06 Mar

Happy Birthday, Grandma

I was out of town for almost a week, and, while I thought I’d be able to update this site on the road (I was staying with people who had internet connections, and I can update from any web browser), in practice, playing games of dominos with my 99-year-old grandmother took precedence. As it should.

To bring in some square dance relevance, there were about twenty adults and kids at my grandmother’s birthday party. I used a square dance record (the Royal record with the song done in four different musical styles) for the obligatory “Happy Birthday” song with the cake (it’s amazing how much better the singing is with an instrumental background). Then someone asked if I could call to “Happy Birthday”, so I played a Blue Star version with a square dance beat and tempo and called to some phantom dancers (of course, they danced perfectly). Then some people decided that they wanted to try a little square dancing, so we cleared some space and 8 people, including my grandmother (99, remember?), got up and circled, starred, and dosidoed. I played a waltz and a polka and the Hokey Pokey (what if it is what it’s all about) and the Bunny Hop and the Chicken Dance…it’s amazing what a little music and some fun dances will add to a party. Although I played the original Ray Anthony version of the Hokey Pokey, I really like the Brave Combo version from their CD, The Hokey Pokey In fact, I really like most Brave Combo music…check it out for those times when you need to play a polka.

Wow! Since I went to the Brave Combo site to get the Hokey Pokey reference, I found that they have another CD with great group dances: Group Dance Epidemic. This one includes songs from the Hokey Pokey CD plus some others like the Mexican Hat Dance, Mana Vu and the Bunny Hop (rather than the Bunny Dirge…). I also found out that Brave Combo won a Grammy in the best Polka album category.

One thought on “Happy Birthday, Grandma

  1. Since I wrote about my grandmother’s 99th birthday, we’ve celebrated her 100th and 101st. Her 100th was a big deal, with over 100 guests, and entertainment, and dancing (of course). And, yes, my grandmother square danced on her 100th birthday. And polka’d (she’s German, you know). And waltzed. It was an amazing gathering, with relatives from all over the country, including people that I’d never met.

    Currently, my grandmother is doing pretty well. Her short-term memory is going (although she still plays Mexican Train regularly) and her hearing is pretty bad (although she seems to hear what she wants to hear…). Her 102nd birthday is coming up in March.

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