Prom night… 26 years later

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 10, 2004

I went to the prom last Saturday night. My arthritic knees nearly didn’t make it, but I had fun anyway.

My last prom was over a quarter-century ago. In some ways, prom night has changed quite a lot.

No one showed up in a limo at our senior prom, as I recall. Nobody took a candid photo of their classmate with their cell phone, since our phones were strictly the landline kind.

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(Heck, I think we were still on old-fashioned party lines out here in the boonies).

We certainly didn’t go all out with the decorations the way the kids and staff at Greenville High School did. Spanish teacher Leesa Huggins and I agreed our efforts back in ’78 truly paled in comparison with those of the current crop of students.

They transformed the place for &uot;An Evening in Paris&uot; complete with the formal gardens at Versailles, the Louvre Museum, a charming sidewalk caf, and the night’s piece de resistance: a 17-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower – complete with lights.

Since I am a former French teacher and have been to all of the above-mentioned spots, I have to say I was mightily impressed by their efforts (it made me want to break out in a chorus of &uot;La Vie En Rose&uot;, but I managed to contain myself).

For anyone working up an appetite from all that dancing – not to mention the sheer excitement of the night – there were some delectable-looking pastries and crudits (that’s raw cut-up veggies for the uninitiated), not to mention plenty of good ol’ southern sweet tea flowing from the elegant champagne fountain.

There was even this big video screen and a roving videographer allowing everyone to get a glimpse of who was &uot;getting down&uot; on the dance floor.

(I’m not sure if most of us even knew what a camcorder was back then – didn’t some people still have Betamax machines?)

O.K., it’s official: I am feeling ancient.

Some things hadn’t changed, though.

All the girls still looked lovely and quite sophisticated, and all the guys, handsome and a bit debonair.

Plenty of high heels were shed as the evening progressed (including my own).

Starry eyes and dreamy smiles appeared as couples enjoyed those sweet, slow dances.

The music was loud and infectious. Like the disco and funk of our day, it definitely had a good beat and you could certainly dance to it. And there were those syrupy-sweet ballads embraced by every generation of teens (perfect for those afore-mentioned slow dances).

Proms should generate lots of good memories for a teen. My senior prom was my first date with this good friend of mine, and seven years later, what do you know, I ended up marrying him.

Happy prom memories to all!