Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 36 of 2012 - Dances and Sleepovers

Dances and Sleepovers....that's an easy one for me!  I remember being thrilled at the prospect of a dance in Junior High....Romeo Junior High, which for us was 7th, 8th and 9th grades...1963-1966.  It was a Friday night affair and I don't even remember how often...but everyone went!  How'd we learn to dance?  I have no idea, but the girls fast danced together, holding hands, twirling and spinning.  It was kind of a box step with a hand push...sure wish there was a video/movie of us doing that.  Then the guys got involved when Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet" or "Roses are Red, My Love" record was played.  Yes, it was records....45's and I think the teachers were the DJs.  There were chairs along the walls of the gym, mostly filled with boys early in the evening, but by 10pm and the final song, all chairs were empty and the floor was filled.  Junior High also involved a Sadie Hawkins dance where the girls asked the guys, made a candy corsage and paid for the ticket.  I remember taking a "Hicks" boy....I can see his face, but can't remember his name.  Bianca and I made our corsages together...many times I would go to her house after school because we lived 5 miles out and Mom didn't have a car to use.  Dad would pick me up after he got out of work on Friday (9pm close for retail stores on Friday nights...always!)  I felt fortunate to get to go!

Romeo Senior High also had dances, especially the formal Homecoming and Christmas Dances and the Prom were special dance events.  Regular dances weren't as often or as well attended as they were in Junior High.  We also had the Romeo Youth Center and there were dances there in the summer. 

Adults liked to "Square Dance" with a caller or enjoy the Big Band Sound under the stars at Metropolitan Beach.  I remember seeing people dance under the Pavilion on the marble floor where I liked to roller skate and wondered why Mom and Dad didn't dance.  I don't think Dad every learned...and it might have been a No No in his strict upbringing at home.  I know Mom and Dad went to high school dances, but Mom always said "Dad didn't dance."  I have a hard time with that concept, as Dad was very musical and pretty coordinated at sports...but maybe it wasn't encouraged at home and he never felt it important.  It would be fun to ask him now!

Sleepovers weren't common for the Smith kids, as we just didn't have room with 6 kids in our tiny 3 bedroom Fritz Drive house...but we "camped out" alot.  Blankets were stretched over the clotheslines and held with clothespins.  Bricks or rock secured them on the ground and more blankets were pinned to the sides.  We never had a camping or canvas tent and at that time in our young lives, no sleeping bags either.  We slept on the ground, hid our snacks under our pillows and by morning, everything was wet with dew, no one slept very much and Mom would threaten to never let us do it again if we were crabby from lack of sleep.  Mom didn't have much patience for a varied routine at bedtime, whether it was us asking for friends to stay over, for us to go somewhere to stay or camping out in the neighborhood.  Somehow it always ended up being way more work or hassle for her.  I think she looked forward to each night and ALL KIDS in bed sleeping....finally.

As an older child, I remember staying at other friends houses.  Some, especially Bianca's, I loved her family and was totally comfortable there.  Others it was just plain difficult or unnerving to me.  There just wasn't a secure feeling at a couple of places and I told Mom I wouldn't go there again!  Once I went to Penny Falk's house after school and then rode the bus to Lapeer to cheer for a Junior High Basketball game.  When we came out to ride the bus back, it was snowing heavily.  I remember wondering if we were going to make it, which we did, but I soon found out that Mom and Dad couldn't drive the 5 miles to town to get me.  I ended up at Penny's house for several days before Dad arrived in the white van to get me.  Going back to 63021 Fritz Drive, I saw 6-8 ft drifts all along the north side of the house and our driveway was still totally snowed in.  We parked by the road and walked to the house.  Home sweet home, finally.

In my adult life and mothering role, we had Kevin Montgomery and Jason Kranz slept here regularly...they were just part of the family.  If it turned to chaos, and bedtime and lights out got later and later, they also endured my threats of "no more friends over....this is the last time!"  Sometimes, Elaine Kranz would walk over or call and ask if Jason was asleep here.  "He's not at he with you?"  I raised 3 wonderful sons and really felt like I also had #4 and #5 with those two!  Such memories...and who would have thought I'd end up with 5 boys here at times!

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