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…One Saturday night, walking back from town, they came to a ballroom on the south side.  They bought tickets to go dancing.  A big glitter ball slowly spun and cast it’s drifting polka dot shadows over the dance floor.   A small orchestra was playing waltzes, foxtrots and tangos for the accomplished dancers –well dressed people in their 50s and older – that generation who met and courted in dancehalls.   Men in collars and ties, smart suits and shiny shoes who knew how to hold and lead their partners, women with set hair in flowing mid-calf dance dresses and heeled shoes who moved in time and with grace in their arms.  Practiced partnerships,  nifty footwork taking  them effortlessly around the dappled dance floor – straight backs, delicate handholds.  They watched this enchanting scene as if it was from another age then, looking at each other and smiling, they took hands and walked on to the floor.   Her Dad had taught her to waltz and foxtrot – her parents were part of that generation – but Camera Boy’s flat feet were a challenge.  He was no dancer but they held each other close and she guided him around.   The slow dances were the best.  They could get away with just holding each other tight,  shuffling around the side of the hall and steering clear of the others.   They did hug each other very, very  tightly, cheek to cheek, body to body, but after a while there was more than that –  love squeezed out of both of them,  stuck them together and brought their already scarce dance steps to a halt.   They both felt it very strongly, drew back their cheeks and looked each other straight in the eye  – knowing something – right there in the Plaza Ballroom in 1973…

Plaza Ballroom 2

Extract from the Guys of ’73

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