26 January 2009

The Last Night at the Derby

It was a special but sad evening last night at The Derby—the last night of swing, and the end of a twelve-year era for me. The place was jammed by 9:30 (the photo of me above was taken at about 7:30; I arrived early to get some photos of the décor), and many people who I hadn’t seen in a long time showed up. My friend Navah, once a regular, came back at last:
Photos in front of the old Derby sign were very popular. Here’s two, with our bodies strategically blocking the graffiti on the sign. First my friend Jason and I show off our zoot styles, and next Manuel and I hold up Katrina:
I got interviewed by the local ABC news station, and it popped up on TV that very night. My mother turned on the news, having no idea I had been interviewed, and shocked her when I suddenly showed up on the screen in a zoot suit holding a martini talking about the movie Mildred Pierce (it was filmed at the Derby).

My best friend Kim took a long drive up from San Diego to be there. It wouldn’t be right not to have her there:
Unfortunately, my dance partner Laurel was unable to make it because of a snowboarding injury. She told me to say goodbye to the place for her.

The band played their hearts out, and concluding with “One O’Clock Jump,” my favorite swing piece of all time. It was the right way to end:
Here’s a few more odds and ends: The Derby’s dance instructor for many years, Roscoe; pictures of me with some good dancing friends, Brina and Bridget and Sam.
And so we say goodbye… for the moment. Dancing goes on, and I will find somewhere else to wear this silver-striped zoot suit.