Saturday, October 20, 2007

The last waltz, polka, and chicken dance

Add to the parade of Disappearing Places From My Childhood: Blob's Park in Jessup, MD. It's closing this winter after more than 70 years.

Yes, for those of you not from the Greater Laurel Co-Prosperity Sphere, I said Blob's Park. It has nothing to do with '50s B-movies, and everything to do with a German family's hall for traditional Bavarian cooking, oompah bands, and dancing. And beer. It was founded by one Max Blob in 1933. It was kitsch all the way, but a great place for a family night out.

The resident band, the Rheinlanders, had a rather good drummer who enjoyed going off into a solo during the rhumba. He also blew the whistle during the "Paul Jones" dance, in which you started off polka-ing with your partner, but when he sounded the whistle, all the men and women had to form circles until another tweet had you dance with whomever wound up in front of you. Couples who wouldn't uncouple for the dance were booed. The band's bass player had two multiple bypass surgeries and had to be into his 90s when last I saw him. These guys would play the Beer Barrel Polka, the Pennsylvania Polka, and the chicken dance. If you didn't dance, the owner or his wife would come and drag you out onto the floor.

I took more than one date to Blob's, including Ladycub. Our Christian singles group had more than one fun evening there. The food was so-so, but you didn't go there for the food. I had a blast dancing (as best I could) to a perpetual Oktoberfest.

Maybe we'll sneak down there one more night before it goes bye-bye.


Anonymous said...

Don't know if you're aware, Cyg, that your bro-in-law's grandfather came over on the boat with Max Blob himself. Their farm abutted the Blob's property. Sellner Road is across BW Parkway and it was sold within the last 15 years or so. Smitty was saddened to hear of the closing as well, as there were close family ties.
- Eldest female sib