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Regulars say they want prospective owner to keep hall's tradition alive

By JR Ortega
July 9, 2010 at 2:09 a.m.

Seventy-three-year-old David Davis, of Goliad, was "cutting the rug" at Schroeder Hall as the band played.  Schroeder Hall was up for auction during a live online auction Friday night and Davis' outfit was the hit of the party.

SCHROEDER - Beers in hand, Jennifer and Todd Sneed waited to see when the last call would be made.

Not for another beer, but for the next owner of the Schroeder Dance Hall.

"One million dollars, I'm asking one million dollars," urged the auctioneer in rapid succession.

The top bid at the Friday night auction was $375,000, which did not meet the minimum bid asked by owners Jack and Sharon Kleinecke, but it was close.

"We knew there was a chance it wouldn't sell," said Jack after the auction was called off. "It's still very premature."

Potential buyers could speak with Eddie Haynes Inc. staff after the auction and possibly still buy the dance hall, which is on Farm-to-Market Road 266 on five acres of oak trees.

As of late Friday night, a new owner had not yet been announced.

Regardless, couples, friends and family continued to dance to Clay Crockett's country-Western and rock music.

The Sneeds, who are from Victoria, have come to the second oldest dance hall in Texas for several years. Jennifer remembers being at the same hall as a child.

"It hasn't changed," she said looking around her environment. "I remember it seemed huge. We would just run around."

Now 39 years old, Jennifer still finds comfort in the place that has formed so many lifelong memories.

The new owner, whomever they may be, must continue to add memories to her already 30-year-long collection.

"I hope it's someone who is going to take very good care of it," she said. "They need to understand about the lifestyle here."

Though super busy, Sharon said she felt the tears welling in her eyes as several very close friends and local regulars walked into the hall.

"It's bittersweet," she said. "There's so many of our friends here."

If a new owner does buy the hall, the Kleineckes will continue to still run the hall for at least 45 days until final paperwork is completed.

If no one decides to buy the hall, the show must go on, Jack said.

The hall would still be owned by the Kleineckes, but the work of running the place would be shifted someone else, Sharon said.

"We don't have to sell it. We don't need to sell it," Jack said smiling. "We're cautiously optimistic."



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