A Valentine Memory
What a charmer he was, Mr. One And-A-Two. Lawrence Welk, whose music was upbeat, light and unvarying, was a Gentleman. He made every Lady in the room feel like Lady, and he visited our living room every Saturday night. Each show followed the same format: music from the band, with performances by singers and dancers, and dancers. At the end Mr. Welk joined the dancers on the ballroom floor, where some of the women sported bubble hairstyles in a curious shade of champagne.
I knew an elderly grandmother who got "all gussied up" every Saturday night to watch her favorite show. It was the high point of the week. Her visit to the beauty salon was a close second. One Saturday night Grandma lost track of time and the show came on while she was still in brush rollers, Noxzema face cream, and her old housecoat. She fled the living room, wailing, "Oh, dear, I can’t let him see me like this!"
My father sold Dodges for a time, and the corporation sponsored Lawrence Welk’s "Dodge Dancing Hour" which later became "The Lawrence Welk Show." In return Mr. Wunnerful, Wunnerful made appearances at annual Dodge New Year’s Eve parties in San Francisco. On one of these occasions my mother danced with him, a memory that always made her smile and blush.
For more than thirty years we depended on Mr. Welk to show up every Saturday night. Thanks to PBS, youngsters or nostalgic AARP members can enjoy a wistful glimpse of an era when life didn’t seem to move so fast, lyrics were understandable and clean and hopelessly romantic, and Bobby never stepped on Sally's toes.