“To Dance With My Father Again.”
What I wouldn’t give, to dance with my father again. Or, more likely, watch others — what seemed like the whole Greek nation — dance with him. My father was a dashing man on his feet. Could pass for the brother of the actor Errol Flynn, always taking the lead for what I called the “Greek Snake Dance (See you tube).”
He’d whip out a white handkerchief and get another to hold on, as he swept across a dance floor or the living room where guests would pull furniture out of the way and put the bouzouki music on an old record player. Soon, others would be on their feet, hurrying to get in line, as “Pop” — as we called him — would weave his way this way and that, occasionally throwing one leg into the air and slowly moving it in a wide arc before gliding it back to the floor, to he delight of us clapping in the audiences and shouting “Whoopa!!”
He’d hit the floor with such a thud, you’d think someone had gotten shot. But the crashing sound was all part of the dance, and he’d expertly (and artfully) knock the floor at the right moment which was any moment his internal dance steps would take him. I’d join in years later, always toward the end or the middle of the line. Only the best dancers seemed to get toward the front. When one lead dancer would tire, the next would take his place leading us in that serpentine manner winding around one way and then the other.
Pop, who left his home of Nysiros, Greece at age 15, would never tire. Either that, or he hid it well.
Even into his mid 70s, people would still urge him to take to the floor. These would be other young men, now older, who remembered my father’s glory days on the dance floor. I heard the dance may have originated as a “warriors” performance, in attempts by the ancients to showcase the best of Greek’s fighting elite. You know, from the stories of Helen of Troy and the Trojan Horse.
Who best to lead them than one named Achilles.
Love you pop.
What a joy it would be!