Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Some people might try to hang on to the idea that Bob Dylan or James Taylor are the spokesmen for our generation. But after watching 20 ladies and John Angell, the old Chief Wrangler of the Rodeo Club, at the 35th Reunion joyously take the dance floor, it leaves little doubt that The Village People and their smash hit "YMCA" may be the one true voice of the Class of 1975.
I have suffered through this song innumerable times, at Spencers Corner in the 70's, The Run Down Comfort and Grand Central Station in the 80's, then Spencers Palace in the 90's. Where ever my class flocks, this song is played and the dancing begins.
All the dancers do the same basic move, but some have perfected it over the years. Saturday nights winner had to be Nancy Smith, with her right arm outstretched and a pointed finger flicking perfectly in unison with the thumpa-thumpa of the music and moved her arm in a slow wide arc while mouthing the words:

Young man, there's no need to feel down.
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy.

For the next verse, Nancy went back the other way, using her left hand and finger. It was donme while gracefully swinging and swaying to the music. She was a machine!
Then, of course at the chorus, everybody throws their hands in the air, then down to shoulders, then with hands on hips; the big finish comes as they spell out "YMCA" .

It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
It's fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
They have everything for you men to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys

So as I stood there watching them dance, my mind began to wander, the way I'm sure yours must be now. I began to see into the future at the 50th Reunion in 2025, where I'm sure this song will be played, and danced to as well. I could see the ladies, just slightly less spry, but giving it their all just the same, and John Angell hopping right along with a very stylish cane, most likely Onyx, with an Ivory handle as everybody sings out:

Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
But you got to know this one thing!

No man does it all by himself.
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,
And just go there, to the y.m.c.a.
I'm sure they can help you today.

Then again I see in my minds eye, as I'm sure you are doing now as well, the 75th Reunion, our ranks very much thinned, probably down at the La Dora Lodge Old Folks Home on Bedford Road, and the DJ puts on YMCA and six ladies and John Angell take the floor in wheelchairs and walkers. I gotta tell ya, I'm tearing up a little as I write about it. Some things are immortal, and surely YMCA and John Angell will be.

Anyway, as I was leaving Saturday night, I saw two of the YMCA dancers outside. It was two girls that I didn't know in High School and they did not know me. As far as they knew, I might have gone to Odessa-Permian Basin. I'm certain they have never seen one of my Facebook or Bulletholes stories. I stopped and said hello, and told them that I had calculated that if I lived to be 100, that I would have gone to 9 more Reunions, therefore I would have watched the YMCA dance 9 more times.
"Don't you like to dance?' one asked.
"Oh yes, I love to dance!" I said.
"Well, why didn't you dance to YMCA tonight"
"Because" I explained "I flunked spelling. I cain't spell no good."

They didn't laugh. They just kinda sat there with their mouths open.

Nancy doing her flawless YMCA routine.
The judges gave her....ALL TENS!

1 comment:

bulletholes said...

I want ya'll to know that that poicture of Nancy with the flicking finger? i didn't see that till AFTER I wrote the story.