An early surprise

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 8, 2004

I need a reason to get away from writing about the war and the man who deserves to be king and rule. No silly questions, please! It came about when a dear friend met with others of a Bible group. My name and my column came up. I’ll take attention from anywhere as long as it’s favorable. Miracle of miracles, it was! Here’s the sum of the statements – can’t quote, I wasn’t there, but here is what is wanted. I’m to write about things in my early life and not the war and all those Muslims out there. Can’t pass this up – my Dad sent me to parochial school to protect me from all the wickedness &uot;out there&uot; – and not a bin Laden in sight!

OK, ladies, this is for you, here goes. My dad was well-known in our city politics. Not positions, but behind the scenes. A close friend was a selectman named Jim Corbett, who had three sisters, Mary, Peggy and Kay, the most theatrical-looking gals you’ll ever see or meet. May – brunette, Peggy – redhead, Kay – blonde (must have used a mess of bleach – oh, was she a bright blonde and I don’t mean brainy!). These three were royal family of the dancing schools. No one was better or could equal the number of those taking lessons (stage dancing, not ballroom). Since I was cute – come on, don’t I always tell the truth? Anyway, cute or not, Jim suggested to my Dad I enroll in his sisters’ dancing school. I did. For three years, I took lessons and loved it. The recital, the costumes, the big shots who came to every recital (with their &uot;daughters&uot;) because of Jim’s city position. It was all excitement on a high level.

By now I’m 13, and praised to heaven by the three sisters as being one of their best pupils. Never do this to me – I don’t react as most of young mind and body. My reaction was &uot;I can do what they do. I can run my own dancing school!&uot; Boy! What an ego! Right? Seemed very easy to me. And off I went to compete with the Corbett sisters. My big family was fascinated and proud and helpful. Three brothers (fourth came years later) distributed fliers, and three sisters did phoning. You think Clinton or Bush important? Move over guys! It all gelled when I was allowed to use a church hall in my parish as my dancing school. Ended up with 20 pupils – two older than my 13. Stuck with it for almost a year and my ego swelled. My kids were good, and I decided to have a recital.

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Note – will do story of recital next column. It’s a dilly. Read it, huh? Thank you.

Florence Arena is a regular News-Herald columnist.