Monday, December 26, 2016

George Michael (RIP)

In 1984, I was 10 years old and Captain of the Guard for the nearby Port Moody Navy League Cadets. This equated to a weekly evening meeting, frequently polishing big black leather boots, and participating in a yearly May Day march where we brandished small rifles around downtown Port Coquitlam. One night, our Cadet leaders told us that there would be a youth dance the following week instead of our standard nautical-minded activities (ocean safety, boating knots, etc...). This made me nervous. I had never really danced with the opposite sex before. The saving grace was the pop music of the era: Michael Jackson, Madonna, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, and Wham. When the evening arrived, I remember quietly munching on small bags of flavoured Hostess brand potato chips from the little tuck shop and drinking a variety of Pop Shoppe sodas, which came in shorty stubby bottles. The room was lit up with Christmas-style lights and we looked so different in our civilian clothes. Junior wallflowers, we anxiously stood around and stared at each other from across the room while a DJ played 7" 45s on his mobile sound system set up. By instruction or by chance, I partnered up with a pretty and likely equally nervous girl for my first ever slow dance. "Careless Whisper" by Wham was our soundtrack. Wearing a long and soft flower print dress, her warm hands rested on my rugby shirt covered shoulders and mine on her hips with a respectable, but not too distant space between us. The tricky part was not stepping on each other's toes. "Sorry. Oops. Sorry." The seconds slowly turned into minutes. "My guilty feet have got no rhythm," went George Michael's seductive voice, his mournful words mirroring my lack of dance floor prowess. When the song ended, I thanked my partner and went back to playing the wall with my other friends. Needless to say, I'll never forget that special moment and I'll never forget George Michael. Thanks for the music good sir! PEACE

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