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Family, Friendship, Uncategorized

We still go together (rama, lama, lama, ka dinga da dinga dong)

When I arrived for practice with the Rye Town Community Band last night, I briefly thought I’d entered a time warp.

Port Chester Middle School, where we practice, is putting on Grease.

I couldn’t help but smile at the sets and the costumes neatly laid out in the practice room. (Our ninth-grade version of Greased Lighting was better suited to burn up that quarter mile, though … just sayin’.)

Cast and crew of "Grease," 1980, Port Chester (NY) Junior High. First of all, I can't believe how young we all are. I'm the only person wearing glasses. You likely see two of the faces in the photo on television today. One of the fellas is a choreographer, another plays in a band. The rest of us all grew up and assumed a variety of jobs. Still, if you put us together in one room, we could do a hell of a hand jive.

Cast and crew of “Grease,” 1980, Port Chester (NY) Junior High. I can’t believe how young we all are. I’m the only person wearing glasses. You can see two of the faces pictured here on TV today. A third is a choreographer, another plays in a band. The rest of us grew up and assumed a variety of jobs. Still, if you got us back together again, we could do a hell of a hand jive.

For a few moments, I wondered if I could reprise my ninth-grade role as Miss Lynch.

Back then, the school was a bona fide junior high, and between band, chorus, school plays and school assemblies I likely spent more time in that auditorium than I did in the living room of my childhood home.

An early bloomer with middling vocal skills and barely passable acting chops, I was the go-to for small, mature woman roles back then, playing Mrs. McAfee in the previous year’s offering, “Bye Bye Birdie” and later serving up a saucy version of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” wearing a blonde wig and, yes, wadded-up athletic socks in my bra at the spring talent show.

Anyway. Miss Lynch.

I knew as I crossed the stage last night that I could conjure her again, just as I can still shuffle-step my way through “I’m a Little Teapot“; recite Joyce Kilmer‘s “Trees” (I see my third-grade classmates nodding; they can do it, too); dance my way through the “Ugg a Wugg” song from the summer theater group’s presentation of “Peter Pan“; and play the opening riffs of “British Grenadiers” on the clarinet from memory (now my band mates are nodding).

How lucky I was to have had so much fun growing up.

Grease wasn’t just the word for us as we prepared to embark on high school. It forged a lasting bond among us — even those of us who didn’t remain close friends hug each other an extra beat when we meet up at school reunions.

Driving home from practice, I didn’t flip the radio on. I had a soundtrack already playing in my head.

As I go traveling down life’s highway

Whatever course my fortunes may fortell

I shall not go alone on my way

for thou shall always be with me Rydell 

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “We still go together (rama, lama, lama, ka dinga da dinga dong)

  1. Hey Terri……who are the two people in the picture that we can see on “tv today”. I know Dave is one. Who is the other? Hope all is well?

    Posted by Mike Colaluca | April 26, 2013, 12:25 pm

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