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  • In high school, I was not one to attend school dances; I stayed as far away from them as possible. But as my senior year drew to a close, I went to a couple just to see what they were like. And that included my senior prom.

    I asked one girl a month or so before if she wanted to go with me, but she didn’t give me a reply until the last minute, so I was left scrambling for a date after everyone was already paired up. That search was not fruitful, so I ended up calling my only female cousin (by marriage), Michelle, who went to a different high school, and asked if she would go with me, and she said she would. Fortunately, she was a good-looking girl, a homecoming princess at her own school. There was no limo involved; we sat in the back seat of William Herzberg’s car. We met up with Doug Emory and his date (all the girls were from different schools) at some fancy restaurant in Newport Beach and then went to the prom, which was being held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. I made everyone swear that they wouldn’t tell anyone that Michelle was my cousin.

    The prom was a prom like any other prom, I guess (I did go to another one a few years later, with Sharon). The band played all the top hits of 1984, the theme of the dance was “True” – Spandau Ballet. But as the band began playing, nobody was dancing. They played one song, then, another, then another, but no one got up. Then the band played one of my all-time favorite songs (even to this day) “I Melt with You” by Modern English, and I had to dance. I asked Michele, and she wasn’t going up there alone, so then I asked William’s date, and she said yes. So the two of us went out on the dance floor and danced, just the two of us, alone for the entire song. Nobody joined us. However, with the next song a few more couples joined in, and by the song after that, the party had started. Later that evening Althea, one of the few black girls at my school, said to me that I “had pretty good rhythm for a white boy.” All right!

    A few weeks later the prom pictures came in, and by happenstance it was during a class I had with William and Doug. Everybody is looking at pictures and passing them out when for some reason Doug blurts out “Dave went with his cousin.” Doh! And Will Johnson says “Damn, I was actually proud of you.” Double doh!

    But I still had a good time at my prom.
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