If you ever see a re-run of "American Bandstand" - that was us. We even had a couple that got out of school early every weekday to be regulars on that popular show filmed in Philadelphia, just across the bridge from our high school.
There were dances every Friday night at the VFW Hall, and any excuse was a good excuse for a "Sadie Hawkins Dance," a "Sock Hop" or any of numerous holiday celebrations, as well as proms and class dances.
We danced anywhere - in rec rooms, in the school hall (which was actually prohibited), the cafeteria, restaurants, parking lots, just about any place where music was playing, and that could be anywhere at anytime.
Music in the 60s was conducive to dancing! "Our" music just made you move. Some of the music today actually stops me in my tracks, but don't get me started.
Getting back to the reunion, it was so much fun. Everyone is finally past all that "trying to impress" business. Even though we often didn't recognize one another, it was a friendly and congenial evening with lots of laughter.
Fortunately, someone had cut out our pictures from the yearbook and used them for nametags. But some clowns exchanged nametags just for the heck of it.
I must admit I was so surprised that everyone looked much older than I did and had gained more weight than I had. It was amazing that we all were born in the late 1940s and yet, I seemed to be the only one there that didn't look my age. It's wonderful sometimes how the mind can deceive.
My first opportunity to dance at the reunion came from Jim Sambucci (pronounced sam-boo-chee). At first, when his offer came, I hesitated and explained to "Bucci," as we called him, that I was still recovering from surgery.
He wouldn't take "no" for an answer, and literally swept me off my feet, yelling over the music, "ah, come on, let's give that new knee a whirl." We did, and it was great - the knee really worked! I yelled in his ear as he held me close "where's your wife?" He yelled back in my ear, "We agreed years ago, she wouldn't come to my reunions and I wouldn't go to hers."
I laughed in response, because that is exactly how it goes with my spouse.
Next, the "girls" lined up on one side of the floor and the guys on the other and we "strolled" into the 60s. Time stood still, and we were back in the cafeteria all tight skinned and hormonal. It was incredibly fun and nostalgic.
We laughed, we cried, we stumbled. Although there was one guy, Tony Damiani (pronounced "dam-e-annie") who was voted best dancer in 1967 and still is! He moved like a gazelle, and we were all mesmerized by his fluid steps.
We circled him and clapped and roared with excitement as he showed his stuff to the tune of "Shout" by the Isley Brothers.
Later I found out that Tony just retired from the local police department and had open heart surgery last year. Wow, and he's still dancing!
After watching Tony dance into the wee hours of the night, I have determined that I want to dance all the way into my 80s and beyond. I never could and never will be able to dance like Tony. But, whether I dance on the floor or in my heart, I intend to work at it until my time has run.
Let's keep on "strolling" folks!
Karen Logue lives in Junction City with her husband, David. She works as a legal assistant and is the managing director for the West T. Hill Community Theatre.