/ Neighbors / Highlands Dancing / Schiz Center
Ann is wonderful. She’s cute, she’s beautiful, she’s energetic, non-stop, really funny. She’s also crazy, vulnerable, a chaos of uncoordinated drugs. My understanding is that the drugs got funneled to her by doctors, hospitals, going back three decades or so, with no one, least of all the doctors, knowing which ones are active. It’s like your doctor(s), your bartender(s), your pusher(s) all supply you but without knowing, let alone talking to, each other.
My stories are from five to seven years ago (and more), not current. But I doubt if much has changed.
Ann never stops working, supervising, bossing. The she collapses, falls on the floor. Someone calls 911. Here comes the ambulance. Ann is getting hauled away. Does she know to be a good patient? to go passive? to leave everything up to the ER team? No: there’s Ann, sitting up on the gurney they’re trying to strap her to. What’s she doing? She’s directing everyone: Her Senior Dance friends and volunteers, the ER guys … I stand there, Joe stands there, laughing (lovingly), shaking our heads.
It’s a Tuesday. I’m part of the teach setting the hall up for Wednesday’s dance and luncheon. Joe, a nice tallish guy is there, one of the “usual suspects”. There’s a buxom young blond, I don’t remember her name, I’ll call her Betty. We’ve set up the tables, placed the chairs. Ann says, You’re all doing great, let’s take a break. Ann sits at the table where Betty is seated. Joe and I join them. A half a dozen of us are at the table. Millie is there. Ann says, “Betty, the boys are getting bored: why don’t you take off your blouse.”
Betty doesn’t even blink. Joe and I blush. Another Tuesday at Senior Dance.
Go to the Devil
Ann is blusering, picking on Joe. Finally Joe calls her bluff: “Oh, go to the devil,” he joshes.
“The devil?” Ann squawks. “The devil? I’ll show you the devil!” And Ann lays on the floor on her side, checks where each of us is located, makes her calculations, rolls her jeans down over one buttock … Christmas! she’s not wearing any underwear! And there, tattooed on her butt, in multicolors, green, red, brown, is a cartoon of the Devil, with his pitchfork and a fiendish grin!
An amazing performance. Somehow she’d managed to show her private, impudent tattoo, and, yes, some buttock, but only a little: nothing obscene, or illegal. She knew where everything was, everything that should remain secret, and she kept it out of sight.
I watched Audrey Hepburn do Hollygolightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s last night. Audrey climbs all over George Peppard in nothing but the light robe she’s climbed up the fire escape in. Nothing’s tied, nothing’s buttoned, but somehow, just barely, nothing shows!
Ann is cute as the devil, she’s been in movies even if only as a decorative extra: she’s a beauty who knows exactly where everything is and who will see what. Bravo.
I tell another favorite Ann moment. The Senior Dance had had three music periods: one dance band from 10 to noon, another from 1 to 3. Lois, 90-odd year old widow of a popular dance band leader accompanied the lunch hour on her piano. (More Wednesdays than not I would carry her keyboard from her car for her and back again at the end of the day.) But now with my line dance lessons, there was a fourth period which required music. I could make CDs of line dance songs: Joyce, the Thursdays line dance leader at the Lake Placid American Legion had hundreds of recordings, she copied for me anything I asked of her. What we still needed thought was a player. So Senior Dance and I went to KMart together to see what was on offer. Senior Dance had the Senior Dance credit card.
KMart had a couple of CD players on display, marked around $30. Our error proved to be that there was no way to test if the cheap player would be heard as the hall filled up with people and noise; but at that moment we were just looking for a KMart clerk or section chief who could answer other questions, I forget which questions. No one was at the cash register, no one was visible in any of the nearby aisles. “Five minutes,” Ann said, “and I bill them.”
Huh. “Five minutes,” Ann repeated. “If KMart personnel don’t appear within five minutes, you can charge them for wasting your valuable time. I bill them at $100/hour. And they always pay!”
You gotta picture Ann. She’s hardly bigger than your thumb. Cute as a button, pretty as a picture, long soft blond hair, nice features, all the right curves, right where they belong; but a tough little broad. Don’t fool with her.
If her husband didn’t fool with her, I wouldn’t be here now personally ignoring my own advice.
Anyway, to complete the stage: Ann said, you need to have professional stationary: like the Senior Dance. Bill them for a half hour of wasted time, $50. Say “thirty days”. They always pay, she promised.
I never saw the check, I never sent my own bills (too broke to buy a stamp). But I believe her. Then and now.
Ann is a natural leader but with a serious fault: she monopolizes power, doesn’t delegate. That is she delegates function but not authority. I could teach the line dancing but I had no power to stop Bo from bulldozing across the dance floor in the middle of our ance, on his way to the storage room to get something he’d forgotten the day before. The dance floor was between the kitchen and the storage room. While we’re in the middle of a dance, the dance floor shoud be off limits to anyone not doing the dance, for any reason. Bo needs something from the storage room: fine: go around; don’t barge through the old ladies. Bo would put his head down, so he wouldn’t see who he was bowling over.
It wasn’t just Bo: We line danced from 9 to 10. Around 9:30 the band members for the 10 o’clock band would start setting up. They were used to having the dance floor to themselves for that period, but now, here was a dance class on the floor. The band members continued to wander on the floor. underfoot to the dancers. I’d be playing the CD of the line dance music: the musicians would tune their instruments, Gator would practice his drums, in rhythms contrary to the line dance music!
Had Ann made my position clear, I could have told the band to be polite. I could have told Bo to wait, or to go around, or to have planned better yesterday … I could have told Gator to silence his drums while the dance music was on.
As it was, I had to go to Ann, wait for her attention, complain: then she had to explain to Bo: who would then ignore her! as he had ignored me, and the class.
Story imported at Dance Floor Hazards.