The Dance wasn’t Irish

I wrote this just as our blog was starting when I got a surprise phone call Then, I got all caught up in the Irishness of the month of March,and I am just now getting around to posting about my special phone call.

Christmas Cards are a way of life.  They are a traditional way of maintaining and stoking the embers of long term connections.  Sometimes we have friends we love but life throws us into the orbit of busy and before we know it, a few years slip away, and then a few more.  This was even more true in the era before Facebook, emails, and affordable long distance phone calls.

So this Christmas I sent a few cards to friends on my mind from the more distant past, like when I worked at the Kuwaiti Embassy Cultural Section years ago.  My blast from the past phone call came this morning.  We reminisced as I watched the snow fall.   She was my very grown up friend in my early years in DC  She was married and had a house, with furniture that matched in the suburbs.  She knew how to cook and best of all she knew how to dance.

  My friend taught Ukranian dance to young people in her community.  They were slated to dance in the bicentennial parade, July 4 1976.  One of her dancers got sick the night before and couldn’t dance.  The dances were in patterns and one person missing was a problem.  So, late the night before, I got the call  “Colleen, I am going to need you to dance”  “  “You mean Ukranian folkdance?”  “Yes”  “Okay when is the performance?”  “Tomorrow , it’s for the bicentennial parade”  “But Luba, it’s tomorrow and I don’t know anything.”  “You’ll be fine.  Can you come over tonight and let me teach you?”   So I arrived  around 10 P.M.  went to bed at 2 A.M. after being trained by my master teacher.  The next day I dressed in traditional Ukranian clothes and braided my hair with ribbons and flowers.  I placed the flower tiara in my hair and set out to dance down  Constitution Avenue.  My parents turned on the TV in Florida .  My mother suddenly shouts out to my dad in the next room  “John, Colleen’s on TV.”  “What? Where? “  “Right there.. on the left”  “That’s not Colleen, those are Ukranians, what are you talkling about?”  Thanks, Dad!  You missed my 15 seconds of fame…… I relived it all this morning talking to Luba.

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