Today I am going to be remembering Knights of Columbus sponsored dances. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men's organization dedicated to doing good deeds. They good deeded themselves to death for us kids when we were in high school.
Our local K of C Council would sponsor dances after the Catholic High School home football games. This was a big deal. Almost everyone went to the football games, because win or lose, we knew there would be a dance afterwards. As a member of the pep squad, I'd have to wear my uniform to the game. But afterwards, friends would get together at one house or another to change into their coolest clothes and head downtown for the dance.
The hall was located in the upstairs of a two story building only a block from down town. Every time I stood in line, slowly climbing the stairs with the rest of my friends to the dance hall, I tried desperately not to be the giggly teenage girl I was. Acting out with the rest of the 15 year olds, I always failed. The men at the door would take our money (was it 50 cents?), stamp our hands, and let us inside, where we'd enter what I thought of as another world. There were three or so local home grown bands that played at these dances. Right now the only one I can think of is the Oviatt Brothers. This amazes me, considering the hours I spent making banners advertising which band was going to play on any given weekend. They played music like "Whiter Shade of Pale", "Twist and Shout", "Light My Fire", and "I Think We're Alone Now". Thinking back, I'm wondering if any of the adults ever stopped to listen to the lyrics of any of these songs. The strobe lights and black lights added to the already exciting atmosphere. As the hall filled up, the windows that surrounded the rooms were opened to let the fresh Fall breezes in. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think there were any screens on those windows. Is that possible? Overcome by shyness, I'd often sit on the sidelines most of the night, alternating between a smile pasted on my face, chattering with my girl friends, watching out of the corner of my eyes to see if anyone was heading our way, or plastering my face with a practiced look of "I don't care" boredom. That is until 1969 - my Senior year. Jim and I had met that summer and quickly became inseparable. We attended every one of those K of C dances together. My shyness evaporated like water on a hot summer day while we danced each and every dance. Arms high in the air, we'd clap, stomp, twirl, and sway to the music of each and every song.
Today we are still holding each other tight, swaying through the music of life. Thank you Knights of Columbus.