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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I will now attempt to describe the dinner dance that I went to this past Saturday night. This dinner dance is an annual event, called the Snowball. It is held at New York's Belleayre Mountain, a ski mountain in the Catskills. My mother-in-law chairs the committee that puts the Snowball together. Basically, it is a fundraiser, raising money and awareness about the ski mountain, which is owned by the state of NY. The mountain is near and dear to the hearts of my inlaws as they have been skiing there for years and have a large group of friends there. In the summer, there is a concert series that takes place at the mountain as well (I got to see Ray Charles there on his last tour a couple summers back, as well as The Neville Brothers this past summer).

The snowball takes place in the ski lodge after it is transformed from a snowy, wet mess into a winter wonderland complete with white table cloths, and white christmas lights donning the windows and walls. Everyone dresses up in black tie attire, arriving at the mountain in snow boots and furs only to change into their dress shows after getting dropped off at the door.
Think Jewish wedding meets Bar Mitzvah meets Italian wedding. I'm surprised every year when I don't see anyone get lifted up in a chair.

The same band has played at the Snowball since I've started attending (and I've been to 8 Snowballs). It is your standard wedding band, complete with the female singer, and 2-3 horn players, as well as a keyboard player. The band plays all the same songs, in the same order, every year, I think. The band is the master of the medley, playing usually about 4 - 5 songs per medley. They do a Motown medley, and a Beatles medley, and a disco got the idea. I know that at dinner time, when the full band is taking a break, the piano man is going to play solo and sing just that, Piano Man, by Billy Joel, complete with harmonica. Every year, one or two Senators from NY state, attend the Snowball and pledge that they will work to get more money for the mountain (then leave before dinner is actually served). The ambassador of the mountain, you know the guy, the one who always has a smile on his face and has a story to go with it, gets up every year and sings Mustang Sally. Everyone crowds around and hoots and hollers and makes the guys ego inflate even more (and he really isn't that good).

Inevitably, every year, there are the people that dance in a way that is JUST WRONG. This year in particular, there was a large woman, who was dancing with many different men. I happened to spy a slow dance between this woman and a poor, married soul named Malcom. The woman was hugging him for dear life, putting her head on his shoulder and rubbing his head with her hand. He had such fear in his eyes - they shouted out to me HELP!!!!! The same woman was dancing with another man, a bit later. She took his hands and put one on each breast and then removed her hands, so only his hands remained on her boobs. It was great.
Another woman, in a too tight red dress, with an open back, strattled some guys leg, and, well, I think you can picture it. There is a population of older folk who attend the Snowball as well, and so it's particulary nice to see them get their groove on, still, even though though they look as though they might keel over at any moment.
It's not all bad though. For what it's worth, it's nice to dress up and to see friends and family. Plus, the food is good, and the drink is free.


At 11:06 AM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

hey..wanted to respond to yer comment on TMBG on my best of. We saw them do an instore for that record at borders in PVD. It was a blast. We got there at 430 for a 6pm set. They played about 40 minutes and my kids went NUTS. It was so packed and they played a few of there "adult songs". It was fun to watch my kids react to the songs they knew. Look for No! as well..its pretty kid based.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger mike said...

Great Blog....
Wish I could've seen the ladies as desibed!!!


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