Fond memories to start the year

1955 and rhythmic physical fitness


A note to me from my pal who flunked spelling said: “Bil, I hait polly ticks!” Polly ticks? Would that be Parrot Parasites?

But let’s not go there. Let’s talk about dancing.

On our first date in 1955 at the Jantzen Beach Ballroom, we jitterbugged away our shoe leather that day… to big band sounds for our leaps and bounds!

As I recall … the crowd on the dance floor made room for us as I propelled my “wife to be” into frequent, frantic, frenzied, frisky double-time circles until we switched back to our jitterbugging routine to further enhance or spectacular dance that left the rest of the participants staggering in our wake.

This was Rhythmic Physical Fitness and was called the Jitterbug. Fast forward to the new year… now we just tap our feet to the basic beat.

Meanwhile…these days our phones are bugged and that gives us the jitters.

Bill Davis lives in Hood River.

Waiting for my Uncle on Christmas Day


Mother and her younger brother grew up in Roslindale, a working class section of Boston. Only the two of them were left, by the time Uncle Bill enlisted and served in the Twelfth Army Air Force as crew member of a B29 in World War II. She named me after him.

On his 56th combat mission he was shot down over Italy. My mother was notified he was an MIA.

As they hit the ground, the underground quickly appeared and drove them on motorcycles to a safe house. They enjoyed the hospitality (his words) and waited later in a culvert for repatriation. When the language changed to English, they jumped out and were detained.

The Canadians ushered him into a room. They wanted to know if he was a true America Solder and asked him about every strip join and bar in Boston. He returned without my mother knowing and found her in a super market. He left the rest to our imagination.

Uncle Bill married a stripper and after her death, an ex-nun. He mostly drove a dark colored highly polished two year old Cadillac. On Christmas morning, he walked Aunt Allison to our door. She usually wore a hat with a long feather, a mink, and a form fitting expensive dress with heels.

He wore a tailored suit with a vest, and a royal colored tie.

She rustled past and her perfume filled the room for adult conversation.

He would find me and my brothers. We talked about the world, tell jokes and we laughed even if we didn’t understand.

As they were about to leave, he turned and in his best Boston accent say “Here Kid, Five Bucks!”

After my Aunt died, he turned to helping others. On a visit to a local Catholic School for the deaf where his niece attended he met his second wife – Sister Dionysius. Use your imagination.

Next week, I will visit with my Little (I’m a Big of Big Brothers Big

Sisters) and only at this time of year, I will say to him in my best Boston accent “Here Kid, Twenty Bucks!”

George William Selleck lives in Odell.

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