Americana: Cheating Hearts

Back-to-school business in Dallas is booming—but not just in pencil and lunch-box sales. With the kiddies safely off to classes, more moms than ever are showing up at the Palms Danceland, the best little seedy bar in suburban East Dallas. By 9:30 a.m. the place is packed with night-shift workers and bored housewives. The most popular seats are across the large dance floor from the main entrance. "You can see who's coming in," explains one midday cowboy, "but it takes a while before they can see you—just in case you need to slip out the back."

The Palms is nicknamed the "casserole...

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