In last Saturday’s post, I wrote about how Babu was getting out of the house and having more fun. If you couldn’t have guessed, most of the outings are to dances.
Monday, October 11th, 1937
Registered at cooking school and made breakfast. Zosh wore Helen Oparowski’s dress to the banquet. She looked lovely. Nat and I went to a dawn dance at Joyland. Oh but it was cold! Had a very good time and some boys from Thompsonville took us home. Nat let her friend kiss her but I wouldn’t let mine. We had fun though. Got in after four.
A “dawn dance?” What is a dawn dance? Oh sigh! But it sounds lovely!!
Well, of course this girl still has aspirations:
Thursday, October 14th, 1937
The girl’s at the office got a big kick out of me today, although I didn’t think I was funny. We used Mr. Hitchcock’s office because ours in being painted, even the walls are being done over everywhere. Zosh came up and we went to the social. Didn’t dance with any boys but am crazy to learn to truck.
So what does she mean, “truck?” I have to tell you I did more research on this post then I have done on any other post so far. Dancing is not in my wheel house, so I really struggled with this one.
Dictionary.com defines truck (among other things) as:
1.a shuffling jitterbug step.
Many lay claim that comedian Dewey “Pigmeat” Markhem of the Apollo Theatre, N.Y. invented Truckin’. (Markhem might have been the first to name what he was doing as Truckin’ but he did not invent the dance, maybe, only a style/Idea version of it.) Ed Sullivan gave credit to Cora LaRedd of the Cotton Club.
The main feature of Truckin’ is the shoulders which rise and fall as the dancers move towards each other while the fore finger points up and wiggles back and forth like a windshield wiper.
I have to say that trying to describe a dance is the most ineffectual, ridiculous task. Thelonius Monk said “Trying to explain music is like trying to dance architecture.” I think the same can be said the other way around. The best video I could find to show me clearly what this dance was is this:
Of course, either way it is a slippery eel as the dance itself had it’s genesis in other dances and went on to look slightly different with every evolution it took.
This one you should watch, it is just amazing: