I have the tickets someplace. 

The dance was set for Saturday night, November 23;  51 years ago tomorrow but on this Saturday's night...the last Saturday before Thanksgiving.  I was taking Laura  and all was right with the world. We were going with the regular gang as some of us could drive and others .. well, we were too old to have our parents drive us anywhere so we crammed into cars, dresses crushed, our only suits wrinkled.

My fellow musicians had formed a dance band that fall and were struggling to figure out how to make it sound like something. Warren Covington's orchestra was hired to play at tonight’s dance and they arrived for other gigs a few days before and we snuck into one of their rehearsals.  A few of us got up the nerve to talk with him and he wound up loaning us some music for our band.  We were thrilled.  The Warren Covington, his music, wow.  He autographed a scrap of paper for each of us as, outside of Lawrence Welk on TV, this was as close to big time as we had come. We figured we would give this “autograph” to our dates and they would be snowed.  Such is the mind of a 16 year old.

That Friday, the 22nd, 51 years ago today, Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas and everything was cancelled; as well it should have been. The late Thanksgiving that followed was fairly somber. Laura's corsage forgotten in the mess.

 I ran across some stuff in all this regard during an hour of sorting basement boxes and "stuff".  The unused tickets from that Saturday night, some stuff from the Homecoming dance, a yearbook or two, and of course clippings about Kennedy.

51 years. 51 years ago this Fall and this week and this day, on a Friday. 6th period Orchestra rehearsal. 


  1. Laura remembers…… The corsage is a nice touch, but the memories are better.
    What an inexpressibly sad and violent moment in time that bled into all of those 51 years. Our generation, in some way or another, has been striving to administer moral and emotional first aid ever since. In spite of all that, thanks for the music and lovely recollections.

  2. My pleasure. Thank you for the honor of the dance brief as it was but so very memorable.


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