Short Stay

Our House Formal Dining Room

Guests of the Gallipolis, Ohio Our House Tavern often slept sideways on the feather mattresses to fit multiple guests in a bed. One room for women, one for men. The second floor ballroom was several times larger than either sleeping room, indicating that in the era of this hostelry (1820-1860’s), spacious rooms for dancing were of more value than large rooms for sleeping.

How times do change. Walking the wide-planked hallway, I considered the conviviality required to share a sleeping room with other travelers, and the experience, unusual today, of dancing, dining, and yes, snoring, next to a fellow guest.

Thank you Phyllis, for scheduling a tour. And thanks to Beverly and Becky, dedicated docents, who regaled us with historical facts and tantalizing ghost stories. My own encounter with Our House ghosts occurred 50 years ago, while touring the site with my cousin, Billy Sue. Ever since, I’ve been respectful of those who linger, fleeing the tavern with skin crawling and a racing heart. There may have been some shrieking. I’ll say no more. Those former residents and guests must be missing their dancing days, is all I can say.

Dance. We are here. This is our moment to breathe, to live. Don’t squander it. Twirl a bit. Have a spin. Enjoy life in a body while you have one. It’s a short stay—–

4 thoughts on “Short Stay

  1. Ellen February 18, 2020 / 11:21 pm

    Very interesting to think about dancing, dining and then sleeping next to fellow travelers. Quite a different “sense of personal space!” And, yes, to some dancing while we are here, visitors on this Earth!


  2. Mangala February 20, 2020 / 6:50 pm

    What a great little text!
    I was at an Indian wedding once where almost all of the hundreds of guests all slept in the wedding hall. I liked it.
    Room for dancing and conviviality for sleeping…
    One can really enjoy the presence of others, mutually, on whichever plane.
    Thanks a lot!


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