Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cathy and I Danced on American Bandstand

 Monday, July 22, 2013

It's steamy out today.

Last week, I visited with my oldest friend, the friend I have known the longest.
My family moved to a new town when I was nine years old.  It was January.  Not only was I the new kid in class, but I was the new kid in class in the middle of the school year.  Not only was I the new kid in class in the middle of the school year, but I was the shyest kid.   I don't remember how or why we connected but my oldest friend and I hit it off.  We were in the fourth grade.
Walking Route To School
Cathy and I lived on the same street but our houses were a few blocks away from each other.   We would meet at the corner and walk to school together.  Together we went through elementary school, junior high and high school. The high school was about a mile from our houses.   Cathy turned 17 before I did.  She was the first to get a driver's license.  When the weather was rainy or cold, she would pick me up at the corner in her mothers big old station wagon with a stick shift.
We loved watching American Band Stand with Dick Clark.  At the time, it was broadcast live from Philadelphia.   Cathy and I wanted to go. I think we were fifteen.  Cathy's mom agreed to drive us.   We stood in a long line.  I kind of remember that we didn't get in the first time.
 We were given tickets for another show.  The next time we went back we made it.   We had decided that it would be best if we brought a couple of boys with us in case no one from the show asked us to dance.
It was a time before VCR's, DVR's or On Demand.  Our friends and family gathered around the TV at 3:30 that day to see if they could spot one of us.   I remember thinking that Dick Clark wore a lot of makeup.  I was surprised to see how they dragged the large prop, a cut out map of the US, onto the set, with teenagers dancing behind it.  That's how each show began.  And so Cathy and I danced on American Bandstand.
Through out the years, in one way or another, we have kept in touch.  Sometimes it was an exchange of an annual Christmas card with short quips on the status of our lives.  Now we keep up through Facebook and we "see" each other every day playing Words With Friends.
The past couple of years we have managed to get together once a year for breakfast as she passes by my neck of the woods on her way to the beach.
The topic of our conversations at these meetings is usually about our kids.  As I reflect back,  I realized that even though our children are parents themselves, we still worry about them the same way we did when they were babies, toddlers, teens and now adults.
I don’t know if it was the heat, because it has been a scorcher of a summer, but at our meeting last Wednesday, I noticed that we both seemed a lot more tired.  Worn out, in fact.
We each questioned when those so called "golden" years are going to kick in.  I think we both came to the same conclusion.  They will not "kick in" without spit and polish and a not so gentle shove from our own two feet.


  1. Wow. I wonder if they have tapes of those old shows someplace. Wouldn't it be cool if you could find one?

  2. You know I was thinking about how sad it is that we don't even have a photo.

  3. I loved hearing about your old and new adventures with your lifelong friend. It is truly a blessing to have those sorts of friendships. I am still in touch with people from 7th and 8th grade. Even though we haven't been in the same room together for decades, there's something precious about those connections. I also love the image of you and your friend dancing on Bandstand...I can totally picture it! :)