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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Dan Dodge

Long before technology took social gatherings to its present, sometimes unrestrained level, young people savored entertainment, not unlike the youth of today. Dating, in 1932, was still a matter of boy meets girl, except the absence of cellphones and the Internet often hampered courtships.

Dancing ranked as a prime source of entertainment for young adults. As their tootsies whirled around the floor, gliding to the music of the day, life’s mishaps magically melted away.

On weekends, twenty-one year old, Margot and her dearest friend Margarita rode the Mount Beacon Incline Railway to the top where a bit of heaven existed. Walkways and summerhouses, along with a large casino and hotel, were all part of this exhilarating retreat.

The Casino was the focus of the two young women as they danced to the strains of ‘Night and Day’ as well as other popular tunes of the times, until the last Railway of the evening, descended.

A month before the Christmas Holidays, the excursion would be lit with colored lights and a huge tree to welcome the festive season.

Timing was sad for Margot as her father was near dying. The ride up the mountain was bittersweet.  Stunning decorations of the casino, somehow put a brief hiatus on grief as the glowing luminescence and the band playing upbeat music created a bubble of wonderment.

Margarita broke the silence as they entered the casino. Oh Margot, I think this is the most beautiful ever. Smiling for the first time in a while, Margot heartily agreed.

They danced for over an hour with familiar faces as well as strangers before deciding to take a break. Prohibition prohibited alcoholic drinks so Coca Cola was their choice.

Two young men arrived from New York as first timers. Harold, slight of frame, with deep brown eyes, carried a serious expression. Bill, Harold ‘s cousin, was by far the better looking. Tall with light brown curly hair, he exhibited an added attraction, when he revealed a deep dimple that increased in depth with his smile. Both sat at the bar, consumed Cokes and began conversations with the young ladies also sipping sodas.

Would you like to dance? Those simple words filled the evening with the appropriate choreography.  Conversation ensued as the four switched partners several times.

Alas, it was closing time. On the descending trip down on the train, parting conversation followed, initiated by Bill.

How about meeting next week at the Casino? All four agreed. As they went their separate ways, Margot felt she was in love.

Oh Margarita, isn’t Bill gorgeous. I can’t wait until next week.

 Margarita felt the same way about Bill, but did not want to compete with her best friend. The week passed slowly as Margot’s father death was immanent. The young lady felt guilty just thinking about the upcoming weekend. Her sisters encouraged her to go.

There they are. Margarita was the first to see Harold and Bill. To Margot’s shock and dismay, Bill walked right past her recognizing her friend with a warm embrace.

Harold and Margot awkwardly greeted one another.  Each was hoping for the opposite date. The evening began uncomfortably. However, romantic music and the fact that Harold was an incredible dancer altered Margot’s disappointment. Two hearts melted and joined. By the time the Incline reached the ground, the two vowed to meet on the top of Mount Beacon for New Year’s Eve. This actually would be their third meeting.

The day after Christmas, Margot’s father died. The arrangements for his burial took all most the entire week. Grief covered the household with darkness. Against her own better judgment, Margot went alone to keep the New Year’s Eve rendezvous. Before completing one dance, Margot and Harold descended the Incline, found a justice of the peace in a nearby town and celebrated with an elopement.

Complications kept the couple from being together but that’s a story for another day. I’m glad New Year’s joined the two. Otherwise I wouldn’t have written this tale.

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