notquiteold

Gracefully Aging – With Resistance

How I Won The Dance Contest

I’ve been an ungrateful little blogger.

Bloggers love other bloggers, and they like to give each other prizes. The first time someone presented me with a blogging award, I was happy – but skeptical.

When you accept on a blogging prize, you have to pass it on to five, seven, or maybe even fifty-seven other bloggers. It doesn’t take many iterations before everyone in the blogging world has a passel of prizes.

But of course I love it too. I want folks to like what I write. It’s why I write.

And over the last several months, I’ve been secretly pleased to get the recognition I outwardly scorn:  The Versatile Blogger Award, The 7 X 7 Award, The Leibster Award, The Loving Blog, The Kreativ Blogger, and the Sunshine Award.

When you receive these awards, a nice blogger should thank the person who nominated them, and provide a link to their site. And so there is a whole list of excellent blogs below (and I’ve probably missed some people – since I’ve been ignoring this for so long.) Anyway, thank you.

Usually, with these blogging awards, you are supposed to answer (cleverly) some questions about yourself. You’re required to tell your readers some little known facts about you. But, I am already telling everyone about every thought that’s ever come into my head. (I even shared my colonoscopy.)

But I love to tell a story.

So I’ll tell you a story about winning a prize.

If you see an allegory in there, well…

*****

HOW I WON THE DANCE CONTEST

In 1965, the local radio station threw a block party.

The AM station, WBIS, was insignificant and unpopular. Their claim to fame was that the actor Bob Crane had started his career there.

The Hartford stations WPOP and WDRC were the stations everyone listened to.

But my best friend Doris and I had discovered something cool about the local station. They gave away little prizes all the time. We’d listen on Saturday afternoon. It was “name that tune” or “be the fourth caller” and you’d win a key chain or a pen that wrote in two colors. We loved those trivial prizes. We’d walk downtown to the radio’s shabby studio over the five-and-ten and collect our frequent winnings.

So we were excited about the block dance.

We spent hours fringing our cutoff jeans to the exact three-quarters-of-an-inch that was the optimal fringiness.

The party was held on a Friday night in June. The venue was the parking lot at Mafale’s Plaza, which was not so much a plaza as an appliance store with a laundromat.

But it was a warm beautiful night, and the turnout was pretty good.

Doris and I had rehearsed a few dances.  At fourteen, I would have rather been dancing with a boy, but I figured that if I got out there on the dancefloor/asphalt, the boys would see what a good dancer I was. It didn’t quite work out that way. (But it did turn out to be a pretty good strategy during my nightclubbing thirties.)

So Doris and I danced together all evening.

And just like we expected, the DeeJay gave out prizes. He’d call out, “Hey, Blond Ponytail Girl with the pink blouse and the tall boy – come on up to the turntable. You’re the winner of this dance!”

There were tee-shirts and Pepsis and records.

Doris and I danced every dance. Except the slow dances – and it killed us to sit those out, but we had some tiny bit of pride.

Round after round, the DeeJay would call out. “Curly-Hair Girl in Blue” and “Purple-Dress Lady” and “Bald Guy in the Hawaiian Shirt – and couples would go get their prize.

The last dance of the night was the big hit of the year – The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”. Almost everyone had already gone home.

The DeeJay called out, “Hey, Skinny Little Girl and your friend – Come get your prize!”

That was US!

We WON!

And the Deejay gave Doris a tee-shirt and he gave me the 45 single:

Perspective is Everything.

By that last dance, everyone still dancing in that parking lot had already won a prize. We were the last dancers left who hadn’t won anything. The DeeJay took pity on us.

But that’s not the way we saw it.

To Doris and I, the last dance of the evening was the BIGGEST EVENT.

We won the FINAL ROUND.

The DeeJay saved us till the end so we could be the GRAND PRIZE WINNERS.

Yes, Perspective is Everything.

Doris and Me - Groovin' in the Parking Lot

Thanks, bloggers:

sandylikeabeach

she can’t be serious

kiwsparks

whatimeant2say

Lorna’s Voice

Rita Russell

Carrie Rubin

gabicoatsworth

Lemon Salt

A Circle In The Path

Pharphelonus

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25 Comments

  1. A bit of memory lane here… Thanks for a stroll.
    That was delightful.
    Léa

  2. Wonderful post! Congrats on your awards – AND winning the dance contest! I once won a Paul Anka LP from our radio station. They had a contest at Thanksgiving: be the *th caller when you hear the “turkey gobble”. Of course, the station was about 15 miles away in the CITY, so I had a longer trek to retrieve my prize.
    Your sketch is wonderful, as always -

    • Thanks… my oldest sister had a Paul Anka album. I remember her friend saying it was ‘shitty’ – and although shocked by the word, I thought she just might be right!

  3. Great dance story! I often danced with girlfriends when I was younger and since I can lead salsa and cha cha, I still do dance with women when there are not enough men available, and oddly, I’m often told by women that I’m their favorite lead! It sure beats standing on the side watching everyone else dance.

    Congrats on all your “awards!.” You deserve each and every one.

    • I see more and more women dancing together and letting their unwilling husbands just sit. Good for them! I danced a lot with my cousin’s wife at the last wedding I attended.

  4. Ha! You guys were totally the grand prize winners. And I hope we get to hear about those night club days sometime… ;)

  5. A 45 beats a T-shirt and a Pepsi any day.

    • Our record case for 45s had a picture of Dick Clark on the front. My brother still has it. It’s really fantastic.

  6. Loved they way you linked the awards with the dance contest! Insightful. You are a fabulous writer so I was wondering if you just stopped accepting awards because you had to be getting them! Congrats! Very well deserved.

  7. Congratulations on both your awards. Your illustration is ‘groovy’. I bet the one with the hip work in the sketch is YOU! Fabulous story.

    • Yup, I’m the one with the bony hip jutting out.

  8. I love your stories. Really. I’m a sucker for a good childhood story.

    • No one beats your childhood stories!

      • Well, we can’t all be lucky enough to see charred corpses during our class field trips.

  9. Congrats on the awards. Always enjoy your pieces. If you heard WDRC, did you ever hear WHYN or WSPR from Springfield? Those were my stations back then.

    • My pathetic little transistor radio could hardly pick up Hartford from Bristol!

  10. Haha! That’s great! Congratulation on the awards. You’re an interesting writer and you deserve the awards! Take them, and go find Doris and celebrate with a dance!!!

  11. At least yours was a good record! I won a Beatles record in a dancing competition, but unfortunately it was the Stars on 45 medley of Beatles hits… Congrats on the awards

  12. pharphelonus

    well done!

  13. I love your stories. Perfect way to accept your hoards of awards! What I wouldn’t give for someone to yell, “Hey Skinny Girl” at me nowadays…

    • Oh, yeah, it’s been a long time for me too!

  14. What a song to win a dance contest to! I always was a Stones fan, love the drawing and of course you won the best prize of the night and continue to deserve all the accolades you receive.

  15. I love that story! And also like the Stones.

  16. Congrats on all the awards, but most of all the dance contest. I, of a slightly younger generation, won a Flash Dance contest in college. What a feeling!

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