Senior Moments -
Continued from Page 24
Dancing On the Ceiling
with the University Club
BY IRENE FRANK
On June 20, our favorite raconteur,
a man of kinetic
energy and charisma,
John Kenrick, slid over to the
microphone to highlight the life
of Fred Astaire.
Say the words “Fred Astaire”
and “people of a certain age”
immediately think, “Fred and
Ginger.” The mind’s eye sees two
scenes: Fred Astaire and Ginger
Rogers gliding across the floor,
top hat, white tie, and tails ...and
feathered gown. And then Fred,
dancing on the ceiling in the movie,
“Royal Wedding.” Mr. Kenrick
explained how this was done. The
studio built a room within a huge
rotating steel cage. Furniture was
bolted down and cameras were
attached to the rotating room.
That setup made it appear as
though the dancer (Fred Astaire)
was defying gravity.
Fred Astaire started his career at
the age of eight when he and his
sister, Adele, appeared as a very
young dancing couple in vaudeville.
That lasted into adulthood,
when Adele decided to marry a
British royal, leaving Fred on his
own. He changed his name from
Fred Austerlitz and headed for
At his first screen test in 1933, a
studio executive was heard to say
“He can’t sing, he can’t act, but he
can dance a little.” Nevertheless,
he went on to revolutionize the
movie musical with his elegant and
seemingly effortless dance style.
Although Ginger Rogers was
his most frequent dance partner,
there were quite a few others:
Judy Garland, Vera Ellen, Debbie
Reynolds, Rita Heyworth, Eleanor
Powell, Jane Powell, Cyd Charise
and Leslie Caron. Not a bad list for
a guy who “can only dance a little!”
He worked with the greatest
song writers of the day: Irving
Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter,
Dorothy Fields, and the Gershwin
Brothers, and introduced songs
still sung today--”Night and Day,”
“A Fine Romance,” “Fascinating
Rhythm,” “Let’s Face the Music
and Dance,” “The Way You Look
Tonight,” “They Can’t Take That
Away from Me,” “Top Hat, White
Tie, and Tails,” “A Couple of
Swells,” “Stepping Out with My
Baby.” Not a bad list for guy who
Most memorable was his collaboration
with Gene Kelly in the
TV Special “That’s Entertainment”
where he explored the golden era
of the movie musicals. In 1981
Fred Astaire won the Lifetime
Achievement Award from the
American Film Institute.
He was born in 1899 and died
in 1987 leaving behind two children
and his second wife who was
a Jockey and forty year his junior.
Not bad for any guy!
We left the room snapping our
fingers, dancing and humming our
favorite Astaire tune.
The world may never see the likes
of Fred Astaire again, but memories
of his dancing on the ceiling
will forever be part of our cultural
Do I have to be that drastic?
No! Do I have to move to another
planet to turn the clock back?
No, but for the sake of this story
I am. I don’t feel like I want to
be a pioneer who explored our
country years ago in a slow, creaky,
covered wagon. So okay. Now it’s
a creaky pioneer using a speedy
space shuttle that maintains a
17,500 miles per hour speed to
stay in orbit. I can feel that way
just by skipping one of my meds.
Who knows? Years from now our
speedy space shuttle may also be
considered slow and creaky? How
would you call for a ride? Could
01-(777)7777-77777 be the Inter
Galactic Space Uber number? I
really don’t want to be the first
person from North Shore Towers
to explore space. How would
one feel there? I think you might
become weightless and spacy and
float all over the place. Spacy I
can do. I’m that way quite often.
Does that experience count as part
of my preparation for becoming a
about those bulky space suits?
Oy vey! I’m always looking for
clothes that flatter or flatten my
figure. Wait isn’t that the same
thing? At least can I change the
color of my space suit? I don’t
think silver Kevlar will go with
my hair color. Maybe I could add
a scarf or a piece of jewelry? How
can you recognize anyone from a
distance if we all look the same?
Who knows? It might make for a
better world. If the environment
is not compatible to ours, does
that mean I’ll forever be wearing
a space suit? It’ll certainly cut
down on my clothing bills. Maybe
I could get a Chico’s-space suit
franchise? That brand is a great
fit for me.
What would my home look
like? Maybe a studio-cave
apartment? I’d like something
like a high-rise with a view. Of
what? The Long Island (Space
Ship) Expressway or the LIE of
Mars? I think I should get an
extra bedroom for company. My
family will find me anywhere. Of
course, there would have to be
places to eat. I love bagels. Maybe
a pizza place? Any suggestions?
I know of many places right
know with food that’s out of this
world!!! Maybe I can become the
Martian equivalent of a “snowbird?”
If it’s cool there during
our hot NY summers I could go
to my Mars condo and instead
of being a “snowbird” become a
“meteor-ducking bird.” Do you
think there might be an early
“meteor-ducking bird” special?
Another thing I’ve learned about
Mars – The year is longer so, aging
is slower and weight measured in
Martian pounds would be almost
half of what it is on Earth. Ooops!
I’m packing my suitcase now.
Seriously. No one has to go to
this extreme to hide their age, be
proud. My advice to you – “Live life
and forget your age. You’re never
too old to set another goal or to
dream new ideas.” ----- “WE HAVE
A LIFT-OFF.” ENJOY LIFE!
August 2019 ¢ NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER 25