Thursday, March 17, 2011
Okay, so this memory I am not proud of, but my brother and I just howl over it when it comes up. My distant cousin, Nona, pronounced Know-na, (yes, that is her name and yes Norletta is the name of my mother's best friend - along with Tootie. And yes, Nona's sister's name was LisaJo. Now it is interesting to note, that LisaJo is pronounced "LiiiizaJo" where you kind of roll your tongue on the "L", prolong the "I" sound, and then punctuate with the "Jo" at the end. This is how LisaJo's mother, Betty, would say it, and is another thing my brother and I lose control of our bladders over. (Well, really just me 'cause I am the only one who's had kids.)
I DIGRESS, damn, anyway, Nona and her partner, who looking back now I am sure was a homosexual, made it to the semi-finals for Dance Fever in Louisville. I have specific memories of them practicing while my Uncle and Dad played cards and my Mom and Aunt Betty smoked cigarrettes and hung curtains.
Nona had like a jersey (it was polyester, then, and was thick and itchier) low cut wrap dress on in the color of her skin, to simulate nudity, I guess, and her "boyfriend" Sigfried, wore tight black poly-blend pants that today women wear to work out in, (but with a zipper), a white button down the front poly-blend shirt unbuttoned down to his naval, and this - his pièce de résistance - a sparkly red sash, if you will, tied just so around the middle of his high waisted pants. True to form, Nona had made a scarf with two knots at the ends out of the same material as Sigfried's sash. Or maybe they got a twofer, I will never know.
THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL to me then. They are ridiculous to me now. This is the number one reason I cannot watch any of those dance shows on t.v. It just takes me to that place that I normally don't want to think about. That little room inside of me that is dark and tiny and padlocked and reeks of the 70's. Well, the specific details are fuzzy to me now, but I think that Nona and Sigfried went down in a blaze of glory because she twisted her ankle or something and now she is raising her grandchildren's kids. Sigfried, moved to San Francisco and was never heard from again. I am sure he is probably some Congressman or something by now.
Last Spring, my friend, who is also my manager, sorority sister and former roommate, and I traveled to Lexington for Kappa Kappa Gamma's 75th Anniversary at the University of Kentucky. It was a full weekend of festivities, culminating in a day at Keeneland, followed by a "banquet" that night. Well, the banquet had a live band and one thing led to another and before you know it I was grinding up on some 75-year-old alums and their pleasantly surprised husbands. I had elderly Kappas hurling their husbands at me before long, screaming, "Do him! Do him!" and then someone decided this would be more appropriate at a club and off we went.
We stopped at our hotel to change because all of our cougar-wear was binding us, and I decided on a sexy little number of skinny jeans, a hoodie, and running shoes. Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves atop "Skybar" in a "skyscraper," overlooking Lexington. The band was great and I learned that you do not have to dress provocatively to attract young drunk men with Mommy issues. Maybe I should have worn a chenille robe and curlers in my hair.
Keeneland is an absolute ball if you haven't been there, you should go. They have a Meet in the Spring and in the Fall and it is five hundred times better than Churchill Downs - and I am allowed to say that because I am from Louisville. Brad always says how fun it would be to rent a bus and make a day trip of it. If he ever follows through, I will invite you.
The pictures above are me and my friends, years ago, demonstrating my love for dance. The second pic is from our weekend last Spring.