Once I began attending Millington Central High School, I began making friends with other girls. One girl, Karen, became my best friend. Karen was a cute blond, and was a year younger than me. She wore glasses but looked very cute in them. Karen and I got along great and spent a lot of time together.
In the fall of 1959, Karen told me about the All Hands Dances. Sponsored by the U.S.O. (United Service Organization), the All Hands Dances were held on Friday nights for the military men stationed at the Naval Air Station in Millington. The USO encouraged local single girls to come to the dances and dance with the service men. There was always a live band, usually a well known group, but not a current star.
Karen told me about the dances and asked me to go with her. I loved to dance, and it sounded like fun, so I agreed to go. We arrived shortly after the dance began. There were hundreds of military men and a few dozen girls. It was a dream come true for a boy crazy girl.
I danced every dance that night. I never turned down a guy, no matter what he looked like I danced with him, just to enjoy dancing. I didn't dance with the same guy more than a few times. I had a great time, I loved dancing with all the guys. The All Hands Dances were to become an important part of my life.