June German Dance
June German dance, Rocky Mount. Only when the center of population shifted in the nineteenth century to the Piedmont was the rise of cities possible. What visitors remembered most about Rocky Mount was not its scattering of cotton-yarn and lumber millsóbut rather the June German. This was a ball held annually since the 1880s and always in a gaily decorated tobacco warehouse. A Methodist pastor in 1923 worked himself into a froth over women under the influence of liquor and other enormities of the revelers. But this was in the years when the punch was sometimes spiked with as much as forty gallons of "bootleg," and the illicit hooch was half the fun. It was a more sedate affair by 1941. German weekend meant thousands of dancers and onlookers and a ball that began at 9:00 p.m. and ended at dawn. It was always a big-band affair, with the likes of Jimmy Dorsey or hometown boy Kay Kyser.

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