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Monday, 29 August 2011

Dancing With The Stars (Senior Version)

By Ralph Lymburner

When I and my girl friend first started dancing at one of the local lodges which are named for large animals, we sat in a small booth. One evening, when gazing around the room and watching the dancers, I spied a large group of six couples at a long table.

I nudged my friend and informed her I knew one of the ladies in the group. I decided to go say hello. We were invited to join them and soon became avid members of this interesting but strange group.

The median age in this incongruous group is probably around 76 years old. The interest within this group is so varied, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the schedule.

There are nights for card games. Some are golfers. The story goes that the wife (the baker) of one of the players meets his foursome with fresh baked cookies at the last hole. Even Ben Hogan (is he still playing ?) isn’t treated this well.

There are a few serious bridge players, myself and the arranger. There are some artists and crafters. Practically all members are world travelers. At any given time, there is a couple going down the Danube or cruising to Panama.

Areas with casinos are also a popular destination. If you would like to know how things really were in the 40s, talk to the godfather. A real mixed up group.

The main thing that brings us together is that almost all of us are dancers. We dance at one animal lodge on Thursday evening and a different lodge on Friday.

The music is the same at both, provided by a one man dance band who is so talented. He plays our type of music, primarily from the 50s and 60s. When he plays and sings such songs as Kris Kristophersons’s Will You Be My Partner For The Rest Of My Life or Elvis's Are You Lonesome Tonight, all of the lovers hit the floor.

I thought I was the only one who sang along, whispering the words into partner’s ear. But I look around and 90 percent of the men were doing the same.

The place really rocks when he plays Jim Croce’s Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown. Move over and give me room. He has such a following that he hands out a schedule of his monthly appearances.

There is one couple that makes this living all worthwhile. The wife wheels her paraplegic husband up to the edge of the dance floor, puts his arms around her neck and lifts him out the chair. She moves her feet and turns around while he holds on. She then pulls him back to the wheelchair and lowers him into the seat. She does this several times an evening. What devotion.

Life is good. I notice that the authors in this blog have an attitude that is really upbeat and let’s have a good time.

Don’t you feel sorry for those in our generation who sit around talking about their pains and whose main topic is comparing doctors and how many appointments they have.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

What a great piece, sorry I don't live nearby I would track your "band" down...I love the group too, it is one of the things I look forward to every morning..always interesting and usually gives a big boost to my day...I feel very lucky for having been steered to the group about two years ago now by my younger sister I think...she actually loved Times Go By columns, and hardly ever read the Elders Storytelling..the two songs you mentioned are two of my all time favorites & not just because they are sung by favorite singers either..both poetic pieces and great to dance to...thanks for sharing your group with the rest of us...

Wonderful story! My husband of two years is a good dancer but I am really bad at it. Maybe I will take a few lessons ... if Bristol Palin can improve, so can I! It's the "slow dancing" I can't do, I'm OK with fast stuff.

Ralph - I'm late in getting to this one - but thoroughly enjoyed it - was green with envy of course as there is nothing similar in our country area - dancing has got to be the most energising, motivating,enjoyable way to spend an evening - long may your fun continue

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