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February 26, 2021

Worthy to Print Column | Happy New Year?

By George Worthy, Gonzales Columnist

Well, 2020 is over. Let’s pray 2021 will be a much better year. It’s unfortunate, but this shall not be a memorable New Year. Is there something about this year that tickles your fancy? I didn’t think so. As I sat back in my chair and tried to remember the best New Year celebration I ever had, I probably should mention one of the years since I met and married my love, but to be honest, there were other celebrations in my past that are going to be hard to beat. 

One that stands out is a dance I went to when I was in the eighth grade. First, I wasn’t supposed to even be able to get in the door because of my age, but this was a night when my older brother decided that since he had beat up on me for the past year, he would fix me up. He was dating a really pretty girl from Wasco who just happened to have a younger sister that was about my age. Her name was Vicky and she was the bell of any ball she attended. 

Now remember, this was a long time ago, and my brother had a magic car. Well, any car was magic back then because you didn’t need anything else to go on a date. This night there was this dance over in Bakersfield. A real rock and roll band was going to play the newest rock and roll songs. They may have been terrible, but you could not get me to say anything bad about them. 

Although I was only 14 years old, my brother got me and my date in to the dance. It was really crowded, and there were so many people there that no one was really checking things, so we sneaked in. I was with Vicky, who danced with me almost every dance. She smiled at me and acted like I was cool. 

The only other dance I had ever been to was on Friday night in the high school cafeteria after the football game. That’s the only time kids our age were allowed to dance and you couldn’t get too close or one of the teachers would stop you and give a stern talk about the evils of youth. It was there I discovered that the girls didn’t care if you were Fred Astaire. 

Mr. Astaire was the father of dance. He was seen in over 37 movies and mostly danced with a beauty named Ginger Rogers. I read once that Rogers was actually the better dancer, as she had to do all of his steps backwards and in high heels. The girls just wanted to dance. If you didn’t step on their toes or fall down, they liked your dance steps. Nobody at that age knew any real dance steps, so we just got to jump around in time with the music. 

Another thing, don’t be afraid to try something new. The girls didn’t care if I couldn’t dance. You see, there were always more girls at these dances than boys, and the boys that showed up were there because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. I was not embarrassed and asked lots of girls to dance. What else were they going to do? It was a dance.

I love to dance, so we try to find a venue that is playing music, but it seems the bands for these affairs seemed to figure out that all these gray-headed people have no other place to go, so they deliver less than a memorable show.  My Bride and I paid for a few parties that were outrageously over priced for a few years in a row and didn’t hear a single new tune. They play about six different tunes, but they play those same six all night. 

This year we are not even allowed to have a good time. More and more folks are getting pretty tired of the mess that our politicians have gotten us into. Masks and spacing and promises of a new vaccine is all we hear. First it was to go to the first responders. Then they changed that to giving the vaccine to the older crowd. I’m pretty sure I could fit into that description, but I’m not in a nursing home so I’m happy to let them into the line in front of me.

However, things have changed again and now it is for the staff of all the elected officials in Washington. I notice that all the folks that hated President Trump and said they wouldn’t take the vaccine because he was responsible for getting it hurried out of research and available to the public are pulling out their gimme cards and getting in front of everyone else.

At least that is the news for this week. Who knows what it will be next week. They are still counting votes if you can believe that! I have told you before that if someone learns something new every day, they never grow old. I must be good for about 10 years because this year I learned what is really important is your relationships with your family, friends and our community of Gonzales.

Hey! Big shoutout to the folks of Gonzales and all of South County. Speaking with Ben of Luigi’s, he wanted to thank all who supported him. He said he would have had to close months ago except for his loyal customers. 

God bless all of you! Now wash your hands and put on that mask.

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