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As I See It: Prom has oldies, goodies

As I See It: Prom has oldies, goodies

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A story in a recent edition of The Journal Times told about a senior prom.

Senior as in retirement age. It was held at Home Harbor of Racine, an assisted living community at 1600 Ohio St.

There was a prom king, Robert Nichols, and prom queen, Mary Noe. Some women had gone shopping for dresses, many choosing something purple.

Purple is a nice color, popular with all age groups. A sister-in-law, a son and a granddaughter like purple. One, in fact, lives in a purple house. And there is a rumor floating around that I occasionally watch an NFL team that wears purple jerseys and helmets.

But I digress.

Residents, staff and guests had a good time and everybody who had a role in making the event possible deserves a round of applause. (Pause to clap your hands).

The story by Diana Panuncial reported that musician Paul Bauman sang some “oldies, but goodies” including “There’s a Kind of High” by Herman’s Hermits and Eric Clapton hits of the 1970s.

What? Herman’s Hermits and Clapton songs are oldies but goodies?

When I read that, I realized I would not fit in with that crowd of young whipper-snappers. Herman’s Hermits? Eric Clapton? That’s music for young people.

Oldies but goodies for my age set are Dean Martin singing “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” and Patti Page singing “The Tennessee Waltz.” Or Les Brown and His Band of Renown with Doris Day singing “Sentimental Journey.”

Or Dinah Shore singing “See the U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet.”

Oh, wait. That was how she ended her weekly TV show. Dinah’s hits included “Buttons and Bows” and “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy.”

Music for my age group’s prom would be Guy Lombardo or Tex Beneke. Maybe Artie Shaw’s “Begin the Beguine.” For the jitterbug lovers, we’d hear Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood” or “Little Brown Jug.” Or we would swing and sway with Sammy Kaye.

Those bands were always well-dressed. The men wore matching suits or sport coats, The women wore classy gowns. And they seemed to enjoy playing and singing. No musician ever looked as if he or she were in such agony one should call 911.

The term “oldies, but goodies” reminds me of the time a radio deejay said he would play some old-time music. He played 1990s music.

Old time music to me is waltz, polka and shottish music I heard growing up on a farm near Lester Prairie, a small town in Minnesota 17 miles northwest of Bongards. My mother taught me the waltz in our kitchen when we tuned in Whoopee John on Sunday afternoons on a Minneapolis radio station.

I did little polka dancing because I couldn’t master the hop. But my bride Carol and I did the waltz steps to polka music.

Let me digress a moment again to mention that every time The Journal Times publishes a bridal section, I read the stories about recently wed couples. I want to see what song they chose for the first dance at their reception.

None choose the song the band played for Carol’s and my first dance: “The Beer Barrel Polka.” That’s my oldie, but goody music.

To contact Emmert Dose, write to him art The Journal Times, 212 Fourth St., Racine, WI 53403 or email


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