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The Black Sheep Interviews: Loretta the Barn Dance Lady (For real!)


While here at college you may miss having a Jewish grandmotherly figure on campus to take care of you and make sure you’re eating just fine. Well, you’re in luck because there’s Loretta the Barn Dance Lady! She’s also known as the Chex Mix Lady. If you’ve never been to a barn dance, Loretta is the woman that owns the barns that UIUC barn dances are held at and she typically can be found riding around in her golf cart handing out Chex Mix!


NOTE: This interview is 100% real.


TBS: So what’s a barn dance?


Loretta: It’s a dance that takes place in a barn. That makes it a barn dance.


TBS: How many barn dances have you held?


Loretta: 50 or more a year.


TBS: How long have you been doing this?


Loretta: 25 years.


TBS: So you’ve held over 1,000 barn dances. That’s crazy.


Loretta: You’re right, it’s craziness.


TBS: What did you do before you owned a barn?


Loretta: Which career would you like to know about? Ok, well the barn in the back, which we call the East Barn was built when I ran a day camp. And then I got tired of real little kids and I moved up to semi-adults and college students. And that’s been after running the day camp for 16 years.


TBS: What’s your favorite part of the Chex Mix?


Loretta: Veggie straws.


Those aren’t a part of Chex Mix, but it’s alright. 


TBS: Why did you start giving out Chex Mix?


Loretta: You can try it! It’s all Kosher.


Cool Loretta, don’t answer our question.


TBS: So why do you give Chex Mix?


Loretta: Well I want to know what’s going on at the party, but I don’t want to look like I’m spying and I don’t want to look like I’m part of a security crew, even though I am, so I just carry around Chex Mix.


She just kept talking at this point without a question.


Loretta: I used to walk the whole time, but now I don’t. And I can’t carry around the Chex Mix anymore so I just ride in my golf cart.


TBS: What’s your favorite story from any barn dance ever?


Loretta: Strange things don’t happen at barn dances. But there was a woman engaged with a guy and the girl just got on a bus and he had no idea where she was. So him and his buddies were here until 4 in the morning trying to find her. I hope they eventually found her.


With the fall barndance season coming to a close, make sure not to miss out on Loretta and her barns when the spring comes around!


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