Friday, March 6, 2009

Dancing with the Paisanos

I haven't posted anything here in over a Month. Some times it's hard to know what to say.

Had an interesting experience the other weekend.

My wife and I were invited by a coworker of hers to a dinner and dance thing. We shipped Aaron, now 5, off to his big sister's for the night, got all dressed up(for us) and headed out.
We found the venue on the edge of a wooded park, just on the outskirts of Portland.

It was the home of Portland's Club Paisanos. This meant nothing to us. I was picturing an average Resteraunt/club type place before we got there. What it is though, is a Big old Dance hall type place the serves as the home for an old, venerable Fraternal Society of Italian Business Men and their families. This was one of their yearly open to the public dinner-dances.

We pulled around the gravel lot, among the large trees, found a spot, got parked. We got in the door and up to the host desk only to find out that, no, they didn't DO credit cards, this was a cash only kind of group. OK, we had a little cash, no problem. Got our tickets, found our places at the back of a long line waiting to get our salad and spagetti from the buffet, and took our first real glances at the rest of the folks.

I said this was an old association of Itallian businessmen and their families. We later learned that it dates back to the 1940s. I think that many of the three hundred or so people there were there in the '40s. To say that it was a crowd advanced in years would be an understatement.

We heard snipets of conversations like "The last time we were in Rome, things just weren't the same." I saw more diamonds flashing there than anywhere since I went to shop for my wife's engagment ring, and these diamonds were all MUCH bigger.

We got through the buffet line, and found a spot at one of the very few empty tables. we ate our food, as the table filled up with others closer to our ages(obviosly "the grand-kids" of this group). While trying not to stare at everyone else, we looked for the people who had actually invited us to this shindig, but we never did find them. we were on our own.

Did I mention that neither my wife or I are even a little bit Itallian? We're basically Scotch-Irish-Native American. We were getting some looks. Okay, maybe I imagined that. Maybe not.

About eight or so, the Band - Sand Point set up and began to play. They were quite competent, begining with some old '40s big band kinda stuff, then going on to '50s, 60's and even '70s pop dance stuff. They seemed to be able and willing to play about anything requested.
I never heard someone go from Tommy Dorsey to Bob Seager in one set before.

Then, the old Itallians got FUNKY! These people could Dance! These people had OBVIOUSLY been partying together for many decades.

We decided it was time to let down our gaurds and start drinking some red wine.
We got up. We danced. For a brief time the economic and other woes of hard winter February fell away. We were transported to an entirely other world of existance, one where We had a great time, and literaly forgot about our troubles for a while.

I briefly wished that one of my Native American ancestors had broken with their tradition and mated with some Itallians, just so I could join Club Paisano. (I think you have to be invited anyway).

That was the best part, and the saving grace of our February this year.

the end.