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Clog Palace, Silver Spring, Maryland

Clog Palace, Silver Spring, Maryland
Greg Hooven and band playing at the Clog Palace

To explain what the Clog Palace was, I am going to ask that you form two separate pictures in your mind.

First, imagine a rural mountain community, where local musicians picked up fiddle, banjo, and guitar, and play string band music to which their friends can dance. This might happen in a church hall, a barn, a small restaurant, or even on someone's front porch. The lively dance music inspires the dancers to beat out a rhythm with their feet. They might call it clogging, or buckdancing, or flatfooting. They might look at you funny for thinking it needs a special name; “it's just dancing.”

Second, picture an aging seafood restaurant just outside of the big city of D.C. There are murals of ships and sea captains, and the lyrics to “Blow the Man Down” on the wall. But there is also a large print of three faces of Elvis Presley, and dozens of old movie advertisements lined up just below the wooden wainscoting. There's an area for dancing in the center of the room, and a revolving disco ball hovers over the entire scene. When the multicolored lights are shone upon it, dots twirl around the room. The food is so-so, the waitresses surly and sometimes tattooed, and the crowd at the bar in the back is a little bit scary. The bathrooms are so small there's a common sink for men and women. They don't look like they've been cleaned in a while.

Now, if your mind can tolerate it, superimpose picture number one on top of picture number two, and you have the beginning of an idea of what the World Famous Captain White's Oyster Bar and Clog Palace was like. But only a beginning; there's more to tell, and that's what I want to do, through pictures, mementos, but most importantly through the stories of people who were there. For more information, go to: http://www.clogpalace.com/

Copyright © 2000-2010, Julie Mangin. All Rights Reserved. April 2, 2016