The Dance

This well worn picture was taken about 1968.

When we go through an old box or album of pictures they can give us reason to laugh or sigh, and even feel a little sad. We get the most out of these pictures when they are of us or were taken by us. We know the background and story that the picture represents. The picture helps to capture the moment so we can recall the events that were taking place all around while the photograph was taken. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes we have to tell its story.

The above picture was taken at a Valentine semi-formal dance at my girlfriend Sandy’s (now my long time wife) high school in Beekmantown, New York. It was what we called a semi-formal dance. I know it was a semi-formal because I am wearing a coat and tie and Sandy is wearing a dress. The area high schools held many dances throughout the year. It was not uncommon that if two schools had an athletic contest, the school that was not hosting the athletic event would host a dance. Students and athletes from both schools would attend the dance. The cost to get into the dance was nominal, and the music was always a live band. Most of the bands were high school students who had gotten together and formed a group. We also had bands from students from the local colleges and from people who did it part time from their regular jobs. Below is news clipping from a 1967 Plattsburgh Press-Republican news article, about a newly formed band.

News article about just one of the many area bands.


It was at a school dance Where I met my wife. We did not go to the same high school as she went to Beekmantown High School and I went to Plattsburgh High School. We were to meet at a dance at a third school called Mount Assumption Institute (MAI). The night we meet I had no intention of going to the dance. I was at home watching television when a good friend came knocking on my door. He had a major crush on a girl at school and he wanted to go to the dance being held at MAI to try and meet up with her. I will admit it took some effort to talk me into going, as the last thing I wanted to do was go out that night. We walked to the dance where he went off to find the girl of his dreams (he had no luck) and I was thinking I would just go home. That’s when a girl who had her school locker next to mine came up and said she had someone she wanted me to meet. That’s when she introduced me to her cousin Sandy. She was cute with freckles and red hair and while I did not know it then I had found my dance partner.

Below is MAI the school where I met my wife. The school closed down a few years ago but has been remodeled into apartments. Funny I can still hear the music.

This was where my wife and I had our first dance.


 Could I Have This Dance

I’ll always remember that magic moment

When I held you close to me

As we moved together, I knew forever

You’re all I’ll ever need

Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?

Would you be my partner every night?

When we’re together it feels so right

Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?

Released 1980

Songwriters; Wayland Holyfield and Bob House


 Happy Valentines Day


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33 Responses to The Dance

  1. dlpedit says:

    Interesting story. It’s true that “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” but sometimes it takes a thousand words to get the essential backstory to the picture!

  2. What a perfect Valentine’s Day post! Love that song 🙂

  3. That was truly a very sweet and perfect Valentine story. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Peter Klopp says:

    Wow! What a wonderful Valentine’s story, not fiction, but real and true! When I look at the date of the faded picture, it seems to me that the romantic events almost coincide time-wise with ours (my wife’s and mine) as described in my blog

  5. Jacqueline says:

    That’s such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Melissa Moore says:

    I love it! It brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad you decided to go to the dance Dad!

  7. Bernie Moore says:

    Different and simpler times, slower paced and in my opinion, Moore enjoyable. Thank you for sharing the moment, it’s a keeper for sure.
    I went to a dance of a different kind that Valentine’s Day but my dance partner was Uncle Sam, I joined the Army exactly fifty years ago today.

  8. Amy says:

    Oh, Charles–you moved me to tears (and yes, I am a sentimental fool). High school honeys still together after all these years—how many people can say that? (I met my dance partner at a summer camp when we were in college.) Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • chmjr2 says:

      I can say that my wife and I grew up together, and now we are getting old together. I was 16 and she was 15 when we met.

      • Amy says:

        Wow, that is something to be proud of. We were 19 and 20 when we met, started “dating” when we were 20 and 21, and married at 23 and 24. (And I am the older one!)

  9. Luanne says:

    I actually got goose bumps from this sweet story!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    The genealogist in me says to be sure to paste a copy of this post on the back of this photo. I have a number of lovely photos with no idea who the people are. Great story and very dapper looking kids.

  11. I LOVE this family store and the photo! From the heart. Happy Valentine’s day to you, your wife, your family and friends!

  12. momfawn says:

    Such a lovely memory! I graduated high school in 1967, and local bands often played at our school dances, too. I went to the football or basketball games primarily for the after-game dance!

    • chmjr2 says:

      Well we listened to and danced to the same music. My children growing up did not have the school dances we had and I feel they missed out on a great time.

  13. Sweetest valentine gift for your wife and kids – to record where your story began and share it with the world.

    • chmjr2 says:

      Sometimes during a tough time or a fun time in our marriage one of us will look at the other and say “that was one heck of a dance” and everything is explained.

  14. KerryCan says:

    What a sweet post, Charlie! And it brought back a lot of memories–I might’ve been at a school dance you and Sandy attended, either at Beekmantown or MAI!

    • chmjr2 says:

      Those dances were so much fun. It was a great way to see friends and hang out. The music was nice and of course having a boy or girl friend or the hope of meeting a special someone added to the mix. I guess they do not have these dances anymore. I also recall the YMCA had a dance almost every Saturday night. Good times for sure.

  15. Beth says:

    If only more had the same commitment you had over the years! My husband and I passed our 56th anniversary last month.

  16. Sheryl says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It is such a wonderful and sweet story.

  17. Kaylee Skinner says:

    That is such a beautiful story.

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