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Faded Pictures from a Life: Slow Dancing at the Y

Slow Dancing at the Y

1963

Once again the YMCA holds a fading memory. The Y building was one of the old buildings in the downtown area, dark brick with concrete slab accents, three stories high. It had all that a Y should at that time; basketball court, a suspended running track above the basketball court, swimming pool, ping pong and pool tables, rooms for the frugal traveler, a blind masseuse, and a large “rec” room where the dances took place. I remember that most partners for the dance had been established well before the dance. It was a system of who “liked” who. It was a pairing up of boys and girls but it was too soon to be calling it dating. At the dance the records were played and chaperones kept an eagle eye on the dancers. One vivid memory was dancing with the girl I “liked” and they played Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely.” I remember pulling her close to me and feeling the warmth of her body coming through her thin dress. It was a sexual experience but not one that stimulated the desire to go further. Just that warmth was enough.


Slow Dancing at the Y, 12″x9″, acrylic on shuen paper, 2021, Mark W McGinnis

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