LHS classmates of 1937 recall dancing the Lindy Hop

— Phil Christy’s best memories of attending Liverpool High School in 1937 focus on the good times.

Sure, the nation had yet to fully recover from the Great Depression, but there was still fun to be had.

“We danced and danced and danced,” Phil said June 23 at the Class of ’37 reunion at Carnegie’s Pier 57. We danced to the ‘Tiger Rag.’ We did the dipsy-doodle.”

“It was no dipsy doodle,” chimed in his wife, the former Maggie Wackerle, who also graduated from Liverpool in ’37.

Maggie’s right, of course. The popular dances of the day were jitterbugs like the Lindy Hop. The music was played by guys like Benny Goodman and Bunny Berigan.

“We were good dancers, but of course, all the kids danced in those days,” Phil recalled. “I wish kids these days would dance like that.”

The 76th class reunion was organized by Ken Hurst, who lives in Liverpool on Tulip Street. Ken will celebrate his 94th birthday on July 5.

As you might expect, Class of ’37 reunions are not as crowded as they once were. “Getting old is no picnic,” Phil Christy said. “It’s tough to see all your friends die.”

Six classmates had been expected at the June 23 reunion, but Betty (Pease) Gilmore and Shirley (Hawks) O’Brien didn’t make it to Pier 57, leaving the Christys, Hurst and Marjorie (Glahn) Parsons to reminisce without them.

The Christys now live at The Nottingham in Jamesville, and Parsons resides on Otisco. Two more surviving classmates were unable to attend, Vic Tillotson who lives on Bailey Road and John Haydon, who has relocated to Florida.

Besides urging youngsters to learn the joys of jitterbugging, Phil Christy, who became a successful Syracuse attorney, had a few more words of advice for the new generation: “Don’t give up on your goals.”

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment