When Faye and I were in elementary school we were fortunate to get to take dancing lessons for a year. This would not have been possible if Janine Vogler had not enrolled in the classes. Our mother did not drive and usually, Daddy did not invest money in something that did not pay direct dividends. Mother had loved dancing, but being raised as a Quaker, she had few occasions to indulge. Somehow she persuaded him. Mrs. Elsie Vogler drove us to the lessons.

I enjoyed the dancing and the time spent with Janine and the other girls. Until now, I had been sure I wanted to grow up to be a cowboy. The dancing, plus the pictures I had seen of beautiful ballerinas, reminiscent of swans, had me considering a career change. The fact that I more closely resembled a duck than a swan and could not remember more than three moves in a sequence did not deter me. Performing in the recital fanned the flames of my ambition.

Our school had frequent chapel programs that gave each class a chance to be a part of the program. I asked our teacher if we could dance. Janine and I were in the same class, and we had the tutus from our dance recital. We decided to include Carol FitzGerald. I don’t remember her taking lessons with us, but we taught her the simple routine and secured a tutu for her.

One reason I wanted a third person was so Janine and Carol could enter from the left and right while I entered the center stage as the stars did on TV. We entered and did a dance similar to the one we had done in our recital. After a few practices, we were ready to debut.

I was so excited the morning of the chapel program that I forgot to take my tutu. When I got to school and realized this I talked the principal into letting me call home. My mom did not drive, and she refused to try to get anyone else to bring it to me. I explained that I could not do the program without the tutu. “That should help you remember the next time,” she said as she hung up.

When the music for our dance started, Janine entered from my right, and Carol entered from the left. I sat in the center of the auditorium with the rest of our class and applauded as I retired my dreams of becoming a famous dancer.

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