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September 29, 2017 at 5:58 pm #1843
I did not come to social dancing until eight years after Pat’s death. Even then, it was American contras and squares. I finally “got” English Country Dance a few years ago.
Somewhere in the mid 1980s I heard Margaret’s Waltz for the first time on a Boston area boat dance. A boat dance was a contra dance held, once a year, on a sightseeing boat in Boston Harbor. Swinging was a challenge when the boat listed. As soon as the waltz was over, I was in love with the tune. I rushed up to the band to ask the name of the waltz. Peter Barnes had been playing piano and gave me the answer.
Over the next few years I would get a thrill whenever it was played at a contra dance.
30 years ago (1987) my girlfriend and I were at Pinewoods Camp in Plymouth, Massachusetts for Labor Day Weekend (Labor Day is the first Monday in September). It was a weekend of English and American dance.
At the break, the band played Margaret’s Waltz. We danced around C# (the camp’s largest pavilion). At some point I, unexpectedly, proposed marriage. It just kind of slipped out. It was definitely the tune that prompted the utterance. I guess I’d gotten lost in the moment.
She thought I was joking, so immediately said “no”. I few turns on the floor and I’d convinced her that I was serious. A turn or two more and she accepted.
We just celebrated the 30th anniversary of that event at Pinewoods. We can still mark the spots in the pavilion where each bit occurred. Next year it will be the 30th anniversary of our wedding.
As you might guess “our song”, is a little different than most, but we can actually dance to it.
As a bonus, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was a dance too!
As such, I can say Pat Shaw had a profound affect on my life.