One day back in the early 1970s, then-Lincolnton Recreation director Betty G. Ross was asked to teach square dancing to the elderly.
â€œWe didnâ€™t have enough men dancing back then, so some of the women had to wear painters hats and act like men,â€ said Ross.
That was the birth of the weekly event where seniors gather every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to dance, reminisce and laugh about old times.
Mary Crafton started coming to the dances 20 years ago with her first husband. Now she comes from Hickory with her second husband, Howard.
â€œThe appeal is the people. I love the people,â€ said Crafton. â€œTheyâ€™re like brothers and sisters.â€
Once per month, the group has a pot luck lunch to celebrate birthdays.
â€œEveryone lines up to give the birthday people a kiss,â€ said Ross.
Anywhere between 16 to 20 people, couples and singles, gather for dancing. One of the groupâ€™s favorite artists is the late Hank Williams Jr.
Crafton says that nobody dances alone in their seniors group.
â€œIf a woman doesnâ€™t have a dance partner, the men will dance with them. Even if the men are married,â€ she said.
This past Tuesday, is was Beulah Reynoldsâ€™ 83rd birthday.
â€œIâ€™m prepared to get kissed by everybody,â€ she said.
Gathal Eaker, 83, sums up what it means for the seniors who participate in the weekly dance.
â€œItâ€™s a place to have fun, get together and enjoy life a little bit,â€ she said. by Jon Mayhew