Me and Ivaloo were honeymoonin’, a sure out shindig, shivaree and hellfortootin’ honeymoon time, and I’m Everett Musdane, along with some of our celebratin’ friends at a mountain motor court, on a grand flat spot in the Ozarks, being Lorded over by the midnight stars across the sky like bright sand pebbles flung out of a huge bucket. The small cabins, all with porches out front and parkin’ spaces out back, were arranged in a circle around a fireplace in a grassy court and celebratin’ area, with only one entrance to the grassy court for the owner’s vehicle for service stuff. The owner was Slim Slocum and the place was called Slocum’s Cozy Cabins and he one-time pitched for that St. Louie team.
Ivaloo was the one and main beauty in my life full of knockdowns and drag-outs of all kinds ‘til I tempered down and slowed the speed of some emotions, but not all of them, you can bet.
Anyway, I was asleep and dreamin’ away, and thinkin’ of them stars punchin’ down at me bein’’ so little up there and me down here. And part of my dream came right back to Ivaloo and all her goodly possessions, and I started shakin’ and shiverin‘ all over, and Ivaloo shook me awake and said, “Everett, what was happenin’ to you? You were shakin’ like clothes hung out on the line?”
And I told her the truth, “Here I was dreamin’ you were lyin’ right on top of me and I wake up and it’s all true and there you are with your head on my chest. That’s powerful frightful stuff.”
And my beauty Ivaloo, cool as all get-out, said, “I can feel your heart beatin’.”
So right off, so not as to skip a beat, I said, “Can you feel anythin’ else?”
And Ivaloo comes right back and says, and I can almost see that huge smile on her face, “I already had some of that.”
I tell you, fact straight out of the book, we start to laugh and laugh, and it gets real loud and real laughter you might dream you can have sometimes, and it don’t stop none, includin’ the bellyachin’ and in one big session of laughter and glee poundin’ at us ‘cause we’re so happy, it rolls right out the open cabin door and goes sideways onto a couple of other cabin porches and busts right across that grassy court to where good friend Fleet Scott is sleepin’ in his own hammock he hung on the porch ‘cause he’s one of those guys who says when he’s with his woman he Lords over things but when he gets out under the stars he knows he gets Lorded over by no small margin. His place best in the world most times is out fishin’ and trappin’ and huntin’ and gettin’ Lorded over for a change, as he does find balance in all things, as he might say now and then.
And laughter is now comin’ from other cabins, and it begins to wind uphill and it’s a heavy, loud midnight under midnight stars and all that Lordin’ comin’ down on us and from inside of us in those little cabins, except for Fleet Scott of course, and in the middle of the contagion that’s nothin’ but laughin’ so sides ache themselves, I hear Fleet Scott say, “I can’t stand no more of this, so I best get the fiddle out and join in in my own way,” and that fiddle must have been layin’ right beside him because it’s not but a spittin’ second and that bow of his found the first wire it looked for and a note came loose of it like heaven was comin’ down too, and then another note and laughin’ still escapin’ other cabins like everybody’s joined up like they enlisted in it and another voice, I think Pete Stigger’s, says, “I got my guitar right here, “ and we hear him slap the box of that thing and the wires start jumpin’ for his fingers, and another voice says, “Wait up on me ’til I fetch my harmonicky,” and he starts mouthin’ that sweet little thing so it’s dancin’ too and one gent whose voice I didn’t recognize says, “Hell, I got a jug of Grade A Goodness from Jodie’s still right here and I’m donatin’ it to the party, and another cabin has a voice that says, “I got a cooler full of beer I was savin’ for a special occasion and guess this damned well is a special occasion,” and we hear the cooler bump on the porch steps and it’s on its way onto the grassy court where things are already gettin’ up to real speed and just about everybody is out of their cabins, meanin’ most of the women folks ain’t been able to dress their best and say, “So what the heck,” and they’re there like they can’t wait for some more fun, and the dancin’ begins all barefoot on that cool midnight grass with the stars sayin’, “Lordy, whats goin’ on down there?” some women plain open like they’ve never been in a group, like I mean with feelin’s and clothes and bein’ so skimpy dressed but Lordin’ takin’ place.
And it goes on for a few hours ‘til Slocum the owner comes in and says, “I can’t stay away anymore ‘cause you folks are havin’ more fun than I seen in a hundred years, and I got a keg in my pick-up and I’ll bring it right in,” and he watches some of the women dance their new way of bein’ loosened up and then he goes off and drives the pick-up in there and the keg goes alive and we party and dance and sing and hear music the likes of never and it goes on ’til 5 in the mornin’ and Slocum falls asleep in the bed of his truck, and then Fleet Scott, born smart as the whip itself, says, “Everett, would you tell us again how you and Ivaloo got to laughin’ and get all us out here for the party of our lifes, as it will be mighty well appreciative,” and I tell them all over, and tell them what Ivaloo said, “I already had some of that,” and right then, like Fleet Scott had planned it all, there swooped down on our party a silence like the whole world was stood still, and hands reach for other hands and pairs go off to their cabins and the stars are fading already, and the party’s over, or so it seems, but that silence don’t last long and there comes a whole bit of roarin’ and yellin’ to the Lord and celebratin’ from them small cabins that can’t keep no secrets at all, and then the silence comes back like it was bein’ missed and everybody sleeps ’til about 10 in the mornin’ and checkout time is 11 o’clock, and Slocum wakes up and says, “I only got two couples comin’ in today so we’ll have to share up somehow,” and already the next session of the party has sprouted wings right up here in this grand flat spot in the honeymoonin’ Ozarks.
Image – Ozark holiday home – searching for an image really made me want to go there!! dd
3 thoughts on “Shindig, Shivaree and Hellfortootin’ Honeymoon Time by Tom Sheehan”
One always takes a risk when one writes in a certain dialect and/or idiom. Unless the writer is confident, the whole thing can topple over pretty damn fast. Sheehan got it right. He found a way into the specific language and gave this piece its own cadence.
The story draws me in with its campout atmosphere, honeymoon lovers making music and dancing and drinking the night away. I feel nostalgia for a place I’ve never been!
I think both Harrison and Leila have covered the excellent sense of place and the idea of the characters you portrayed throughout this.
It was beautifully voyeuristic and it was a story that made you feel for those certain types of nights out.
Brilliant as always!
All the very best my friend.