"THE LAST DANCE - THE LAST CHANCE FOR REAL" - by Kevin L. Corcoran
Earlier this year I was contacted by a writer from Ft. Lauderdale Magazine. He had grown up in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia and he went to the Hulabaloo Dance Club in Conshohocken as so many of us did. He met his wife there and one evening a reporter and photographer from NEWSWEEK was on hand and their picture appeared in an issue that highlighted the Hulabaloo Clubs. He contacted me because I was quoted in the article, which appeared in 1966 or 1967. He wanted to know my thoughts and memories of those days.
I told him what I told the NEWSWEEK reporter, lo those many years ago, that it was in our blood, in our spirit, those of us in the Class of 1968 at Abington High School. We were a generation that lived and danced to some of the best and most memorable music of all time. And dance we did. Some of us from Overlook Elementary took Friday night dance lessons at Lehman Dance Studio in Willow Grove which led to dance parties at our homes in 5th and 6th grade. Then for us it was off to Huntingdon Junior High where there were monthly dances on Friday nights run by Mr. Garvin. And his famous, “this tune will be a ladies choice.” And, MOON RIVER played at least three times.
Our dancing continued on at the new North Campus run by Mr. Garvin, Mr. McCaffery and Mr. Worthington. Some of us stood by and watched, some of us danced a little and some of us like me, never sat. But dance we did. South Campus did not have the attraction of Friday dances, true around the region, and thus the creation of those Hulabaloo Dance Clubs. My brother taught me the “back way” to Conshohocken and I remember car trains of 10 +/- cars following me there. No drugs, no smoking, a little hidden alcohol here and there but if caught you were out.
Then in June, 1968 on Memorial Field the real dance started: that dance of life. Our journeys have all been unique and varied. You could never call my own journey dull. Not all of us have survived it. But, in one way or another we have continued to dance to the beat we heard. Five times since that day we have been able to come together and dance with one another. I danced with everyone who would do so.
In May, 2018 we will come together, those of us who are able, to reflect on our lives, our loves and our passions. Passionate we were. When I have been asked what high school was like I always say that if you were not in the Class of 1968 at Abington High School then you never really went to high school. We were the best.
But, this will be the last. There will be no more formal reunions, at least to the extent we have known them. It will be the last dance. It will be the last chance. Please do not hesitate and have doubts about coming. Like that day on Memorial Field it will be the end of our journey together but the beginning of the next. I want to dance and I want to dance with you. Let’s do it and come dance with me.
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