I CAN DANCE   

I attended classes from 9 AM to 1 PM daily at Droughons Business School.  I had been

My Dad

living with Uncle Frank for a few weeks and was homesick. It was during this time I realized how much I loved

and missed my family , especially my Dad.  I would say, for a father and son, we were pretty close.  He like to work and so did I.

Realizing this would be a permanent separation, I knew I needed to find friends, but I had little time to do so.

Rob Parson got me a job in a machine shop sweeping floors from 2 to 5 on weekdays. The machine shop was located on Dawson Road, about 6 miles northeast of downtown, which was about 15 miles from Oakhurst, a long way to walk.  My daily routine started at 6 in the morning and ended round 7 PM.

My uncle, Rob would drop me off at Draughons and I would do homework until classes started.  After class I rode the city bus to Dawson Road to get to work at 2 PM.  Since my quitting time did not coincide with Robs’, I would walk or thumb a  ride to Oakhurst.  Sometimes I walked a lot and got home late.  The grueling schedule left little time for social activities.

Desiring friendship I started looking for things to do with kids my age.  The local cafe attracted teenagers who hung outside drinking cokes, joking around and sitting on car hoods or tailgates.

I was fortunate to hitch a ride almost all the way to Oakhurst on one Friday afternoon.  I showered, put on my best clothes and headed to the Oakhurst  hangout.  As I approached the cafe, one of the boys came to met me.

Earl McCarthy introduced himself and we became instant friends. He introduced me to the 5 or 6 boys standing about.. It was a friendly group and I felt accepted.

As Earl talked about things to do on a Friday evening, he mentioned a dance party hosted and chaperoned by parents of teenagers in Oakhurst.Although I was 17, I had never danced.  But it looked easy to catch on and I felt in the mood.  Approaching a girl standing off by herself, I asked her to dance.  It was a fast one.  If the onlookers didn’t think the shy girl could dance, they soon  changed their mind.

Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched her.  Me, I just tried to keep up, using the side step with one foot and toe tap with the other as I had seen when Elvis was on TV.  Of course my hips were not quite as loose as his.  When we finished, the watchers stood and applauded with appreciation.  Intuitively, I knew the applause was directed at the shy girl.

After the first dance, no one seemed interested in dancing with me. I couldn’t figure it out.  But soon one of the chaperons, Mrs Ellen Lasson, came over and asked me to dance.  She asked me to call her Ellen and we danced 3 or 4 times.  A few minutes later I looked around and discovered she was gone.

Standing on the side for 15 to 20 minutes, I decided to leave.  But as Mrs. Lasson came through the door with a beautiful girl with blonde hair, I decided to stay a little longer.

My life was about to change as my heart skipped a beat.  I didn’t know that we would be married before the year was over.