Monday, September 9, 2013

The Sisters Dance Down Memory Lane

                                                                    Frankie & The Fashions
Last night, the sisters (Lucy and I) made it to the dinner and dance show put on by Frankie & the Fashions.  We danced all night.
                                                                      Lucy and me                    

Before I go any further with the story, I need to do a bit of time traveling back to when I was a teenager. No, smarty pants, I’m not talking about the Paleolithic era.

Back then, in the late 50’s and early 60’s, if you lived in South Philadelphia, you hung on the street corner with your gang (friends). It wasn’t unusual to find groups ranging in size from as little as five to as large as twenty teenagers hanging on corners all throughout the city.
                                                                      The Bowery Boys
Some gangs were into fighting. They fought other gangs. Yeah just like West Side Story, but without the music. My uncle Mike belonged to a gang like that, but their fights were fists only; no weapons; they were the tough guys.
                                                                         Marlon Brando
Our gang was the other type; we sang. My Cousin Jerry and several of his friends would sing Doo Wop all night, while we girls danced. We hung on 16th and Wolf in South Philly.
Every Saturday night, we would all head over to Bishop Newman or Wagner’s Ballroom, or the Chez Vous and dance the night away. When I look back on this, I guess our gang was more like a West Side Story type of gang, but without the fighting.
                                                            Scene from West Side Story
We were a group of kids who needed a place to hang out. Most of the time, the neighbors tolerated our singing, laughing, and just being chatty, but sometimes the police were called and we had to move from the corner into my Aunt Helen’s basement. Sometimes, the police would only tell us to keep it quiet; we were good kids, and therefore, not a nuisance in their eyes.

Cousin Jerry had a terrific voice and still does. He continued to sing before and after his tours in Vietnam and through his earning two Purple Hearts. I’ll save that story for a later time, when I interview our family's war hero.
                                                         Cousin Jerry on the far left

Last night, my sister Lucy, Cousin Donny and I were at Galdo’s Catering Hall to hear my cousin Jerry and the other members of Frankie & The Fashions, rock the house.
Frankie & the Fashions is an Acapulco group who performs songs from the 5o’s and 60’s. When the group took a break, everyone danced to music provided by DJ Jimmy K.  What an awesome night.
One more thing: when I was young; no one went to the gym to get into shape; we danced. I bet you can lose more weight dancing the Bristol Stump then you can with push-ups. Don’t think so? Try it!

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