Frank is Owner of The Rubber Band Gym
Monday, August 20, 2012
LAS VEGAS, ELVIS AND THE DANCE THAT WAITED FOR 57 YEARS
Elvis and Vicky Andres
You are probably wondering what a post about Vegas and Elvis would have to do with a dance that waited for 57 years. I hope you will read the following story that goes far beyond the glitz and the glamor.
Wendy Marvin and a very friendly Elvis
Those of us from the graduating class of Warren G. Harding, 1962, anticipated our 50th reunion, which was held on August 9-11th. Many of us looked forward to seeing class members we had not heard from in over 50 years. Excitement was in the air as our leader, Virginia Nagy Hall, and her committee planned for the exhilarating weekend. Some of you may remember reading about our preparations here and here. For most it was going to be a time to get reacquainted with classmates. I, however, had a different agenda.
Show Girls surround Wendy Marvin and Tom Craciun
Yours Truly with Elvis
Virginia Nagy Hall and her b-Dazzled Shoes
Virginia's B-Dazzled Crocs
Memento Booklet Created by Jennifer McGarry Anderson and Cheryl Galloway Dolby with the help of a blogger friend of mine- Patti at Treasure Barn
Jennifer Anderson McGarry and Cheryl Galloway Dolby
Many years ago, 57 to be exact, when I was in the 6th grade, an incident occurred that I had not been able to shake through all this time. Our teachers decided it would be a good idea to have the 6th grade class learn to socialize by dancing together. We met in the gymnasium during our lunch period and one of the teachers played the waltz and polka on the piano.
Everyone Should Have a Chandelier Like This One in Their Party Garage
While some of the kids were ready for this, my best friend, Karen, and I definitely were still ‘little girls’ who played cut-out dolls and fantasized about the characters from the novels we read at the time. Karen and I preferred to dance together, our fluffy crinolines puffing out under our grey puddle skirts as we whirled around the floor.
Gift Travel Bags we Received When We Arrived at Avalon Inn-I think Virginia and the committee May Have Had Something to Do With This Surprise
A boy from West Virginia had just moved to our town and was transferred to our tight knit class. Ron started 6th grade with students who had been in school together since kindergarten and was finding it hard to fit in. I was later to learn that he had had a hard life growing up in the 'hollers'of West Virginia. His father had worked in a sawmill but funds were tight and the family had to move where there was a better chance for them to survive.
Ron’s life was drastically different from mine and the other kids in our class. Karen and I were assigned to tutor Ron. Another classmate, Frankie Aluzia, was to become his guide by taking him under his wings and helping him to fit in.
From Left: Tom Andres, Tom Craciun, Chuck Dolby and John Baird, Our Class President
One day, while Karen and I were planning our usual polka at lunch, Ron came up to me and asked me to dance. Being the thoughtless child that I probably was, I did the unthinkable. I said ‘no.’ Ron was humiliated and felt he was worthless. He retreated to the back of the piano, where he thought the other kids would not see his disappointment.
I was a child, yet definitely old enough to know better, I didn’t even feel a lot of guilt at the time. Not even when Frankie came up to me and scolded me for refusing the dance.
Liz Teachout with Dennis Steinmetz who Is The Director of The Young and the Restless. Such a Talented Class!
The years faded away and from time to time I thought about the dance I had refused. As I became older, I regretted my behavior. I remembered and was even at times haunted by the look on Ron’s face and the humiliation it held.
Linda and Bill's Chef for the Vegas Night-What a Job he Did. The Food was Delicious.
A few weeks before the reunion, I called Karen (yes, we are still friends after all these years) and told her that I had one objective for the reunion-just one person I wanted to see: Ron. I knew that if I did nothing else, I was going to ask him to dance. I resolved that if he refused, and he would be justified, I would accept it knowing it would be exactly what I deserved.
Pat Tutoki, Joan Zubek Sprockett and Bonnie Sloss Popowicz
The festivities began. Pomp and circumstance surrounded our reunion. The theme for the evening was Las Vegas. Our very generous and thoughtful hosts Linda and Bill, created a fabulous evening at their home. Limousines transported us to our destination where we were welcomed by a red carpet that was rolled out for the class members. Show girls greeted us by allowing our pictures to be taken with them. A spectacular show was awaiting us with none other than Elvis, performing all the songs of the 50’s and 60’s. An eleven member band, including singers played all evening as we danced the night away. A free bar was set up and the food was delicious. It was a night to be remembered forever.
I looked around the grounds for Ron but did not see him anywhere. Finally, a very tall, handsome and muscular man walked by. I craned my neck to read the name tag the committee had prepared for us to wear and sure enough, it said Ron. Could this really be the Ron of our 6th grade class? Surely not. When he passed again, I stopped him and was pleased that it was actually Ron.
From Left-Larry Howe and Wife, Frank and Andrea Calvin
Frank is Owner of The Rubber Band Gym
Frank is Owner of The Rubber Band Gym
I immediately apologized to him for my behavior as I surely thought I had damaged him for life. Either that, I considered, or he wouldn’t even remember the incident. Not only did Ron remember but he told me that he was ever so thankful that I had remembered, since he thought I was so callus a person, that surely it was just a passing incident. He said that when the “queen of the 6th grade” had refused to dance with him, it set the tone for his life to come. I was astounded that he thought of me in this way. In my mind, I was far from being the queen of anything at that time. He told me that indeed, he had been marred for life.He said this in a tone that could be taken jokingly or seriously.
The band began playing “Twilight Time” and before I could ask him to dance, Ron appeared next to me saying, “ I believe this dance is ours.” We danced the dance that should have happened 57 years before. I’m not sure if Ron noticed the tears in my eyes or not as we danced and reminisced but probably not since I detected tears in his as well.
Yours Truly and the Beautiful and Generous Linda Marsteller
Sometimes I think that there are no real mistakes in life, only lessons to be learned. Leo Buscaglia said that too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. As I contemplate further, I think that perhaps kindness is the greatest wisdom.
Here Ron and I are Getting Ready to Dance the Dance that Waited for 57 Years!
Tom Craciun and Wendy Marvin
Cheryl Galloway Dolby and Chuck Dolby
Chuck Dolby, Darcy and John Ashelman
Joyce Manzer Zek- I Met Joyce at the Mall In between Parties
My Lifelong Friend, Karen Gulakowski Price and Betty (Toni) Meade
Don and Roberta (Birdie) Pascute. Sorry about the Quality of this Picture. Don and Birdie are Not Seeing Pink Elephants-It was the Effect of the Glowing Pink Background
Marsteller's Beautiful Daughter and Husband
Marsteller's Son, Rick, Built the Fountains and Huge Decks Surrounding Their Home
Dave (Sam) Salvato and wife Jacqueline
John and Marilyn Pogue