one was allowed inside those heavy steel doors into the Roswell High
School gym, though now and again when someone from the decorating
committee slipped in or out, a drift of perfumed air escaped, signaling
that magic May night of nights, the Junior-Senior Prom.
The night finally arrived in all its crepe-papered
glory, streamers of pink, green, black, white were strewn everywhere,
over lattice arbors at the doorways, overhead dangling from the lights
that had shown on many a hard fought basketball game, around tables
and chairs where teachers and other ‘watchers,' would sit. The
huge hardwood floor was polished to a golden brilliance, bleachers
were tucked back against red brick walls. All was in readiness following
the Chinese garden theme, complete with little ponds afloat with flowers
and perfumed fountains. Even a large black curling dragon graced one
wall in some exotic Oriental bliss.
Band members in white dinner jackets with red boutonnieres took their
places to provide music for the dreamy-eyed on this formal night.
Look around,-- the guys are in suits and ties, the girls in long full
formals of sweeping net and taffetas complete with a wrist or shoulder
corsage, usually gardenias, sometimes an orchid, often carnations.
The dance card and you wondered. Who was on yours?
How did the guys trade your name around, and when? First dance, a
slow one, naturally, the ‘get acquainted' song, "Dancing
in the Dark,"-- only it wasn't THAT dark. Oh, he's crushing my
gardenias and they'll curl and turn dark before the dance is mid-way.
That's what will be dark,-- my corsage.
Is HE on my dance card? Next one a little more
promising. He's in my English class and we conjugate verbs together.
Wasn't he going steady with ‘what's her name?' Guess not.
"Would you like some punch,?" he asks,--
"Only if it's spiked," should you say that? Probably not,
after all, it is a formal dance and heavily chaperoned.. Nat ‘King'
Cole's, "Unforgettable" is breathing forth rapturously,
a quick glance at the dance card, and at last, the one you've been
waiting for,-- with HIM.
In this swirling kaleidoscope of songs, laughter
and close words with Doris Day warbling "It's Magic," you
know it is. After the prom there will be late parties at someone's
house, the night will last a long time. The gym doors at Roswell Senior
High School will close on the crepe paper paradise inside.
You wish it could last forever. Maybe, it has.