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  • ARTHUR
    I'm sure a better name will be used to describe what we just had. Maybe "That Weekend".

    I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks to making this an incredible weekend of dancing, frolicking, hanging out, and a bunch of other things that made me call in sick today due to exhaustion.

    Thanks for bringing the sunshine to what was feared to be a weekend full of rain. We had some, but nowhere near as much as we thought. Thanks for all the things that I just can't form the words for. And most of all, thanks for letting me be a part of it. Life is good.

    See you in April.
    -Arthur


    KEN
    Hey everyone,

    I hope you all are recovering from the Weekend. I had so much fun with Chicago gang that I couldn't say goodbye last night. Actually, I ended up saying goodbye about 4 times. Originally, I was going to the Top of the Mark to just do a little dancing and then drive Jodi and Nicole back home. But I should have known better. I ended up dancing til closing around 12:30am. At this point I was exhausted and I was headed home. But, I hadn't had a chance to properly say goodbye to everyone, and then Mary convinced me to follow them to the HiBall (using her feminine wiles, she can be very convincing!). I decided I would go just for a short time. Well, we all know how easily a "short time" can become "until closing". Needless to say, we danced until closing. I don't even remember what time it was at this point. I was trying to say goodbye to everyone, but there were so many people and we all know how hungry you can get after a night full of dancing, so I decided to join them at Lori's and finish saying my goodbyes there. But only for a short time. Yeah, right. Only for a short time. So after dancing and eating and saying goodbye for another 2 hours, we went our separate ways to drive our guests back to collect their stuff for their flight back. While driving home I half-jokingly told Eric that because it was so late, we might as well drive Nicole and Jodi to the airport. It didn't make sense to sleep for just 2 hours. We could save them the cab fare, and we could say goodbye one last time. I'm glad I could say goodbye to everyone at the airport. I also managed one last swingout with Mary and took some fun pictures (Margot, you'll see the pictures later). Anyway, I did manage to keep myself from going onto the plane with the Chicago gang. It would only been for a short time. Really.

    My work day is over now, but I've been a zombie at work all day. I was trying to be as upbeat as I could, but I think my co-workers could still tell I was comatose (Eric, I didn't have a chance to paint eyeballs on my eyelids). I probably should have called in sick like everyone else. But wow! What a weekend! Like Young-Jin said, it was like one big family reunion. I also want to thank everyone for providing so much fun and energy and good times over the Weekend. SF Hoppers, we need to start making plans for another reunion--a San Francisco invasion of Chicago.

    Goin' to Chicago...
    Ken


    MARGOT
    Ken, where were you? We were all expecting you to be standing there waiting for us at the baggage claim at O'Hare.

    All you SF poets have said it already, but let me be the first Chicago kid to say that we all share your sentiments. Thanks for being such incredible hosts for what was one of the best weekends of my life.

    Please come to Chicago sooner than April if you can. I miss you already.

    -Margot


    JEN
    To everyone who has asked me about the weekend, I've been telling them that it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had since I started dancing again. Of course, I haven't done Catalina, or Roots to Zoots, or Swing Out Northwest, or Herrang, but on the other hand, I can't imagine that any of those events can equal the feeling of friendship and family that we somehow managed to capture after knowing you Chicago kids for JUST 3 DAYS!

    It seems like we've been dancing together for years and have known each other for at least that long--and we've only brushed the surface. I can't wait to visit you guys out there and see what it's like in the city of Windy Hoppers.

    So, after 16 hours of dancing over 2 days, plus 4 on Friday, I have survived with only a few kicks to the ankles, a spiked heel on the top of my foot, a bump on the head (thanks, Peter), and a sore back from all that hip wiggling. Not bad.

    And I only look a little funny when I walk today. But I don't blame that on the dancing. I blame that on Monday.

    -Jen B.


    GINA
    I just have to chime in that this indeed was a fabulous weekend!! I had so much fun with you all!!! What great dances were had! It reminded me of Catalina in more ways than one. Never have I seen so many wonderful Jams. The energy was sky high!!

    -Gina


    KEVIN
    You all are too much. As I'm reading these letters, I couldn't agree more--It was just like a family. We all can't thank you enough for taking us into your homes and out in your city. saying that it was incredible does not do it justice.

    that weekend was the most fun i've had in ages, and an experience that i'll never forget. like jen said, i've not been to catalina or anything, but i don't know that it could top what we just experiened.

    our flight home was filled with "remember that time when...." and "i can't wait....let's watch the video now!!" and "we have to start planning for april!" i know that i cannot wait to see all of you again. i wish i could say that i was going to swingout NW, but no such luck.

    well, i'm recovering. luckily, i did not have to go to work today! but i'll still be feeling the "after-effects" of the weekend for a while, and all the while that i'm aching, it will be with a smile on my face. thanks again to all of the hosts and each and every one of you that made us feel so welcome.

    the countdown for april has begun.

    kevin


    YOUNGJIN
    What started out as a small idea between Mary, Marc and myself to convince a small group of Lindy Hopping friends to experience a weekend of dancing in San Francisco, soon grew into something bigger than we had every believed possible. The feeling was that of a huge family reunion gathering for a very special celebration, there was joy, plenty of food, great music and of course lots of dancing:

    Two dancing worlds merged this past weekend after having exchanged glances before to dance and to form something far greater than the sum of its parts; San Francisco and Chicago "danced" their first dance to the music of a 72 hour-long tune called "friendship". The dance was one of the most beautiful and most satisfying dance two cities have ever danced together. Throughout the dance the connection between these two dancing worlds was awe-inspiring, they experienced "one-ness" and it was felt in each fiber of their two bodies and though they both knew it was going to be a long tune in the end both felt that it had past all too quickly. Now after our first dance, physically demanding as it was, we feel energized and longing for the next dance knowing how amazing and incredible the first one was.

    See you guys at the next family reunion in April!

    Young-Jin.

    "I left my heart in San Francisco..."


    MARY
    Hi all,

    Like Young-Jin said....Who would've though it possible? There was a day sometime in October when a small group of us decided to pick a date for a trip to SF. Within a week, 13 Chicago Lindy Hoppers asked me to get them plane tickets. In the 4-5 weeks that followed we rounded up 5 more dancers, one of them only days before the trip. I'm positive that none of them had the slightest clue what the weekend held in store for them though. The other emails I've just read say it all; I couldn't agree more.

    I just wanted to thank all of you SF folks for sharing your rhythm pills with us. We found what we were looking for and then some.

    -Mary


    ERIK
    My Lindy Brothers and Sisters-

    From the moment Marc preemptively dragged me away from the airport Monday morning (I was heading for the ticket counter), I've been meaning to write email about how you madcap jacks-and-jills-about-town made me feel this weekend. Delirium being what it is, Monday was worthless. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Tuesday that I was beaten to the punch (as an aside, Young-Jin, your email was gorgeous). I've been shocked dumb by what I experienced this weekend, babbling like a cultist, mourning the loss of friends, riding tremendous highs, and spending too many hours at work wandering the halls and wondering where exactly I'm heading. All I know is I'm homesick for Chicago. Three days have passed, and I want it back.

    When I started hanging about with Marc, he would never shut up with the praise for Chicago's dancers. Every night: blah, blah, blah follows like you wouldn't believe blah blah videotape everything blah horchata til 3 blah blah blah judo sweep into charleston blah blah blah. While I didn't doubt his sincerity, I was sceptical that the real thing could measure up. But now I'm still amazed and he and I are doing a pretty poor job of dissuading each other from moving east. Honest. I miss you guys.

    Friday night, I got to the Ashkenaz early and was standing around waiting for the neverending lesson to end, chatting with the couple of people who were there. When you guys made your entrance, the air started humming and writhing. It was like those moments when you're positive someone's watching you, or when you get the feeling something terribly important is about to happen. And then it was obvious who you guys were. You were speaking it with your eyes and bodies. The whole club became a rumble in the belly, we were starving for dance together-- some backwards facing bond of mutual desperation. We were trembling in anticipation; my whole body was screaming, "Finish the goddamn lesson! Aaagh!" That night was exquisite. And it just got better, but it never sated the hunger. When I had to leave the airport on Monday, I felt like I just had to break up with someone.

    There is already a subtle change going on here, and not just with me, not just with the rest of us SF based Chicago missionaries. There is something palpable swimming around us. Jason and I were talking with the fever of obsession a couple nights ago and I noticed it. The scene here's been around a long time and it's really big true enough. But you Windy Hoppers inspired us with a glimpse of something precious. I for one am anxious for another snoot o' that Groove Juice. You ready for us?

    Which I guess brings me to April. We were speaking about the weekend of April 9, 10, and 11, right? Ken and I were talking up the need to get tickets, hopefully by Monday if possible. How many people can you accomodate? Don't answer overhasty, as I am utterly unable to say for sure what numbers we're going to be looking at. It will almost certainly be over 10, it may be higher than 20 or... I don't know, more? Let me know and we'll see how it plays out. You will almost certainly see some of us sooner anyway.

    Hopped up on your Hop,
    Erik


    CHAD
    "Does yur duug bite?" . . . "No!" (after the dog attack). I thought yur duug didn't bite!!!!????
    "That is not my dog!"
    They must have been Chicago Dogs!!

    This weekend was a total blast! Thanks to the Windy Hoppers, those Chicagonians kicked my butt! I am totally whipped. They not only kept me up most nights dancing they danced up a storm. They earned those "Rhythm Pills" they were looking for. The energy at the "Dog House" was high and Jive @5 was fantastic. We had a birthday jam at the D'house that rocked. Virginie's jam at J'@5 was great! The jams kept going. At one point everyone started to clap in different rhythms spontaneously during a break in the music. Wow! it sounded great! We also had a melee of stealing partners in one jam that was hilarious! The energy was incredible!!! If you missed it, you really really should get out more often and set the VCR instead of staying at home. The X Files will have reruns the dancing won't :o).

    Thanks Chicago you rocked our world!
    --Chad


    NICOLLE
    There are so many thoughts to be thunk and things to be said about this euphoric experience that we shared this past week-end. It was truly awe-inspiring. I feel like I'm living high - on - the -hog, complete decadence, the richest woman I know, the luckiest person in the world, all because I could spend 36 hours (30 of them dancing ) with the lot of you. When someone asks " what is the meaning of life?" my response can only be " creating, sharing, giving, inspiring, being inspired,(and dancing of course)" This is what I experienced this week-end.

    You nutty San Franians sure can make a bunch feel welcome. I can't wait until all y'all come out to our digs in April, we'll keep you in style. We'll make sure to arrange for some nice warm weather, so as we can show you folks up.

    Big Kiss on the forehead to Mary and Marc, you guys rock. see you all soon, some sooner than others.

    -Nicolle