My folks bought a new home
in a town called Transcona
I started high school there
and began dating Lana
Even though I couldn’t dance, I spent my first summer in Transcona going to every dance that I could find. Once at the dance though, I would just stand there in front of the speakers where I could feel myself slowly going through some sort of metamorphosis. My poor parents never realized that the guy who left home that night to attend his first dance never returned. When I started high school at TCI later that fall, it was already too late for any educational aspirations that my folks may have held for me. The music had already taken me over.
As I said, I only went to the dances to hear the music, but I have to admit that I did notice all the “pretty things” who were out on the dance floor dancing too. Back in those days, other than trying to sneak in a slow grinder in now and then, none of the guys knew how to dance, so the girls had no choice but to dance with each other.
My friend Rolly Blaquiere and I soon figured out that if we ever hoped to capture the hearts of some sweet young things, we needed to learn how to dance. However, learning to dance required that we do it hidden in my basement because when you’re from Transcona, there’s no way we could be seen dancing with each other. We spent many a night down there stumbling around to Elvis and Fats Domino records before finally becoming dancin’ fools.
Our learning to dance worked like magic and soon all the young ladies were asking us to dance, so we decided to take our act on the road. I don’t know what we were thinking but we were lucky the locals didn’t beat the sh*t beat out of us when the girls all over Winnipeg, lined up to dance with us.
Rolly and I spent the whole summer just dancing our asses off with absolutely no idea that in a few years the folks would be dancing their asses off to our music when we formed The Jury.
Even though I was really into music and dancing, I still loved baseball. However, I remember the day when even that began to change. Our coach had gathered us around him at practice one day, then pointed his bat out to centerfield where some pretty girls were hanging out. In no uncertain terms, said, “You stay away from the likes of them because all they’ll do is ruin your baseball career.” We had no idea what the hell he was talking about but sure enough, about halfway through the season, most of us were out in center field chatting them up instead of taking batting practice. Our coach wasn’t a brilliant man, but he was right about one thing, I never did play baseball again.
Being fifteen was a terrible age, you’re too old to ride a bike and too young to drive so you had to walk everywhere. One late afternoon near the end of the school year, I popped into the Oxford Grill to load up on some fries for my long walk home. While standing there waiting for my chips, once again my destiny showed up. However this time it was in the form of a girl who I spotted in the adjoining banquet hall celebrating her graduation from middle school with her classmates.
After finding out that her name was Lana, I decided right then and there that I would stay another year in the ninth grade so that I could help guide her through her year in High School. Hey, it was the least I could do for the girl who would become my wife and eventually present me with the precious little thing who would cause me to dream yet another dream. Well, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.