I knew I should have saved my prom dress. It was peach taffeta, the skirt draped around to the back, and right on the derriere was a sort of bustle, two poufs of light-blue taffeta. It giggled when I walked with that mischievous sound only taffeta has.
If I still had it, I would wear it to the Senior Prom at the Huntington Memorial Hospital on Saturday, Sept. 27. The trip back through your college yearbook or high school annual will be offered by the board of the Senior Care Network, those men and women who steer a program which has been named one of the nation's most innovative. The idea is to have a program that takes care of older people in need with a single phone call, directing them to those who can provide the help. Health care, hobbies, exercise programs, maybe just a little gossipy conversation if that's what's needed.
The board hit upon the Senior Prom idea because everyone felt that one more sit-down dinner benefit would be met with a surge of apathy.
The invitation, or rather, the bid, is a joy. It reads: "Find your high school sweetheart, a sexy senior citizen, a total babe, your first love, a new love, a long lost love, a late bloomer, a younger man with older money, number one, the perfect ten, a cool dude, a red-hot lover, a rebel without a cause, a blonde, brunette or a redhead, and come to the Senior Prom. 6:30 p.m., ID required, chaperoned. Tickets $125 each."
If that doesn't do it for you, you've already forgotten the Balboa Hop and you probably never even knew the Beverly High Hop. Actually, not many people ever did. Either Marshall Wilkinson or Bill Eilers made it up and they can both still do it.
The prom will be held in the hospital parking lot. Of course it can be done. We once did a dinner for 1,200 in the Los Angeles Sports Arena and, another time, I had telephones installed in the press car of a Southern Pacific train which went from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Oh, not me. A miracle worker named Lyle Moore, from the telephone company.
Never underestimate the determination of a committed committee member whose competitive spirit is aroused and who longs to tiptoe down memory lane to the time of flat stomachs, clear eyes and a Stanford fraternity pin on a cashmere sweater. The prom will be catered by one of those fancy firms that do the wonderful dinners and never heard of ham with raisin sauce. The parking lot will have a dance floor and the decorations will be pink and turquoise. Never mind if the thought hurts your teeth. It didn't when you went to your prom. There will be real plastic flamingos and, joy of joys, a rotating ball covered with tiny mirrors in the center of the tent. Was there ever anything more romantic?
The music will be by a band led by Clark Keen, who knows how to re-create the Miller sound, the Dorsey sound, or the '50s sound--whatever warms your memory.
There will be dance cards distributed, and if yours isn't filled out before you make your way halfway across the floor, I'll be surprised. You and your date will be photographed when you come in before your three-gardenia corsage is crushed.
A silent auction will offer such glamorous treats as a week at California La Vie, a new pricey health spa where you can be pounded and pampered at the same time. Another one is a weekend in Jackson Hole, with jet, private, of course, transportation. Then there is an item called Home Treat, which will bring you two prize antique chairs, a gourmet dinner for six and flowers delivered on a regular schedule throughout the coming year.
There is only one thing I'm worried about. I don't think Clark Keen has a genuine oil painting of the moon shining on Lake Arrowhead painted on his base drum. Ah, well.
Plan a marvelous evening at the Senior Prom. And if you have a 12 o'clock lockout, I'll let you in the fire escape door.