Most of the time my siblings and I stayed home and finished chores while Mom and Dad got dressed up and went off dancing. When we were each around 12, however, we were taken along so we could learn to dance. I balked at going along to the dance when my turn came around, so I was told that learning to dance would improve my basketball skills. I begrudgingly went along and danced with my mother. As I got better, I would sometimes dance with some of their friends. I learned to dance the waltz, foxtrot, polka, tango, and two-step. Despite knowing all these dances, I still wasn’t a starter on the basketball team.
One night some friends at the Fairyland dance told them the Kenny Holfer band was playing at Club Mocan in Moline and invited them to go. Mom and Dad hadn’t been there before, so my father got some general directions from the friends and felt confident he could find it. The next week they set out in the 1966 Ford Galaxy 500 to Moline. The general directions proved to be not enough, and they were soon lost in the ravines and dead-end streets of Moline. He’d head south, find he wasn’t far west enough and be forced to go back towards the river to find another crossroad. My mother suggested asking for directions, but he preferred to trust the map in his head. By the time they got to Club Mocan, it was already the third dance!
Once when arriving at another dance at Fairyland, they found their friend Ted Musal struggling to unlock his vehicle, having locked the keys inside. Many men tried to jimmy it open without success. My father, being the coach of my little league baseball team, had the gear in the backseat. Ted finally got so frustrated he grabbed one of the baseball bats and broke the window.
A delicious steak would be a great Valentine’s dinner to share with your dance partner. Steak—and many other delicious cuts of meat—are available in the Cinnamon Ridge Country Cupboard, along with our cheese, eggs, and baked goods.