Thomas: Important to keep in mind the rough times in history

I’d say that this past weekend’s events increased my already immense love of 50’s music and culture.

There was a bit of everything this weekend at the Rockabilly on the Route music festival at the Tucumcari Convention Center.

From the moment the events started, I found myself immersed in a wonderful 50’s throwback, courtesy of the music, vintage clothing, and cars, not to mention swing dancing.

I am a huge fan of 40’s and 50’s music and swing dancing so you can imagine my delight when two nights this weekend I enjoyed live 50’s music and watch some couples swing dance the night away.

I’m an OK dancer and I have always wanted to swing dance, but I had never had an opportunity to try it. When presented with one, I lacked the courage to step onto the dance floor.

I guess in a way I was yielding the floor to those couples that you could tell have been swing dancing together for many years. I do regret not asking my friends to dance, though. After all, it’s not about being the best, it’s about having fun.

Don’t get me wrong. I had fun, lots of it. In fact, I hope those who put up with me had an equally good time.

The performances of the Gilded Cage Burlesk dancers and the ladies who entered the pin-up girl contest gave us a glimpse of the beauty of the golden era.

Now, I’ll admit that my foot starts tapping and I can’t help but smile when I hear Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” In fact any music from that era brings a smile to my face and there are so many good things from those times, not to mention the birth of my parents, which, if you ask, should be a red-letter day.

However, I always have to ground myself and remember there were also trials and hardships that were endured during that time.

Some might say the 40’s and 50’s were a simpler time, but as those who lived through those decades can attest, it was anything but simple.

Those times saw the use of the atomic bomb on Japan leading to the end of World War II, and the rise of racial tensions across the nation with bold actions by pioneers such as Rosa Parks, an African American woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus, thus sparking the civil rights movement. The Soviet Union developed an atomic bomb and jump-started the space age with the launch of Sputnik. China declared itself a communist state, and Korean War started.

While it’s always good to have fun by paying homage to the music and culture of those years, we must also do our best to remember the tribulations that had a hand in shaping the nation we are today.

Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at

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