Dance Scrapbook

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: / Personal / Stories / by Theme / Dance /

pk & Jan launch a swing pretzel

pk & Jan launch a swing pretzel
With the Golden Era Band

Hollywood Choreography
2016 05 28 Jan and I waltz in a position I reserve for her alone: we hold our right hands overhead: a bower as it were, a moving, walzing bower. I think we got that position from the movie Jezebel, Henry Fond, Bette Davis, antebellum. She was arguing the other day that it was a European movie, now she suspects I’m right: I’ve ordered the disk, we’ll check.
One movie our waltzing is definitely influenced by is Ana Karenina, with Keira Knightly. Brilliant, great scene: Vronsky dancing with Kitty.
Last night, watzing with my great partner Carole, I told her that Jan and I have a theory: Hollywood choreographs its ballroom dances backwards. We’re all trained to dance 1, 2,3 4 5,6: Swoop 2,3: Swoop 5,6. Ah, but in the movies it’s 2,3 Swoop.
Hard to follow: unless you work at it, un-train your usual habits.
Last week Jan and I enjoyed the waltzing in Young Victoria as well. Very nice: Strauss, 1930s … and backwards!
2016 09 12 Bless me, Carole was over last week, picking me up for a birthday party. I’ve told her for years now how much I wanted her to see the Anna Karenina. After the party I sat Carole at the Mac and streamed up the movie, quickly locating the waltz chapter.
Meantime Jan is in Nova Scotia. Some days she phones as many as three times! Well today broke all records. She was playing Cole Porter on the victrola and whirling the room with a broom for a partner. She kept wanting to share the songs: and she did: marvelous. And she’s figured out a new step she wants us to try. 85, cute as ever, whirling like ever. She’s decided she’s going to have her knee done this fall: before she gets so old the doctors won’t touch her.

2016 03 30 I pour several posts worth of dance comments, both line dance and ballroom, into this one new post. Next I’ll sort for

Ballroom Dance & Line Dance

Chronologies will tend to reverse, like a diary.

Ballroom Dance

2013 03 15 It’s race week in Sebring, yesterday some race cars were on display around the Circle. Jan coordinated our costumes, race hats and so forth, had a bunch of team members flirting with her: she sees an old friend walk by: Boo. Later, walking together hand in hand, she spots Boo again, we go over, Boo explodes with happiness to see Jan. Pretty girl! Slender, gray but hinting the former blond, great boobs, as perky, as adorable as Jan’s own. How can these eighty-year-olds be so fetching?
Boo sees our entwined hands, of course she used to seeing Jan with Dan, Jan’s late husband, so who’s this guy she’s now obviously intimate with?
Boo gestures flamboyantly between our hands: “So what’s all this?” she demands, smiling.

2015 05 26 Last evening the American Legion had its Memorial Day ceremony. The kitchen served burgers and dogs: there was plenty of free food for anyone who bought the burger, lots of wonderful stuff. Then FrankE and Gang took the bandstand, and we had some nice dancing. FrankE also played for the Sunday dance. He gladened my heart when, saying patriotic things, honoring veterans from this and that war, FrankE paused and murmured that maybe we’d had enough wars by now. Commander Harold grabbed a mic and added that wars for one’s country were good, not bad, we could never have too many wars for the red, white and blue.
Hmm. Then Monday at the picnic, a chaplin gave a patriotic hawk prayer, opining that we had to brace for lots and lots more wars: if we wanted to live the way we have been. That’s true: living at both ends costs a lot of death. And money. And total expenditure of integrity.

I’ve attended the Legion for eight years now: to dance with women, to meet women (and to line dance with or without women). There’s been a price to pay for all my dancing since 2008, in patriotism: national pledges, hymns. But it’s escalated. It sounds vastly more fascist now than it had. But where else would Jan and I go to dance? VFW? AMVETS? It’s all military, all saluting and uniforms. And the Elks is worse: theological arrogance.

I used to wish I’d be conscious if not alive for Judgment, when God actually comes forward, actually speaks. Now I pray I’m dead long before then. Actually, I’m ready to pray that we’ll all be dead before then.

2016 01 16 Jan’s been talking about getting her knees replaced since I first met her. These past few weeks her knees have been so swollen and sore that she’s practically house bound. Last night she felt slightly better. We chanced a visit to the AmVets where our friend Lora sangs the dance music. Lora announced our arrival the second she noticed us enter. Lora instantly promised a waltz as the next tune. By this time Jan and I hare hugging and kissing Lora on the stage: Jan protests that she won’t know how successfully she’ll be able to dance, but we promise to try.
Well, Jan did just great. A little unsteady, not quite her old self, but hell, we’re not our old self: she’s 84, I’m 77. We lasted the whole waltz, then took stools at the bar. Suddenly some guy I don’t recognize is pounding me on the back.

You’ve still got it!
You old stud, you!

he proclaimed.

We got applause thorughout the waltz. The way Lora received us maybe the people, not dancing when we arrived, thought we were scheduled entertainment.

Jan creates better and better costumes and outfits for us:

Paul & Jan, New Years 2012
New Years Eve, 2012

How Jan dressed me — in a tux shirt, studs etc, but no jacket, silk paisley suspenders — was such a hit last year that we repeated it. Note the silk scarf sprouting from my rear pocket: as though Tom Sawyer had joined the Regency.
Jan’s own combo is beyond words, doesn’t she look fabulous?

Jan & Paul New Years Eve

I wish the person who photographed us for Halloween 2011, matched in yellow like bumble bees, would get a scan to us.

Jan & Paul at HSC, Xmas

Chee, the Christmases add up!
Other holidays too.

A bunch ‘a pix of our dear friend Carole and me at dances around my 74th birthday, festivities arranged long distance by Jan, may get added here: once they reach me, for selection.

Invitational Conflict

2015 09 06 What a week for dances! Wednesday was good, a fair crowd, FrankE providing the music. Friday was great, with Buddy Canova, one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard from a tenor sax. Saturday, last night, the music was by George Durham, maybe the best all-around band to rock Central Florida on a regular basis.

I wanna update a current story and tie it to a long-here existing story: Mr. Smooth. Bobbi dubbed me Mr. Smooth: as reported to me by my great friend and best over-all dance partner, Carole (see below). Bobbi was recently widowed when I met her, that’s why she was out at the dance, cattin’ as it weere: right proper behavior for a recent-widow. She saw me dance, she glued herself to me; but soon encountered a half-dozen others already glued to me: and maybe she checked my income, my background, my property records. The next thing we know Bobbi has a new husband and it sure as hell isn’t me.

Oh: I should emphasize: once Bobbi learned that I had Jan, Bobbi would ask Jan’s permission to ask me to dance. It became a funny little ritual. And then Bobbi became my sartorial advisor, making Jan laugh with her instructions on what color socks I should wear.

Well, never mind, because Bobbi disappeared, to a new husband, a new fiancé, one who didn’t dance. In all events, I didn’t see her. I no longer got to hold her on the dance floor, teach her steps, make her look even better than she looked all by herself: very cute, very round, in female dimensions. Half a year ago she comes up and says Hi, reports what she’s been up to: yes, a new husband … traveling. Good. And I forgot about her.

Till last night: a woman comes up to me, says Don’t you recognize me, Paul? It’s Bobbi. She smiles in my face, turns her brilliant face in several directions, emphasizes that her hair is short and black, not full and blond; and I say, OMG, Now I do!

So, I’m already pretty well booked, what between Carole and Judy and Susan and Philomena, but now I’m again also dancing with Bobbi, apparently with the acceptance of her non-dancing husband.

OK: so you’ve got that part of the picture. Now, merge with an update of Elaine. Elaine is recently widowed, cute as hell, I adore how she carries her cute face, her short white-gray hair. Elaine needs a new partner, needs a hug, shows poor me how much she needs: and I tell her, Well, you’re neat, I love you, but I’m wit Jan: we’ll dance, you look for other partners, we’re friends … Great, except that Elaine heard the I like you part too vividly, strated worrying, backing away: becoming the most recent casualty of public certainty, certainly wrong more often than not, that a new beauty has birddogged me away from Jan: who neglects me and herself by going north every summer: she can’t supervise me too closely from Nova Scotia.

Elaine solves the whole problem by going out with Richard. Richard was already her friend, dances well: great, the best solution.

So: I’m enjoying the hell out of reviewing line dance steps for Elaine. She’s picking up Amos Moses, Cupid Shuffle, Boot Scootin’ Boogie very well, but still needs some refreshment on the latter. I tell her, “When Boot Scootin’ Boogie comes on, you, you and Richard, come right up next to me, and I’ll see that you get the sequence ASAP.
“Well, I try to Elaine says, but Carole is always already right next to you.”
“Don’t worry about Carole”, I say, Carole is always right next to me; just shove her aside …”
(That’s a joke, an irony: I can’t possibly mean it, she can’t possibly do it: it ought to be a safe joke … Carole knows better than to feel compromised, besides, she wasn’t there, didn’t hear it, I hope.

Boot Scootin’ Boogie comes and goes: I seek out Elaine, I put my other arm on Richard, I repeat the instructions.

Which brings up full circle to the point. Last night, George Durham launches Boot Scootin’ Boogie. I see Elaine, she drags Richard, over to where the two will be right a-port of me, when Bobi barges up, right a port of me, and inserts herself between me and Elaine & Richard!

What do I do? beside laugh? I introduce them!

Now here we all are, dancing Boot Scootin’ Boogie, I’m steering Bobbi and Eaine, and talking: “Bobbi’s the widow of Coleman Plumbing, you’re all Lake Placid people, you must know her.

I gotta add: one of the things I love about Bobbi is she’s cute and round and young, at least by my 77-year-old standards. Elaine is cute and round … and exactly my age! I think we both make 76, 77 look good.

Jan’s 84, who could look better? Carole will be 80 next week and a half: who could possibly look better? Well, Elaine makes 76, 77 look as much like a Christmas tree as possible.


Pamela Stephenson
Pamela Stephenson, age 61
thanx dailyexpress

Maybe pros don’t count?
Understand, Pamela Stephenson isn’t just an actress, a model; she’s a dancer!
So’s her partner.

2014 12 25 Merry Christmas.
I’ve extolled my alternate dance partner, Carole, at one or another blog for four years now (plus).

Carole @ father's 94th

It grieves me to report that she’s ill, has leukemia, God bless her. There is good news though: she’s already lasted, dancing like a dervish, great as ever, well past the doctors’ predictions!
2015 01 01 Happy New Year! Carole was at the party last night, looking great, as always, but not reporting good news: we suspect she’s contracted something bronchial as though the leukemia weren’t bad enough.
The second I started to dance with her someone kicked her, hard: by accident, I’m sure, some oaf. But Carole never used to have accidents. The agile aren’t immune, we’re still mortal, but our percentages are much much better.
She asked me for at least a couple of dances but before I could find her for #2, I couldn’t find her, apparently she’d left. That is not good news.
2016 08 15 I’m just watching On Golden Pond, Hepburn, Fonda, Fonda and I gotta report something I hadn’t noticed before: Jane Fonda and Carole have some features very attractively in common: teeth, cheeks … Could be sisters.

Meantime, this and that venue, provided pk with dozens of other terrific alternate partners. Jan dances less and less: I hope that reverses soon, she’s starting to get what I hope will be the right help for her back and knees: nevertheless, I keep going. And recently I danced with a great new alternate: twice now I’ve seen her.


Do you believe the mischief in this elf? Shirley, thanx for the great pic!

While I’m at it, let me add: Jan and I had the most wonderful Christmas Eve last night. Jan’s with her kids today.

2015 01 01 Let me also report Shirley was at the party last night, once again from Naples. Her husband David was there (“commuting” from NYC!): Jan and pk, Shirley and David, have now all met. The floor was so crowded the party was so noisy, dancing was nigh impossible, conversation was altogether impossible.

Mandarin Tux

I say a word about my New Year’s costume: Five years ago, what wonderful years, Jan looked at my house, a trailer in a park, lucky to have that, and said that I was going to have to move to a bigger place: for all the clothes she was about to give me! And for those years she’s been feeding shirts that generally fit me and pants that don’t to my already overcrowded closets: distributing her late husband’s wardrobe from the several houses they shared, Nova Scotia, Illinois, and Florida. It’s wonderful how she still loves him but also loves me! First I got the shirts from the Sebring closets, then some from the bay house in Nova Scotia. Jan herself has such stuffed closets that I doubt I’ve ever seen her wear more than a percentage of her resources, rarely do I see her wear the same thing twice. Anyway, she discovered that Dan’s evening wear shirt fit me, almost. I buffed up my father’s pearl cufflinks and shirt studs. Jan thought that some silk suspenders with pastel paisley pattern of Dan’s would be funny: suspenders instead of a tux jacket! A silk paisley scarf hanging absurdly from the back pocket of some of Dan’s black pants that almost fit completes the costume: Huck Finn goes formal (semi-formal).

The outfit was a sensation five years ago: and has gotten attention each year since. (Got mocked this time around, but in good fun I think: Sharon wondered aloud what my “towel” was for. This year Jan found another pair of Dan’s black pants and she tailored them to me the best she could: much better than the other ones.

Anyway, one of the things I love about my costume, about my life in general, is that nothing really fits: the pants are too tight, the cuff-length too short, the sleeves too long …

So: why do I say Mandarin tux? Because getting dressed this New Years evening without Jan’s assistance, especially with the shirt studs, I realized that evening wear is designed to need a team to assemble it. The valet has to dress himself, then dress the master. It’s deliberate that the studs cannot be inserted properly by the wearer: it’s wear for a class with servants: a class deliberately subverted to be helpless: thereby showing power.
Except in my case: I really am powerless.

pic of Mandarin nails evaporated

In high school I worked at the Associated food market in Rockville Centre (on Long Beach Road and Lakeview Avenue). I tended the soda aisle, relieved the checkers for lunch, helped with some carryouts … Our clientelle was hugely Jewish, the culture was Bronx Jewish: we had an “appetizing” department, a great one (I worked there too!) I’ll never forget the day some woman with finger nails so long she wouldn’t have been able to brush a fly from her face was directing her servant to shop for her. She’d gesture at the can of peas, the servant would put the peas into the basket. The woman carried a purse over her forearm: when it was time to pay the servant had to pass the purse and strap over the ridiculous finger nails, get the money, count the change, put everything back … (God help her if she broke one of the nails.)

Imagine the Chinese prince: he’s never once in his life wiped his own ass!

So what did I do? I, the class hater, the would-be Christian communalist? First I realized that I’d already done it wrong: I should have put the shirt on, then done the studs, top one first, then buttoned the buttons. No. Stubborn. I soldiered on: finally forcing the stud face through the outer as well as the inner stud slit: spoiling the perfect ironing job. But you know, it’s so dark in the Legion few will even know I have a shirt on: and brown, not black, shoes! Huck’s all out of phase.

2014 08 14 Last night at the Legion in Lake Placid was neat: Jan’s up north, the club wasn’t well attended; but I like the women who were there: danced with a few tables worth. One gal I’d only danced with once before, but it all came back to me: I’d poked fun at her accusing her of trying to lead, she continued the same gag, said she was fighting me deliberately. I don’t know, she’s not a skilled dancer, imperfect rhythm, doesn’t know the steps … but somehow it was still nice to hold her, feel her against me, gently sort of wrestle with her. A couple of times she hugged me, outright hugged me: I’d probably already hugged her a couple of good ones. Very nice.
I hope this next day’s memory is nice enough to bring her back more often: always room for another friend: though not much more room: Jan up north or not.

2014 04 05 Jan’s knees are bothering her. New hips a few years ago, doing great, but now the knees are bone on bone. She still dances better, more attractively, that most people, male or female, especially most people past eighty, well-passed seventy … She had shots for her knees a couple of months ago, was told to expect good results along about now: well, where are those good results? 2015 01 02 She’s had those shots again now: maybe they have helped: a little.

My friend Carole is a great alternate; but Carole and I can show off together no matter how Jan’s knees are performing. (Last year Carole’s then boyfriend had fits at how well we got along, how close we obviously were: how can they possibly not be sinning together?) This year’s boyfriend accepts our relationship, no problem. Great. But I want to dance with Jan! Jan is my love, my once and only.

2014 01 10 How nice, the Tampa Tribune, Highlands Today, featured our picture over a nice article on the HighlandsDanceClub. My showing Jan my right hand signals her that that hand is about to reappear behind my back. She takes it and I put us through the grinder. She climaxes with a right leg kick as I make sure she’s supported.

Info: The venue is the Highlands Social Center on Sebring Parkway. Werner took the picture, the paper cropped it, I recropped it. There’s a mic stand on the dance floor: the band has a singer! Notice the woman (front row, image-right) wearing red and black: that’s a baritone saxophone she’s playing, a monster!

What luxury: two terrific swing bands in a row. Here you see the Golden Era band; The Skylarks, the grey veteran swing band around here had just played the same venue.

A couple of weeks later I arrived for the dance featuring Buddy Canova’s fabulous sax ahead of Jan, she had a dinner date with the girls. Werner sees me and announces, “And here’s our star!” When Jan arrived Werner added, “And here’s our other star!”

2014 01 01 Once again Jan and I celebrated the new year among our dance friends at the American Legion. I hope the pictures take of us come out well (and scan well) so I can show off my crazy polluted-tux outfit and her beautiful lady garments.

pk Jan New Years 2013
meantime, lastyear’s

Fireworks lingered around her lake till well after midnight but not for me: I had a tickle in my nose, was beginning to feel stuffy, and went straight to bed.

2013 12 03 My Jan and I adopted a ballroom position from a Hollywood movie, I think it was with Henry Fonda and Betty Davis. That’s the only time I’ve every wittingly imitated a movie on the dance floor. Oh sure, I’d been generally influenced by Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain and so forth, but here Jan and I were specifically duplicating a position. Instead of my right hand on the small of her back, my left hand is on the small of her back and my right hand curves aloft, like a bower. Her right hand co-forms the bower. Nice, people notice. Ah but now I want to duplicate every position I can decipher from Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. Lovely waltz pretzels.

Anna Karenina illustration evaporated, let it go.

2013 12 08 Jan and I watched the ballroom scene in Anna Karenina, then we watched Anna Karenina, then we watched the ballroom scene: again and again. The dancers do funny snake-charmer things with their hands: I recommended that we ignore the hands and try to follow the feet. As Jan quickly observed, Joe Wright wasn’t showing the feet, or the legs. But try to follow the shoulders, the hips, digest clues.
Yesterday I had a Eureka moment of sorts. As I told Jan immediately: they’re not waltzing! They’re doing an inversion of a waltz! The male partner is leading not with his left foot forward accompanied by a swoop from the body, One, then right foot forward-left foot meeting it, Two-Three, slight counter-clockwise turn at the ankles, right foot backward, still turning counter-clockwise, Four, left foot backward, still turning, right foot meets left foot, Five-Six … and repeat, ever turning counter clockwise, the couple moving around the floor, the whole group turning counter clockwise; no: the male was starting with his right foot! Then his left foot was crossing behind the right foot, Two, to be joined by the right foot, Three … Sort of like a grapevine in line dancing. Meanwhile, making it all the harder to follow, the upper bodies were engaged in a rich variety of pretzels. Fabulous choreograph, hard to decipher because the whole room is dancing the same backass variation, bassackerds.

Now. I’ve returned the DVD, won’t check the source again for a while, but Jan and I have a bunch of new things to try, to launch tonight, one of the more popular music providers at the Legion. It doesn’t matter if we duplicate what Anna, and Kitty, and Vronsky, and Boris are doing: we’ll be doing stuff our crowd has never seen before. Already they watch us, rapt.
2014 12 25 My dance friend of a half dozen plus years now, Nancy, just lost her life-long dance partner, Carl. She emailed me a bunch of UTube links showing different styles of “waltz”. Yes, some are backwards. The Cajun waltz is quick quick slow: like a Latin step!

2012 12 06 One thing I’ve loved about dancing in Highlands County for the past half a dozen years is the demographic imbalance: there are far more widows than widowers. Still, on an off night the pickings can be slim. My beloved Jan is still staying home recovering from her cough. Carole who’s been my indispensable partner in the summer months when Jan was up north, has her own Bill back in her arms, Bill, who knows I’m with Jan whomever I’m dancing the current number with, is jealous: now that he’s here he wants Carole at his side. I love Carole enough not to want to cause trouble, even if it means I sit alone through an enticing number. I so love dancing with Jan, and with Carole, that I don’t want to dance with just any partner. Well last night I sit and grumble. When I ask Jean, a relatively new acquaintance, she keeps babbling with Carole while I sit and fume.
Carole goes and tends to Bill, I’m sitting and fuming, and Jean says, “Come on, Bug.” And off we go onto the dance floor.
Well, I only barely know Jean, but: she’s good looking, can dance well … Proof: she’s known Bill forever, and Bill is one of the perennial floating bachelor parters at the hall, we goad each other on to the widows.
So Jean is pleased that I recognize her voice, remember her name, remember where she’s from, her late boyfriend’s name … and she starts telling me stories about back when, in her day. This amuses me no end, I’d better tell her:
“I’m 74,” I say, “‘your day’ doesn’t impress me, Youngster.”
And Jean says, “Oh, I wish I were 74 again!”
What? “I’ll be 77 next month,” she says. So, I confide a sample of other ages to her: Bill, Jan, Carole …
“So we’re all the same age,” Jean says.
“Bug.” I love that.

2012 12 01 Bless me, Jan’s back home: but she’s been wracked by a cough, last night was our first appearance at the dance since early August! on top of which, she broke her foot in Nova Scotia! Well, she danced on it anyway: first just a slow foxtrot, then we did everything: dynamic rhumba, tiptoe waltz, lindy with pretzels … and her foot behaved.

2012 10 22 My girl has been in Canada since early August, she’d expected to be home early October, now she’s not sure when she’ll arrive in November: her normal transport fell through, and friends there are clamoring to act as hostess to her: from Nova Scotia to Atlanta. I miss her, bitching will do no good, I’m getting numb to it: which I do not like! But: she phones at least three times a week, after each dance. Last night she sang to me, “I Want To Dance With You!” (That’s a song all the bands play here.)

Last night something touching happened. A woman at the hall has a handicapped daughter I dance with on occasion. Last night her mother led her up to me, Carole had told her that she was going to make me ask the daughter to dance: I’d intended to without Carole’s instructions. I say, “Sure: I was going to ask anyway. Daughter, G, comes up, says, “I’m going to dance with my boyfriend.”
A month ago I didn’t know she could speak intelligably. Her Mom says, “Paul is your friend, not your boyfriend. G repeats. “I’m going to dance with my boyfriend.”
In years I’d never heard her say a word. On the floor she stands in one spot, needing to be held up, while I rock in rhythm. She now I’ve seen her move a little, walk several steps unassisted, and actually trot toward me, on her own, to kiss me! She’s even sung to me on the dance floor!
Anyway, now she’s showing a mind of her own.
I told Carole and she glowed. I told Jan on the phone last night: I could feel Jan’s glow all the way from Canada.
2012 10 28 I danced with her twice on Friday!

Background: G is kept in a facility, brought to some of the dances. She can’t walk without assistance, I didn’t know till recently that she could talk. Turned out her birthday was being celebrated the same day mine was, and Carole’s. I’ll call the mother J and the daughter G.
A year ago I said to J that if she liked, I would ask G to dance. I didn’t think G would be able to accept let alone actually dance, but I explained to J, that she could say “Oh, no, thanks” but that G might be pleased. She said Sure, we did, the exact script. I saw G looking like she was aware of having been asked.
On further reflection I decided that I shouldn’t have assumed she couldn’t dance quite so confidently, mentioned it to J again: I’ll ask again, maybe you should consider saying Yes. G got up, assisted, let me help her to the dance floor, then just stood there. I took the dance position, and just sort of rocked in rhythm. J was very pleased, not to mention G. J’s boyfriend was impressed, pleased. So: I don’t give G a dance every week, but I’ve held her on the floor several times now.

There’s another handicapped girl, Jennifer, I helped out of her wheelchair to support on the floor: and that was a terrible mistake. Jennifer has no sense of physical limitation or danger, she flung herself around as though I were Superman and could rescue her from any position. But G is good as gold, so long as no bull in a china shop crashes into us.

The following has been retold elsewhere but I don’t delete it quite yet.

2012 10 26 “I could use a cuddle,” McKayla says to me, when I invite her for a slow foxtrot.
Player review: there’s me, pk, 74, a good dancer, a very good dancer, and women have routinely been attracted to me even when I’ve been off the dancing wagon (that’s a separate story). There’s Jan, my girl friend, beautiful, wonderful dancer. There’s Carole, our friend, beautiful woman, wonderful dancer. And there are the many women, many of them widows that I and a few other good male dancers dance with at the hall. However often I dance with Jan, I also dance with our friends at our table, acquaintances at other tables, gals at the bar … Bill is a guy, good dancer, attractive to women, called Pretty Bill, dances with the whole crew even when he’s specifically dating this or that individual.
One day I see Bill dancing with a woman to knock anybody’s socks off. “Jeez, Bill, who’s that cute girl?” “That’s McKayla.”

I’m 74. Jan is 81. Don’t be mislead, we look pretty good, I’m almost as elastic, and I’m just as rhythmic, as I was when I was ten, sixteen … Bill is 74. McKayla? I sure don’t know: she’s an adult, but she may not be too close to sixty yet. An adorable face, a radiant smile, great figure: wears sheath skirts: bends her knees, puckers her fanny, and moves her hands as though she’s smoothing her skirt down, giving all the men the delicious impression that her skirt is riding up! What a sexy girl.

But a year or more passes before I ever get to invite her to dance.
Well this summer, August or September, I’m jitterbugging with Carole, a star couple of the floor, but not the only star (Note below): McKayla too is a star, would be had she been dancing without a partner. Carole breaks from of me, sallies forth to McKayla and says, “I love your dancing!” And she gets McKayla’s warm smile, McKayla’s partner beams, I beam, everybody is beaming.

So just a couple of weeks ago, I notice where McKayla is sitting, way back at the bar, and I seek her out, introduce myself as the partner to Carole when Carole assaulted her with compliments: and I get McKayla’s radiant smile, I lead McKayla to the floor, commence a lindy, and I get fabulous complements from her on my dancing, my leading, my teaching. Wow. I’m glad I’m taken because I wouldn’t know what to do with this one: I’m old, broke. So I look good on the dance floor but I couldn’t buy her a drink let alone put her in a limo: things you need to be able to do if you’re going to flirt outside your age range.
Anyway, Jan’s still north, Carole hasn’t arrived yet, I’m dancing with my usual other friends. I spot McKayla, I approach her, she sees me coming. I get a radiant smile, she jumps off her bar stool to launch herself into my arms, a kiss already aimed at my cheek. Wow, I had just hoped she’d recognize me! after I reminded her who I am: a guy who’s danced with her once. She says she’s only there for an hour, she’s headed for the Moose, to hear Larry Musgrave. I point out that Buddy’s on the stand, and Buddy Canova is the best! No, she’ll be leaving. So I say I hope she’ll still squeeze in a couple of dances for me, in fact, let’s start right now, though that’s a slow dance playing.
She gets up, takes my arm, flashes that radiant smile, kind of cute curtsies with her whole self: face, tight skirt, cute bottom … and says, “I could use a cuddle.” !

I tell Carole when Carole arrives. Carole’s jaw drops, she turns pale. “Oh, you’d better not tell Jan that.”

I told Jan, both stories, she laughed heartily.

2014 12 05 Larry Musgrave filled the hall on Friday. My Jan is off to Mexico with her daughter, but I’d gotten an email from Judy, a favorite alternate dance partner: so, I hoped to dance with Judy more than a couple of times, and indeed I did: and that still left me some numbers to share with other gals. Joann I sort of knew but hadn’t danced with her much. Gail, with Bud, I already knew but hadn’t danced with her in a year. Two other gals seemed strangers to me: Kathleen and Sonia.

Judy was looking plenty cute, and Sonia was simply cute as the devil: widowed several years.

But after I’d danced a few times with her, Sonia said something that rocked all certainties: she showed a picture of her and her late husband lounging in a waterful in what she said was a trout stream, in North Carolina: Blue Ridge. “That’s my backyard,” she specified.

Wait a minute: I remembered dancing with someone else who bragged about their North Carolina “backyard”: said that The Last of the Mohicans (1992) had been filmed there! That gal’s gotta be this gal! She also mentioned having lived on Lakeview Drive on Lake Jackson. Has to be the same gal: cute and curvy, very Slavic. But she took herself home before I could confirm much. Maybe she thought I was being too friendly. Come back, Sonia: Jan would get a kick out of your properties, as do I. 2015 01 01 We all met last night, Happy New Year: Jan and Sonia hit it right off. But I already knew that Sonia is not the gal I’d met previously: more than one gal lives in NC mountains and also dances in Lake Placid.

2014 10 I’m so proud of a story my friend Carole’s sister told me Friday evening. It was steak night with Larry Musgrave at the Legion. The parking lot was as full as at the height of the season. There’s always a basic Legion crowd, sometimes a very thin crowd, then Larry brings his own fans, sometimes there’ll be more Larry people than Legion people, and ditto the steaks. Other night may feature burgers, ribs, pasta, fish … but steak night will bring its own crowd: the Legion crowd, plus. The “extra” crowds sit wherever they want: so, if you’re not already in your regular place, you won’t be. Know also: I’m losing my sight, my hearing … my patience. Anyway, the Legion keeps the lights dim: even with my glasses on it takes me ten minutes to begin to see who’s where: I don’t want to go to my usual place and sit in the lap of some fat lady I’ve never seen before. So: I enter, flumoxed, I stand there. Clear as a bell I hear “Paul.” Carole’s sister Sandra is right to my left. She indicates the empty chair next to her. Then my aging eyes see that Caole and Dan are at the far side of the table. Couldn’t be better: much as I love Jan, Jan being in Nova Scotia for a few months, Carole is these days my favorite dance partner, about to be eighty and even with leukemia she’s still a prime athlete, great dancer, great beauty, cover girl. Sandra introduces me to the gent on her left: a WWII pilot! Then Sandra whispers in my ear: when I approached, she’d said to her pilot, “There’s Paul.” And instantly he’d said, “The Dancer!”

Bottom Line
2015 11 08 Jan & I attended a sock hop last night in Lake Placid. We wore argyles, our cuffs rolled up. It was loud and hot but I was enjoying the hell out of the ’50s theme: car dealer sponso, ’55 Chevy parked at the entrance: campus sculpture for the occasion. This morning on her couch, Trump’s candidacy and her investments being a theme, I said something about “the bottom line”: and Jan said, “You have a cute bottom line!”
“When you line dance with all those women you have

a very cute bottom line”!

Bigger Comfort
2016 01 08 Last night I danced with beautiful young woman after beautiful young woman. I’m old and shriveled and deaf and blind, I’ve always been broke, on average, but so long as I dance smoothly, rhythmically, lithely, athletic bordering on acrobatic, even the youngest and most beautiful are eager to dance with me. Well, one gal, just visiting from Michigan, a guest of dance friends, presented an endowment that met one more than half way. Jeez, how is that possible? Her breasts looked ample but sight was nothing compared to how they felt against your chest.
Bosoms, female, signal comfort in our species, always have. Big bosom, big comfort, meagre bosom meagre.

I have a dear dance friend whose topside proceeds her across the dance floor. This gal last night does the same but without looking like it. You could see she had an ample bosom across the hall, but quite how comodious it would be once actually contacted went unpredicted by this lover of things female.

I just watched a documentary on breasts as an indication of health across the species. The bosom is ascendant. Bigger, young … more vulnerable. Girls are protruding at age seven. Once upon a time girls were flat up till age sixteen, sterile till age eighteen. The up side is they didn’t get breast cancer till “age sixty: when not so many were still alive at age sixty. Now the girls are getting breast cancer at “forty”!
Men too! The doc showed a guy jogging, his tits flapping hideously.
How is that? Breasts look, and feel, so great on women, especially on young women, how can big tits be so ugly on a guy: the tits pocked, and blotchy, and hairy … In the doc the one guy had the excess fat sucked out of his poor chest. Ugh.

Joan, a woman I particularly love to line dance with, paid me an interesting tribute last evening. She said that without me present to lead them much of this past month and through the holidays (Jan not feeling up to it, me being home with her) she (and the others) didn’t know what to do, foundered. I recognize that few leaders would count the Cupid Shuffle as reliably as I, it’s important to start on the right beat, but Joan said no, without me leading they, she, Carole, etc. bolixed everything: found themselves doing the Boot Scooting Boogie to the Electric Slide …

My girl, as she ages, 84 now, manages not to feel up to more and more dances: but, when she’s a little sore, or a little lame, or when she’s up north for her summers in Nova Scotia, she asks me about every dance. I tell her, in great detail, which band was playing, who was there, who I danced with, who said and did what. Now nobody, nobody, has a nicer bosom than my girl, so she wasn’t jealous, I sure don’t think so, when I told her about the stunning guest from Michigan and what an imprint she left on her partner: at least this partner: maybe not quite everybody holds the woman quite as close as I do. So Jan was enjoying the hell out of the dance vicariously, especially since the “band”, Buddy Canova, is her favorite.
But back to the dance floor, walking my friend’s guest back to our friend’s table, that table was chock a block with beautiful young women, one of them looking no older than thirty. Where they all visiting from Michigan?

God knew that much would be withheld from me the way I pledged to live my life, being a disciple of Ivan Illich, being after Illich, the world’s great deschooler. I bet Jesus on the cross experiences ecstasies as well as agonies.
There’s a bunch of little ways God makes a lot up to me. I’m still shimmering from last night.

Line Dance

St. Pat’s Bash
2016 03 18 Jan again festooned us with St Patty accessories: necklaces, bracelets … George Durham’s band was terrific, as usual. He and I danced a few line dances together. A series of old female partners showed up on the floor, some I hadn’t seen in months, even years. Jan had loaded herself up with ibuprofen, so she was on the dance floor, my precious partner, half the time.
Something extraordinary happened. I’m used to being hailed on the dance floor by women I’ve never seen before. Getting goosed had even been added recently to my repertoire. But something happened last night unprecedented, and I’m glad Jan and dozens of others witnessed it: Durham & Co. played Celebration, nice sensuous funk. I signaled Carole that we could dance our funky dance, Amos Moses, to it. Jan I remind you doesn’t line dance, her balance these years requiring a partner to help support her. So Carole and I form the core of a Moses line, we’re well into it, well used to oglers from the audience focused on us, when a tall woman, a head taller than me, stepped into the line, encircled my head with her arms, pressed my face to her bosom, and repeatedly shrieked, “You’re sooo Cute!” She took one of my two St Pat’s green necklaces and looped it over her own head so we were tethered together!

Me, I just go numb for the first seconds of such moments. I couldn’t continue my Amos Moses under the circumstances, so I let her lead. She was just doing a rock improvisation, basic syncopation. The place was dumbfounded, along with me.

I’m enough of an alien without such additions. I had the feeling the whole place saw what happened. Rare, inexplicable. Jan kidded me about it for the rest of the night. Carole’s coming over with her sister later this morning, I expect she’ll continue it. Oh, and Carole looked absolutely adrable last night in her St Pat’s greens: four leaf clovers sticking up on either side of her head like snails’ horns.

Five years in a row now pk has worn a funny New Years costume conceived by Jan:

Carole, pk, Roni
doing Cotton Eyed Joe

Roni alas has moved away. But she’s done that before: and comes back: Doris Day’s stunt double.

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