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ARTHUR
What an incredible weekend. After my 14 hour "nap" I went to work and spent eight hours daydreaming about how much fun was had. It's always so nice getting together with loved ones.

It was just dreamlike being with so many friends and having nothing but a good time. Let's glaze over the theory that it may have been "dreamlike" because of the lack of sleep. =)

We danced; we laughed; we danced; we ate; we danced; we - notice a pattern?

I think some of us (just some) didn't want this weekend to end. In fact, a few of us were in such denial that we had to end it officially and properly. Yes, we went to Lori's. Ah, it was poetic. And it took a little bit of sting out of Waldo's (James) parting words: "Back to reality".

Anyways... To all my longtime friends, old and new, I love you and I miss you.

Man, I can use a massage right about now.
-Arthur

p.s.
See you in Seattle!


mary
Hey you loony lindy hoppers,

I'm not sure I've recovered yet, but l think I've finally caught up on sleep enough to sound coherent when writing this email.

What an amazing weekend. From the moment I walked into Giordano's on Friday, I knew it was going to be unforgettable. I was so overwhelmed...I didn't know who to hug next. It was like a huge family reunion...family I'd seen just a week before, family I hadn't seen in 6 months, and family I'd never met before but will sorely miss from now on....family from all over the country.

The weekend was all that I had hoped for and more...it truly was a Lindy Exchange. We exchanged music, moves, and memories.

I just have to make a few comments on the events I managed to make it to...

Friday -
Logan Square....I couldn't get enough dances in...there were so many of you that I wanted to dance with and just not enough music to do it. I still had that overwhelmed feeling from dinner.

Kingston Mines...I remember looking down the aisle and thinking we would fit perfectly into a scene from Dirty Dancing where the true dancers come in during a slow blues number and take over the room.

Wiener Circle...A true Chicago experience. Sober folks don't usually hang there at that hour, but at that hour I don't think we cared...

Saturday -
Liquid...Wasn't it great to actually have space to dance to Indigo Swing? (even if it was only a sound check)

Ida Noyes....Great space, great dancers...does it get any better than that?

Blue Iris...maybe it does...I know a lot of people thought this was the climax of the weekend. Thanks Gimi...this was really a special event.

Sunday -
Potluck...Food and music and videos...it was like an upgraded version of an evening with Kevin and Young-Jin.

Navy Pier...Unfortunately Kev and I missed this...we were too exhausted after putting together the potluck. I did manage to get 1/4 of a dance in while rounding up folks...it looked beautiful.

Willowbrook...This was the highlight of my weekend...the hockey rink sized dance floor was empty when we arrived and the 20-30 of us that showed up filled the floor perfectly. I wish everyone could have been there to share it.

Grandma's diner....I'll never be able to go back to that place without thinking of all of you guys. And you know I'll have to go back...they've got banana milkshakes! (not as good as Lori's though)

So that's my take on the weekend. I wish I could've been at the airport when each of you were leaving...stupid work at 8AM. Remind me to take Monday off next time.

I really hope all of you enjoyed the weekend as much as I did. And I know I'll see all of you next year when we do it all again. But until then keep in touch. I'll see some of you at Frankie's b-day in SF, some at Beantown, and I'm sure I'll see you all when you come to Chicago on random visits.

Take care,
Mary


Joe K.
Hey all,

I know everyone is not on this list- but I want to say what a fabulous job of organizing and hosting you all did for the amazing USO weekend. Of course much of our lives will pale in comparison for a while but only because I think we all had such a marvellous time. Everything was planned perfectly and executed perfectly. Thank you all for planning and doing such an adept job at creating a great weekend.

See you all out dancing,
Joe Kennedy


anne
so i spent eight hours at work yesterday doing lots of wall-staring and mind-wandering. mostly wandering down memory lane and wondering how much time needed to pass before we could have another lindy reunion...

thanks to everyone for the best weekend i've had in a long, long time. i confess, going dancing in d.c. tonight will be a bit of a let-down. i know i'll keep looking for one of you crazy kids to show up on the dance floor. is that so unreasonable?

anna-marie: thanks for sticking it out at the airport...

jeanine: i'm still working on completing ONE turn... arthur: i only got one massage this weekend; what's up?

valencia: careful with those hips...

ken: nice one-armed dancing...

greg: 10 months????

niloufar: maybe WE should go out sometime...

tom: you will owe me that dollar someday....

young-jin: get up!!!!

let's not wait too long before we all meet again, eh?

break like you mean it,
anne (a.k.a. "pebbles")


tom
Hi Folks,

A week ago this time, a bunch of people were coming to Chicago for a weekend of dancing. I didn't think much of it other than, boy was i going to be tired from running around. It's now 1 week later after the start of that weekend and boy am I tired AND IT IS ALL THAT I CAN THINK ABOUT.

I had an interesting kickoff to Friday, that some of you know about. Fridays' dinner i had made reservations for 28. We had 38. We fed a lot of people and the cost was $13 per person. I just threw out those leftovers last night. HOw long is leftover pizza good for????? That was an awesome site to see. Thanks to Arthur, if you weren't giving back rubs, i wouldn't have had a place to sit.....Kevin pointed out that the food got there at 9pm and we were out the door by 9:30pm.

Special thanks to the housing Committee who set up ANNe to stay with me. LIke me and unlike many of you, she was a get up and go on Saturday. ANne, i only wish we could have spent more time exploring Chicago's neighborhoods. Saturday night at Liquid was wonderful. Thanks Riley, Margot, Peter and Mary....There was a perfect number of people.

Jodi, you can Bogart me everytime and anytime.

Later on that night i had the deepest nap sleep i have had in a long time. After dinner i dropped of Anne and Annamarie at Ida NOyes and took a nap in my car. 1 Hour later i woke up (about 11:30pm) and had no idea where i was or what time it was. Openning the door, hearing the music i knew i was still tired and i could not believe i danced for another 3 hours.

My favorite moment of the weekend was at Navy Pier. Special thanks to Margot, Valencia, Kristin Crane, Gimi, Noel, Peter and Steve, Little Julie, and anyone else that danced with my parents. For those that don't know what happened. During the senior dance i wanted to watch my parents. I started by dancing with my mom's best friend Rose, Gimi cut in so i could watch my parents, then Peter cut in, As did Noel and then Steve. My mom cut in on Steve and my mom and Rose were dancing and then the audience cheered. There my dad was standing and Margot and Valencia went out and danced with him, talk about an envious son.....

Jeanine thanks for the kind words on Sunday night, it was very nice what you said.

I don't know if this was sent to Benjamin, Greg or Jodi from Seatle, If you know there emails please pass this on.

Thanks for an incredible weekend. I look forward to seeing some of you in SF for Frankie's Birthday.

Tom Walsh


greg
Hello fellow addicts,

WOW! where do I begin. Here I am sitting back in Seattle thinking about how much I didn't want this whole weekend to end and almost didn't in my case. (ask me about it later) I can't believe I got the chance to hang out with, dance and get to know all you cool people. I think your cities are really lucky to have people like you. Now if only all of you could move to Seattle. Not that I'm saying anything bad about Seattle people, right Joe? I mean Seattle people are great. Anyway, I don't know about ya'll but I'm still in this dream state, maybe it's from the lack of sleep or just the incredible weekend, but whatever it is I hope to carry it to the next one in Seattle! Thanks again all for an incredible weekend and thank you all you Chicagoans for your generosity. You's beutifo!

Until next time,
Greg Heasley


steve
Hey Windy City Lindy Hoppers --

Two quick notes.

First, you guys set an incredibly high mark for what it means to have a Lindy -Community-. And it's quite a privilege, and a pleasure, to have been made a part of it. I'm guessing there was one hell of a lot more work involved than any of us imports might imagine. For that, you have my double thanks.

Second, y'all in Chicago should know that Gimi is a great host and I would encourage as many of you as possible to take advantage of his hospitality whenever you can. Just show up at all hours of the day or night, demand shelter, showers and locals-only knowledge of places to eat and things to do, and be sure to sleep 'til at least noon. So what if you live in town, you will find, as I did, that his place is, in so many ways, as good as home.

C U on the dance floor.

--Steve


tom
Hi Gimi,

Steve said whether you were from out of town or not, you're a great host. Would you host me this weekend?

Tom


Mark K.
Dearly Beloved,

I'm sitting here still in deep recovery after having had too much fun for over 60 hours. Thank you all for conspiring to keep me dancing non-stop for most of that time, for feeding me constantly when I wasn't dancing, and for permitting me to sleep a few hours as well. My mantra for the weekend was a continual "Died and gone to heaven...died and gone to heaven... died and gone to heaven..." Many thanks to all you Chicagoans for your unbelievable generosity and hospitality.

My only worry is that we've all been seduced by a secret cult: ...sleep deprivation, ritual group activities done to exhaustion, mono-diet (pizza), devotion to the leaders (Frankie Manning/Steven Mitchell), the feeling that "we're special and having more fun than anyone else in the world", assigning undue importance to the minute details of cult activities (Bleyers vs. Keds, "Let go on 4 or 3 3/4?"), secret language ("5, 6, 7 and 8"), and happy smiling menmbers of the opposite sex luring new people to join the group. Oh my God, we're now all members of the Windy City Lindy Cult!

When's the next meeting?

Mark


james
Hello Chicago.

I wanted to send a more directed email rather than a mass broadcast. I just have to say that I think for me, the best part of this past weekend was specifically seeing you all again. I can't even describe what it felt like that first night. When I walked into the Logan Square hall late, for the first 5 mins didn't see anyone I knew. I actually thought that I was a complete idiot and missed everyone. And then, one by one I ran into everyone, and it was like seeing old friends from a past memory. It was such a high. I must have hugged Gimi, Corey, Ray, Julie, and Margot a million times that night. Funny to think that I actually first met everyone a year and a half ago at Liquid. I still vividly remember the first time I met Gimi at Liquid and Ray at Navy Pier. And first seeing an awesome Young-jin dance at Liquid and my first dance with Margot who swore she was a total beginner and almost turned me down, I guess it was just a bit strange and yet still familiar being back.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you guys represent what I love best about Lindy: Connection. To everyone: You're the best! Thanks for represent'n and keeping it real.

Let's not wait 5 months to get together again. We should make the next exchange happen before Catalina, ya?

Love James


Misha
Hello My Chicago Friends,

I just wanted to say "thank you" for one of the most memorable and incredible weekends of my entire life. From the people, to the music, to the dance venues, all three days and three nights were hours spent in heaven.

You Chicago hoppers are singularly the most warm, giving, welcoming, interesting, intelligent, and fun group of people I have ever had the privilige of knowing. Looking back, I find that my life has become fuller and richer as the result of having met you and from the impact of all that you have done.

I cannot fathom how you all managed to organize and accomodate such a large and diverse group of people -- my hat truly comes off to you.

Young-Jin, you are the most patient and easy going person I can imagine. I hope you managed to get back into your apartment and finally get a few hours of sleep without anyone nagging on you to go to one place or another.

Mary and Kevin, I...., I.... don't know what to say to the two of you...., except that I hope the future holds many more opportunities for me to shake your hand, Kevin, and to hug you, Mary.

Please tell Gimi that the Blue Iris was the crowning jewel of my weekend. The close quarters, dimmed lights, slow blues, and the warm atmosphere made it the best place not only to dance, but also to talk with and to get to know the other participants in this magic time.

Thank you.

Misha