Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Post for the Old at Heart

I was born an old lady.

At least that's what I've been told my whole life. I like my music soft, my clothes vintage and my nights to end early. Like 8:30.

The 1940's have always held a special place in my heart. Not only is some kind of WW2 book always on my nightstand but I'm usually writing about it (the book I'm working on) and adding to my already substantial wardrobe with snoods, pencil skirts, and peter pan blouses.  Heck, just check out some of my previous posts about history and death and the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Paris. It's always on my mind.

Dancing to The Andrew Sisters
So when I heard about the 1940's ball, my brain almost exploded. In a good way. A gathering of people who all love the era of 'tomorrow we may die' and 'buy war bonds'? Sign my up! Armed with my trusted photog/best friend, we made our way to the airfield for the 4th annual WWII Era Ball in beautiful Boulder, Colorado!

 Most everyone was in full 40's spirit in period hair, dresses, hats and flowers in their hair. (With the one exception of the Denver Roller Girls; their booty shorts were seriously distracting TMS.) I was lucky enough to have my hair done by the stylists at a local Aveda salon and I can attest to many a 'victory curl' among the local ladies. (Myself included!)

This sailor was dancing with all the pretty girls! 
Bob Hope, The Andrew Sisters, Sinatra (aka Frankie Baby), ariel dancers inside the hanger and the random cigar girl mingled throughout made things more interesting. But what made the whole evening for me, was the veterens. Moving slowly with canes, chests full of metal, shaking a tail on the dance floor. Nothing brought more joy to my heart than a sailor (see above) who was dancing his heart out, the young ladies racing to keep up.

The Hot Tomatoes, a local 9 piece band, was wonderful They played all the standards (Miller, Baise, Goodman, Ellington, etc) that immediately took me back to that idealized time we were all there to experience. I also have to mention the food; the range was nice although not always my cup of tea. Moroccan food by Tangier Moroccan was lovely and flavorful (The pickled lemons were very much my favorite) to American classics like barbecue and for those who aren't as adventurous, there was Abo's pizza by the slice. (My very food-picky friend did appreciate this and I was happy for him.)

Don't you just love her?
As I observed the crowd, I began to see young men, obviously in current service, in period uniform. It reminded me, like so many others I'm sure, of simpler times. Before "baby killer" was hurled about and veterans ignored by their government and neighbors, young men in service were seen as heroic and handsome and nothing else. No other politics or policies entered into the mind but for a young man with short hair and crisp uniform. I know it's all probably romanticized, especially inside my little brain, but it's a lovely thought to think.

Taking pictures!
I will say this: this event is still young. There is going to be some growning pains and room to improve. The lines were long. Very long. (I spoke with a lovely couple after waiting 30 minutes for my beer-can chicken who said that they wanted to get another drink but was not willing to stand in the hour long line again. We met up at a bar downtown Boulder instead.) Also the event has out grown itself in popularity. (According to our host, 2400 people attended this year.)

This is wonderful and a bit claustrophobic at the same time. There were few chairs to sit and enjoy my drink, yet there was an amazing amount of people watching! I have faith that in a few years, thing will run with more fluidity than Fred Astaire. Regardless of some the issues, I really did enjoy myself. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

The range in age was one of my favorite things about the whole event. Starting from the young, those in their teens, through 20's, 30's, up all the way to true WWII veterans, no doubt in their late 80's/early 90's. And the passion from all groups were just as adament, not only in their dress but attitude, smiling, taking pictures in front of period planes and jeeps, eating talking but most of all, dancing. It was all a wonder to behold, in a small airport, in a small town in the middle of Colorado. 

Lastly, my favorite pic; it's she beautiful?!
An amazing time was had and I can't wait to go back to the 40's next year.

All of these AMAZING photos were taken by my incredibly talented friend, Nicky Loughry. Check out the rest of her photos and other works here on her official website.