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  • 1971. I was 16 years old, and all dressed up for my friend Darrel’s sister’s wedding, on the South Side of Pittsburgh. After the reception, Darrell had to drive out to the Flying Carpet Hotel near the Pittsburgh Airport to take his sister’s plane tickets to her. Cy, Scotty and I went along for the ride. The night was still young, and we were all dressed up and still looking for action.

    While Darrell ran the tickets up to the room, we saw a big party going on in the grand ballroom. There was a live band, a large dance floor, lots of food, and plenty of booze. We somehow managed to get into the party without being questioned, and found ourselves a table, and proceeded to eat, drink and have a good time.

    Scotty and I strolled out to the dance floor, where we saw a couple of cute girls we were hoping to coax into a dance, but we got shot down. As we started heading back to our table, this vivacious, slighly older looking black lady grabbed me by the arm and said, “Come on, honey, I’ll dance with you!” She was stunningly beautiful, and good God, could she dance! She stayed out there with me for 2 or 3 rocking numbers – I had never had so much fun dancing in my life!

    When we finished, I floated back to our table, and my friends were all amazed that I had managed to get a dance with such a beautiful older woman. I was not exactly known to be a lady's man. I was in all my youthful glory!

    A little later, a memorable dance became the stuff of legends. The lead singer of the band made an announcement. “Ladies and Gentleman, we have a special guest with us here tonight. We’ve asked if she could come up to sing a number with us, and she said she’d love to, but her contract would not allow her to do that. But, will you join me in welcoming Tina Turner, from the Ike and Tina Turner Review!” And, up stood the beautiful lady who had asked ME to dance! She had apparently done the same thing we had – crashed the party! Fortunately, Ike was not with her!
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