A Time to Remember

My alma mater, Lindy High School, recently held its senior prom last week, bringing to mind my own end-of-year soirees which took place so many years ago. 

Our senior prom was, of course, a highlight; even more so for the fact that it was held at the top of the World Trade Center, at the one and only Windows on the World. What a magical night it was, and what an unforgettable time we had celebrating among the clouds, overlooking the greatest city in the world.

Often forgotten in the recollections of high school, however, was the equally memorable evening we had at our junior prom. Held at the famed Narragansett Inn, it brought the elegance of our first “real” dance to our hometown, complete with swirling gowns and high heels and hair and makeup appointments for all on the afternoon of the big event. Remember, at this point, sweet sixteen’s had yet to take on the extravagance of a small wedding, and proms truly were the formal affairs of that age. 

Everything down to the smallest detail was coordinated, from corsage colors to jewelry and accessories, to the tiny flowers and rhinestone clips which adorned many of the girls’ hair. The class voted on their pick for “Junior Prom Song” in the weeks leading up to the event, forgoing the more current hits for a classic from Long Island’s own Billy Joel, “This is the Time.” 

I remember taking pictures beforehand at my grandparents’ house, walking down the big staircase and masquerading in all sorts of corny poses for the camera. This, of course, pre-dated the advent of cell phones and the famous “selfies” of today; but every single collection of friends had the same standard photo in front of their limo, couples angled inward, corsages on display. There was something elegant in the simplicity. 

Junior prom was a bit more casual for our group. Instead of a limo, we carpooled. Instead of any post-prom festivities, we stopped off at McDonald’s on the way home – in the excitement of the evening, it seems no one had really taken the time to sit down and eat. We were too busy taking photos by the grand piano in the lobby, cheering on the prom court…and dancing, of course. 

I remember coming home that night and sitting up for hours, recollecting every last detail of the evening to my parents, still in my gown and high heels, my hair a little disheveled but none the worse for wear, not wanting the day to end. 

Sure, senior prom may have had the pomp and circumstance and the expectation of great things; but junior prom, for me, far exceeded all that. It was, truly the time to remember.

 

{Published: June 7th, 2017}

 

 

Jamie Lynn RyanComment