Posts Tagged With: swing


DSC07178 (Copy)Talented kids and Christmas Cheer was the fare at the Sonora Aronos Club Christmas party. I, a stranger, was met with a gathering of friendly faces, ballroom dancing, food and music by Summerville High School’s Jazz @ 8 under the direction of Jim Wells, music teacher.

DSC07180 (Copy)At every table, people were eating or had finished eating and were enjoying conversation with friends. Eden and Barbara Ligsay made me feel right at home and described their Ballroom Dancing Club: “We’re just like a family.”  It reminded me of the familial spirit of square dancing clubs I’ve belonged to-before my husband died.

DSC07185 (Copy)One of the first things I looked for, “Is it a wooden floor?”  It was. Dancers all know a wooden floor is the best for dancing. The group is composed of all ages.

DSC07183 (Copy)The tree is a treat since I have no room for one in my house. I’m glad to enjoy someone else’s.

DSC07187 (Copy)Before the music started, I met Ashley, a bright, smart 15 year old member of Jazz@ 8 Choir. I was seated next to her mother.

DSC07179 (Copy)Most of the kids were chowing down before they began the entertainment.

DSC07188 (Copy)Ashley and her mother introduced me to Adam, The Elf. He is a student friend and supporter. He doesn’t sing with the choir.DSC07182 (Copy)There is something special about potlucks and home-made Christmas desserts. Everyone likes to bring what they do best. Yum.

DSC07194 (Copy)It was time for Jazz 8 to strut their stuff. Five sopranos, four altos…DSC07196 (Copy)…and six base singers.

DSC07204 (Copy)Director Jim Wells, a smidge of his back to the camera on the right, is very laid back and humorous. Most of the music is cappella. They are a swing “band” when they have recorded music to accompany them. The group performed some very interesting variations on Christmas Carols, roundelays and mixed medleys. And, a Johann Sebastian Bach number that Old Johann would not recognize.

DSC07202 (Copy)While many dancers got up and enjoyed dancing to the music,

DSC07197 (Copy),

DSC07201 (Copy),

DSC07205 (Copy)…an equal number just sat an enjoyed the entertainment.

DSC07192 (Copy)They sang a Penataonix arrangement of Mary Did You Know. I’ve heard it done as a solo and it gives me the chills of emotion every time I hear it.

DSC07184 (Copy)The listeners enjoyed the program as much as the dancers, Ashley’s mom and me. My favorite tune was a Michael Jackson number called the Smooth Criminal, oh my, just before Christmas?

As for the Aronos Club, I saw one in San Francisco years ago and I knew it was a Women’s Club. But there was no history on either the Sonora or San Francisco Club on-line that I could find. I just remembered that the San Francisco Club only allowed women. If anyone knows the history of these Women’s Clubs, let me know. I’m curious.

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Yesterday, I took a last walk around this beautiful park.

Took the recycling to the bins, and stopped on impulse to play on the swing. I can’t resist a good high flyer.

It replaced my swim. My travel tip for you.  A plastic bag works well to take a wet swimsuit in a suitcase,  but only  if you have the place and opportunity to remove your suit  and dry it as soon as you arrive at your destination.

I’m going to miss the beauty here, but not the cold. My luck, the sun will shine as soon as I leave, though it is raining as I enjoy my morning tea.

More lush rhododendrons.  Yesterday, we had a beer at the Eagles. We were served by a cute young bartender who had one blue eye and one brown eye. I’ve seen it in humans previously,  but its rare. On our way through town, I saw a sign on the Keg And Cue, that related this message:


I arrive in Orange County at 2:30 in the afternoon.

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We left Horst and Margot yesterday, but not before Horst regaled us with more tales of a most interesting life while living in Russia and the difficulty of mastering the language. He gave me a copy of his book in manuscript form and they loaded us down with oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruits from their yard.

He adores Margot and insisted on showing us a velvet shirt she had made him and his white sweater that she knitted for him thirty years ago.
Then we headed a short distance across town to a small 5 acre section of BLM land, next to the highway outside of Yuma, that is highly popular with RVers. Jim’s former singles group, the WINS park here every year for their communal Christmas and New Years. Some WINS belong to the Escapees singles group as well and when we pulled into this popular free camping place, there were about ten WINS and a couple Escapees among the hundred or more rigs camped here. They limit people to 14 days, as do national and state camp grounds. There are no hook-ups here.

We decided to walk the perimeter of the 5 acre plot (sans camera)  and then we stopped at the VFW which sits next to this spot for a couple of drinks. They have live music 5 nights per week, just one reason this place is so popular with RVers.  A lively band called Dakota was playing good swing, western, and polka music and the dance floor was loaded. They also serve dinner here and as it neared dinner time, the dancers lined up for dinner.

I talked to the couple sitting next to us and discovered she had a daughter that lives in San Andreas, 16 miles from my home in Murphys. Her significant other lived in Mountain Ranch for ten years before his wife died. He, a native of Bodett, Minnesota and she a native of Yuma.

Across from us, a couple, she from Embarrass, Minnesota and he from Alaska. I have two nephews who live in Alaska and have visited that marvelous state. It never ceases to amaze me when meeting people on the road, the connections you share.

We had a rockin’ good time and most likely will pass this way again some time.

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