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Saturday, October 14, 2017

GOODBYE, FRED ASTAIRE!

All good things must come to an end, and so they did.

It is that time of the year when I don the duds of a penguin and dance like one too. It's time for the annual Candlelight Ball and I get a monkey suit or tuxedo.

Because I am present of the organization they let me go up and say a few words, which inspire people to want to go home. It is like this every year, and every year I rent my tuxedo.

Renting the tuxedo is one of my favorite things because I get to go back in time, back to the days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Black patent-leather shoes, long black stripe over black pants and in my case a silver tie with a silver vest.

The place is why I love to rent, it is a private owner one-man shop, with great ink and brush painting of formal wear, simple strokes that with the use of space give you the picture. There are pictures of couples all dressed up and ready to dance, sexy poses by both sexes. It is what must have seemed like the 1930's and 40's as people stepped out to dance or wed or celebrate something special.

I take out the last two year's receipts to enter the shop, a shop I've been going to since 1999. The reason I rent is that when I first started to do these Balls I noticed that a lot of men were wearing what looked like thread-bare tuxedoes from years of use. Someone kept telling me to buy a tuxedo, and frankly, for the once-a-year I will use it, it doesn't pay. I look fresh as a daisy, waiting for Ginger Rogers to dance my way and away we'll go!

Stepping into the world of formal wear puts me in the mood for the ball. So, I drive to the location that sits among many businesses and can't find the place! Am I getting that old that I have forgotten? I have the last two year's receipts with all the measurements on them to make this thing easy. Where is it??? I had a personal relationship with the man, he looked like the owner of a formal wear place, he even called me by my first name.

Where is he? I don't know, he's gone, and with him the 1940's and Fred Astaire. I even tried to phone him by using the number on his old receipts and got a message telling me the number is no longer in service.

Sniff!

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