Dance Night at West Warwick Jr. High

horgan elementary schoolWith Brylcream-slicked hair and Mom-pressed shirts, the boys stood against the auditorium wall, as if they were about to be shot by a firing squad.

In a metaphorical way, they were.

Soldiers each, they were about to embark on the most damnable mission of their young lives…crossing the wide oak floor, to ask one of us girls at the opposite wall to dance.

If a girl rejected some brave boy’s invitation (and many did,) the boy would have to slink back in retreat across that floor or risk a second “No,” from another.

No 12-14 year-old boy had that kind of intestinal fortitude.

Because of the format, Al Angelone‘s School of Dance Night at West Warwick Jr. High became a sort of Maginot Line for young men. It would ready them for life contests to come.

The year was 1956.

From “In the Shadow of Princes” (a book ‘in production’)

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@ColleenMellor #milltownrigirl