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Bringing Back the 40s

Tom Sanders

Bringing Back the 40s

Do you remember listening to the music of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Pete Fontaine. I do! Even though it was Dad's music, I feel I grew up on it!

It is hard to describe the musical rush that the big band sound elicits. It makes me want to dance. And, if you're like me, then dancing is a big part of your life. The music of that era makes me want to Swing, Foxtrot, Quickstep and more. So, when Marta offered the opportunity to represent the Greater Daytona Chapter by dancing prior to the Dave Bennett Sextet Concert at the News-Journal Center recently, I and others had to say yes!

Absolutely Ballroom, represented by Caleb Young, MaryAnn Chirco and Eileen McDermott, and our chapter, represented by Carol Edwards, Bill Poole, Donna and Tony Keller, Geoff and PaoChen Davis, and Tom and Jo Sanders began our preparations. You see, not only were we going to dance, we were going to "dress the part" in 40s fashion. Now, it would be double the fun!

Off we went to closets and thrift shops to find Zoot Suits, Fedoras, formal wear with tails, White Suits, and lovely 40s era dresses. We were ready! We arrived before the crowd and staked out our dance floor, turned up the music and started dancing. The forties were alive and well in April of 2014.

As the crowd entered the NJC, they were greeted by the sounds of Big Band Music and the dancers displaying the finest era dances. Song after song, spectators stood and watched. It was exciting! The crowd continued to get larger. They were tapping their feet, moving their hips and snapping their fingers! After we danced, the crowd applauded and expressed their appreciation to each of the dance couples.

My wife, Jo, and I were especially touched when after dancing a swing/jive to In the Mood, a gentleman in a wheelchair (Gordon Smith) and his daughter beckoned us over to see him. He gave both Jo and me a hug and handshake and told us repeatedly how much he loved watching us dance and how much he loved dancing swing with his wife when he was younger and before he needed to be in a wheelchair. He told us that he asked his daughter to video us dancing and asked our permission to show the video to his wife so they could re-live memories of their dancing. He made our night!

Shortly after that, Carol Anderson-McLean (event manager) told us that we needed to shut down so that the spectators would take their seats. We accepted that as a compliment to all of us! All the dancers enjoyed many compliments as we encountered those who had watched us dance. All the dancers were fabulous! Geoff and PaoChen, Caleb and MaryAnn, Bill and Carol, Tony and Donna shared their joy by inviting our spectators, who were getting caught up in the festivities, to the floor to dance.

The Dave Bennett Sextet was tremendous! His musical talent was beyond belief! All those who attended truly witnessed the 1940s at their best! So, from all of us at the Greater Daytona Chapter, thank you, 1940's, for providing such great music and dance that we still enjoy in 2014!