Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The 2013 Revue - Thanks For The Memories--A Tribute To The USO had 17 different numbers.  Not all of them were done by the Sunsationals.  Dance United Dancers (from Stephanie's studio) did 2 dances--"Gee I Wish I Was Back In The Army" and "I've Got Rhythm."  Also some local talent from SVE also performed.  There were some fillers that took place.  All of this is to make for a better show plus allow us to change costumes.  
 Military Medley was the opening number.  All of the branches of service were honored.  I really liked this number.  I felt like it was a great introduction to the show and it set the stage.  Our most brilliant MC is also in this picture. 
G.I. Jive.   This had to have been one of my favorites.  It was such a sassy, upbeat dance.  And these girls were excellent with their performance.  BTW-this is the one that Stephanie (our instructor/choreographer) danced.  I would say she is the young one but because all of them look so young it might be hard to pick her out.  She is there. 
 American Patrol.  Catchy tune.  Darling dance with stomping and changing lines. 
 Toot Toot Tootsie.  Love these costumes. Picture does not do costumes justice.  Very, very cute dance and done so very well by this group. 
 Sing Sing Sing.  Sung by the Andrew sisters back in the day.  I thought these costumes were perfect for the dance.  There was a lot of swinging and the flowy dresses captured it well.  This group of ladies did a terrific job with this dance.
 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.  A clogging dance.  Lots of swaying of the hips and moving of the feet.  Loved this dance and I thought the costumes were perfect. 
 Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree.  Fun, fun dance.  Loved doing this one.  I could do this dance for everyone when I get back to MN but you really need the whole group.  If I did it by myself I know all my friends would question my judgment about it being cute and fun. 
 Jingle Jangle Jingle.  Cowboy dance.  It was difficult for me to learn but once I got it mastered it was so much fun.  We did part of it with a partner.  Got to yell "hee haw" and "yippee." 
 Opus 1.  This was not my strongest dance.  Very fast.  Took lots of work to get out lines perfected.  I never felt like some of my steps were very clean.  This is also the one that I screwed up for about 16 counts.  I know exactly what happened.  My concentration broke.  You cannot do that.  You always have to be thinking ahead of yourself.  I so desperately tried to make a recovery.  Oh well-I learned something from it.  But after working on something for 2 years and then screw it up when it really counts. AAAAARRRRRGGGG!!  And wouldn't you know it had to have been the night they recorded it.  I had to tell myself "five years from now is it really going to matter if I screwed up 16 counts of Opus."  NO!!  Even the following week it did not matter.
Rosie The Riveter!!  Dance captured this song incredibly.  It was adorable. 

I do not have a picture of the Newbies.  They did a dance to Pennsylvania 6-5000.  They wore a teal brocade vest with a sequin choker, long black pants and a black body leotard.   They looked so sharp.  There were 10 of them and the dance was very good. 

Finale was all of us coming onto the stage with whatever our last costume was.  We did a soft shoe dance to "Thanks For The Memories."  It was for just a short portion of the song.  Then the music faded and Joyce introduced each of us.  Individually we took a bow. 

If you ever want to be missed tremendously dance with the Sunsationals.  If one of us is not there for a dance it throws everything off.  I cannot believe what a difference it makes.  Even if it is just seeing that person out of the corner of your eye during the dance.  It can make your counts off which can really screw it up.

Well--this is put behind us.  We have already started on the Revue for 2015.  Theme has been chosen and we are working on the opening number.  And it is going to be good!!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Revue-2013--Part 2

Need to keep the momentum going here.  If I let it go on then it gets more difficult.  Why??  I do not know. 

Now it is time for the performance.  The anticipation could be cut with a knife  It was that evident. Our dressing room is not fancy, not private.  It is the kitchen and a small back room that is connected.  I kind of like it that way.  We each have our own "spot."  Costumes are brought in.  Hanging devices are shared. 

 Sharon bringing in all of her costumes.  She is so much fun.  Loves to talk.  And she takes care of others in a way that she is not even aware of. 
 Glenda and Linda.  I often think while watching these two dance=="Boy!! I wish I could dance like them?"  They have it.  I mean the moves, the charisma, the stage presence and every thing else that goes along with dancing.  They are awesome.  And I am not the only one that thinks that.  When I grow up I want to be like them. 
 Now we are sitting around in costume waiting for the curtain call.  This is fun.  Everybody having a good time.  Somewhat relaxed.  Vickie is sitting, Sandy, Sharon and Ruthie.  All dressed and ready to go for Military Medley--the opening number.  After this dance there is not that much sitting around.  It is quick costume changes.  Costumes get jerked off and thrown.  Another costume gets yanked on.  When it is a fast change you really do not know if you are really all put together or not.  You just go out on stage and hope for the best.  Those that do not have fast changes are helping the others.  It is chaotic and stressful..  I know.  I had three fast changes.  First half of show was great for me.  I was in one dance.  Second half was ridiculously crazy.  During first half I watched and helped others with the wild and craziness of changing.
 These are our "Newbies"  They are not in costume yet.  Oh!!  How very proud they made us!!  They worked so hard on their dance "Pennsylvania 6-5000."  They were awesome!!
 Dixie and Sharon.  Need to talk about Dixie.  You have heard the saying that when somebody does quit or decide to move on that they will hardly be missed.  Like taking your hand out of a bucket of water and it doesn't matter if it removed because the water just fills in.  This is not true of our Dixie.  I know the Sunsationals would survive and all that but not really sure who would if anybody could take her place.  She is the one that writes down all of our steps as Stephanie teaches them.  Then they get published via email and on the web site.  There are no words to tell you how much that helps me.  I am comfortable saying I probably could not do it without this.  She also is somewhat feared by many.  It is because she does not mince words. She will tell it like it is.  Those of us that know her well know she only wants the best for us and she demands the best in us.  You really need to learn not to take her personally.  I really like it when she tells me what I am doing wrong and what I need to improve.  She is our Dixie and I really like and enjoy her  in more ways than one.                      

 Diana was on the costume committee with me and she went above and beyond.  If we would have had to pay someone for the work and time she put in we would be broke.  She is such a joy to be around.  Karen.  She got tossed into this dance at the beginning of the year.  Now it needs to be said that the rest of us had worked on it the whole year before.  She came in as a Newbie.  Because she had some experience she agreed to fill in because someone had to drop out.  She really stepped up to the plate.  Learned the dance and did a heck of a job with it. 
 Joyce,  Our awesome Master of Ceremonies.  She takes the theme, researches it and runs with it.  She told me she really likes the creative process of all of it.  She is awesome to say the least.  It is one of those things where it really can't explain it.  She just really has it.  You need to see her in action to appreciate it.  Nancy.  She is another one that I so often watch as she dances and wish I could do it like she does.  She gives me something to strive for.  Yep--she is another one that I would like to be like when I grow up.
 Diana, Vickie and Ruthie who is 86 years old.  If she is not an inspiration I don't know who is.
 Here we are--third group out in Military Medley.  We danced to Anchors Away and also the Marine Hymn. 
 Alicia - our fearless leader.  Our president.  Her passion for dancing and the Sunsationals is hard to beat.  And then there is me--Vice President.
 President, Master of Ceremonies and Vice President
Alicia and Linda battling for a look in the one of only three mirrors we had.  Love these costumes.

Now that things have sort of died down I have had time to reflect on all of this.  I think I have thought about everything once or twice in my head. Some of it I would have done different.  But most of it was so very good.  Regrets??  Maybe one or two.  Did I learn something?  Oh yes! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Revue 2013--Thanks For The Memories

Two years of preparing.  Two years of blood, sweat and tears.  The Sunsationals take it seriously and we work very hard.  But it is a lot of fun.  It is experiences throughout the two years that I would never want to give up.  It is making memories that I will never forget.  It is stressful.  Sometimes filled with anguish.  But do I love it.  You bet!!

We had three performances.  March 5--Tuesday evening.  March 9--Saturday matinee and Saturday evening. 

 March 4--Alicia, Sandy, Joyce and I were at the auditorium early.  We had to decorate and set the stage.  Theme was USO Show.  Above picture is Sandy and Alicia straightening out the curtains for the backdrop.  Not an easy job.  Had to thread lots of these panels on PVC pipe for the backdrop.  Took three people--two to climb separate ladders on both ends and one to hold the middle as it went up.  Sometimes it was not successful.  PVC pipe would come apart and curtain would slide off.  Down off the ladder to fix it and then back up to get it hung.  Sigh of relief from everyone when it got hooked.
 Sandy cheerfully took on the job of ironing the buntings.
 Alicia and Joyce gathering all of the panels.
 Hung the letters "USO"
 Up go the buntings. 
  And then at the end of it all we admired our work with a glass of wine and chocolate. 

Well wouldn't ya' know.  Cannot get these pictures off and I do not want to add more without getting these off because I know they would publish again.  So to make things simple I am going to post this and continue with a new blog entry.  Not taking any chances of me getting frustrated and not accomplishing any thing because I have had to scrap the whole thing.  Stay tuned.  Another blog soon to follow.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Feeling Nostalgic

Looking through pictures this evening and got very nostalgic.  Yes, I even got a little teary.  Decided I wanted to document so I can look back at this post that will have memories.  And maybe it will take away the nagging guilt of not posting lately. 

 Christmas time--2012.  Pudge and his oldest sister, Barb.  We got together before Christmas at Mary Jo's (Barb's daughter).  Had a very nice visit.  It was nice because it was only a few of us there so we got to really visit.  When we are home we meet up with Barb and Butch at least once a week and walk around Maplewood Mall and then have coffee and get caught up.  Pudge really likes his sister and looks forward to always getting together with her and Butch.  She is a great lady and I enjoy her very much. 
 This picture brings a smile to my face.  Not sure why it turned out with that dark line.  These are my "teacher friends."  Peggy (art teacher) taught right across the hall and we were hired the same year.  Me.  Nancy (she taught FACS with me.)  Back row is Phyllis (phy ed and health)  Marcy (business teacher)  She was hired the same year as Peggy and me.  And then there is Nancy who also taught FACS with me.  All of these ladies give me a warm feeling.  When I am home in MN we meet for coffee every Friday morning.  Love getting together with these dear friends.  All of us are retired now except Nancy and Phyllis. 
 High school friends.  All of these ladies except me graduated in 1963.  I graduated a year later.  For some reason I got very close to the class ahead of me thus the friendship has continued.  I cannot believe the fun we have when we get together.  These gals knew me when I was young and foolish.  Even though we are all old ladies now you would never know it when we get together and giggle and talk old times.  It is so nice to be with people who know exactly what you are talking about from way back when instead of having to go into deep explanation.  The order is as listed:  Laurel (Harholdt) Hesley, Diane (Martin) Lepinski, Jackie (Green) Wenzel, Nancy (Dunlap) Ream, Me, Karen (Duncan) Brueske, Kris (Hanson) Anderson.  Love these people!!
 Christmas Eve--We celebrated at my nephew Jeff's house.  It was so very nice.  Jeff did such an excellent job hosting this event.  I was so impressed.  This is Shannon Reed (Wayne's youngest)  Her birthday is Christmas Day.  We celebrated with a cake and singing Happy Birthday.  She turned 38.  I can hardly believe it.  Trevor (great nephew) is on the couch.
 Love this picture!!  Back Row--Pudge, Bob Buttermore (Kim's husband) Amber (Matt's wife), Jeff,  Matt, Shannon, Kim, Trevor and his girl friend, Marissa and me.  Oh!! how Mom would have loved this!!! 
 Laughlin, Nevada.  If I ever win the lottery I would buy this car.  Love 57 Chevrolets!  Denny, Pudge and I did a mini trip.  Enjoyed it so very much.  So much fun!!!
 Christmas Day - 2012.  Spent at Bryan's house.  Kari, Jamie, Abby and Bryan.  I cannot believe I only have this one picture from that day.  I guess I didn't have Mom there bossing me around and telling me what pictures to take. 
 This was in Laughlin, Nevada.  The reason I took this picture is because Wayne had a slot machine exactly like this.  I remember the slot machine but not any of the details.  It was Pudge who told me that this one was exactly like the one Wayne had.
 We left Laughlin and made our way to Oatman, Nevada.  A couple miles before we reached the town we ran upon These bushes in the desert that were decorated.  It made a statement.  I thought it was really neat.  There were probably about 10 of them.  They were spaced quite a ways from each other.
 Oatman, Nevada.  It is an old Western town with lots of personality.  Wild burros roam freely throughout the town.  I loved these adorable donkeys. 
 Another trip we took.  Decided to go to Yuma, AZ and go to a border town in Mexico.  Right now I cannot think of the name.  We parked car and walked across.  There was nothing about this experience I did not like.  I know it is not for everybody but it sure was for me.  You know immediately you are in Mexico with the colors, the vendors, the Mexican food.  I love the bantering and bickering.  I like how they will slap their products on you and start to bargain.  They will follow you down the street trying to get you to buy.  I see it as really fun.  In this border town there are tons of dentists, eyeglasses, pharmacies.  Many Americans come there for dental work because it is about 1.3 the cost of the U.S.  There was even a character dressed up as a tooth roaming the streets.  Wish I would have gotten a picture of that.  Pudge bought me 2 bracelets.  It was one of those things where the vendor put all kinds of them on my wrist and started with $40.00 for one of them.   It ended up where we got 2 for $20,00 and he threw in a pair of earrings.  I actually really like them a lot and wear them all the time.  Also bought a cute little table with Kokopellis.  That started at $65.00 and we got it for 20.00  I did give him an extra dollar to buy a coke for himself.  And we really like this table.  Also bought a really neat stained glass hanging of a golfer.  That started out at $65.00 and ended up paying $30.  It is perfect hanging in our screen porch overlooking the golf course.
 And of course, you cannot go to Mexico and not have a margarita.  We also ate great enchiladas while listening to the most fantastic singer. 
 Yuma, AZ. has a prison that you can tour.  It was from back in the late 1800's.  We all liked this tour very much.
 On the way home we found this ghost town that was really off the beaten path but it was so worth it.  Big and very authentic.  We had to drive about 10 miles back into the forsaken desert land.  Fascinating though because it was government land where they were testing ammunition and bombs.  We could hear the ka-booms all the time.  And there was no mistaking that it was serious with all the posting of signs.  Anyway, this is Denny with a dunce cap.  Every thing was so well done.  Took longer than we expected to go through this because it was bigger than what we thought.
 They had a building there that they wanted all veterans to sign the wall.  It was interesting to read the names, ranks and the years of these people.
 Liked this guy and his cabin
 Collection of potties at the ghost town.
This was taken at the Barret Jackson.  I am so very glad I went to this event.  It was so awesome.  This just happened to be a display of the Jack Daniels whiskey which was informative.  Then they took your picture as you exited the display.  Owen, Pudge, Me and Denny.

I am not going to spell check this or proof it.  I just want to get it published before anything happens and it disappears.