one has heard of”. then, as i followed her, she walked back to the drink coolers to the beer section and opened the door. i’m thinking “okay, she’s grabbing herself…or me…a beer?” then she addressed the cooler: “hey, can i make a call?” okay, maybe she’s just crazy. then the cooler answered with some number. ah…someone was in the back. she went back and called — you guessed it, no answer. so then she said i should head over to the police department (“unless you’ve been drinking”) and ask at the desk. i drove over there (it’s a small town…it’s only a couple of blocks)…and it’s 9pm, of course the front desk isn’t opened. duh. all the lights are off. so i headed off again. at some point, i realized i left my phone in the car when i went into the convenience store, so i picked it up to try another call, thinking “wouldn’t it be ironic if linc called?” he had called. and left a voicemail. “hey terry, we’re here. wondering where you are.” you see, he’d told me a week or so before that his phone was messed up so he didn’t know when someone was calling, so as far as i knew me calling him would do no good…he’d need to call me. great. so i figured i’d try calling him, what could i lose at this point? evidently his phone was working better, because he answered! and told me it was, in fact, south of la grange. so i had to drive about 30 minutes from where i was to get there. now that all that is out of the way…
the swiss alp dance hall is pretty cool. it’s basically a corrugated sheet metal wood-frame barn on the side of the road, with a big open wooden dance floor. the sides open up and prop open for circulation of air. they have seating around the outside of the dance floor near the opened sides. since a big rain had come through, it was a bit humid but a decent temperature. and coming from houston, the humidity wasn’t a problem. the wild river band was sans herb remington, which made me somewhat sad because he’s a western swing legend and probably played the place back in the day when it was running full tilt. plus the band played a way more traditional Texas dance hall set than a western swing set. but it was still an enjoyable evening. also, all the beer was served in cans and came in at $1.50 (except shiner bock and michelob ultra (?) at $2.00). cover was $5. later they served breakfast tacos at $1.00 each.
i recommend taking a road trip to the place some weekend sometime. and it’s south of la grange on 77. just a few miles north of schulenburg, actually.

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