Oh to be a flapper girl in a Gatsby world - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

March 12, 2022

Oh to be a flapper girl in a Gatsby world

Winter Garden dance day #3

We've had some wild weather here today in Florida! A tornado in Ocala and lots of wind damage elsewhere. Bet you never knew that tornadoes could be in southern Florida. I guess Gulf storms sweep through the state where they collide with wind off the Atlantic causing lots of rain and some damaging winds.

We woke up to a dry warm morning but after catching the forecast on the news, I knew that we only had a window of a couple of hours to get our laundry done before it hit us. 

Don hustled over to the office and got the clothes into the washers. But when he went to pick them up from the dryers, he got caught in high winds and driving rain. Luckily he had driven the truck to the laundry room and was able to get the bag into the vehicle, but when he got back to the trailer he had to wait awhile before he could get back inside. 

The storm lasted for a couple of hours with winds so high that they jostled the bikes and set off our alarm lock. By noon, it had moved on further south and east, leaving cold temperatures and clearer skies.

We had lunch, then did a bit of shopping at a party place and thrift store that we missed the other day. I was hunting for something to add to my outfit for the dance tonight which has a Great Gatsby theme. I found a neat feather headpiece and a cheap black dress that looked like it came right out of the 20's - and only for $5.00! It still had the original tag and looked like it had never been worn. 

Back home we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon then got ready for the evening. We were going back to the Elk's lodge for this event which we had found out was not an Elk's dance. This organization had rented the ballroom and brought in a band along with a trio of women singers that would be doing a show. As I noted above, it had a Great Gatsby theme.

We made it out the door early but only got a couple of miles down the road before Don realized that he'd forgotten to bring his dance shoes. Oh bother! He turned around and got the shoes, and we were quickly back on the road. Luckily traffic was light and we made it to the lodge with time to spare.

Walking into the Elks, we were glad that we had dressed appropriately. I've never seen so many feathers, fringe and fedoras! People were really dolled up for this dance! Nice! 

We had arrived a little early and shared a large table with only one other couple. There weren't too many people there and we envisioned dancing like last night with lots of room. However, within an hour, this changed as the big crowd began to arrive. We had been told last night that these events could bring in 150 people and I think that was probably pretty close to what we saw. 

But the music was NOT what we had expected! Based on what was on the Elk's calendar, we thought the group playing would do AMERICAN big band  - think 40's and 50's, NOT LATIN big band! Oh boy, this was going to be "interesting" and a challenge.

The band took about an hour to set up and played recorded Latin music that you could dance to, which we did when we could find something to do.  We could see that the women trio were dressed in typical 40's/50's swing dresses, and we crossed our fingers that at least they would provide some nice swing music. While we do some Latin dances, they're not our strong point. 

The ladies started singing and they were quite good with tight harmonies. Think the Andrew's Sisters. At first no one danced, but finally a few ventured out so we followed suit. The music wasn't quite the swing that we had expected, but they did do a few foxtrots and other ballroom type pieces. 

By 8:30, the big band got going and the floor soon became packed with writhing dancers. Compared to the Elk's group, these folks loved to dance and knew how to move. Especially their hips. I've never seen so many older women rotating their bodies to music! If they didn't have a partner, they just got out on the floor by themselves or with each other. It reminded me of the disco era. 

After a couple of hours there were lots of loose feathers everywhere on the floor. I even saw fringe on the floor of the restroom.

It was a true "big band" but with lots of trumpets and driving drums. But they played WAY too loudly and it was all Latin. Luckily we had been warned about this last night so I had brought earplugs for us to wear. I wouldn't have been able to stand it without them. 

I guess the music was good but it all sounded the same to us and each piece lasted WAY too long! But the crowd seemed to like it and often would sing along in Spanish to the songs. It was actually hard to sit still as you just wanted to get up and move. Watching a group of women dancing Latin to an electric slide line dance music was quite unique!

It ended up being an interesting evening and we stayed a bit longer than we had planned. Despite this seeming like a Latin nightclub, we did manage to do quite a bit of dancing (my hips are gonna hurt tomorrow!). 

By 10:30 we gave it up and headed home. Whew! What an adventure! But not one we care to repeat. 

Not our expectation of a "Big Band"! But they were enthusiastic musicians.
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This ladies trio were quite good singers but also not what we expected.
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All dolled up in our Great Gatsby finery!
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Gregory GarceauLook at you two! A modern-day Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanon.
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