How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Chubby Checkers Comes to Town


A week ago tonight, I attended a concert in the park, something I haven’t done in years. The first entertainer was a young forty-something singer called Daniel Powter, a world-renown Canadian, who looked younger than his age. I wasn’t familiar with his music but my friend Susan was and I enjoyed the music. By the time his set finished, his voice should have been hoarse but he fooled me. He hadn’t strained it after all.

I haven’t been a teenager in well over a half-century plus, and have never been to a rock concert. I thought I would die from the all-encompassing electronic explosion of blare and boom. My eardrums complained, then gave up. The crowd hadn’t begun to swell yet and while we watched the stage and Daniel, the throng broadened and redoubled surrounding us.

After the first set, Sue and I fought the crowds, hip-to-hip and elbow-to-elbow to get to the food area. I settled on a Pizza Pizza Slice at a reasonable price. Sue bought large fries for five dollarswhat I call highway robbery with a smile. As we struggled back to our chairs, the highly anticipated show we’d come for had already begun. I gawked up at the overhead screen with disappointment. Chubby Checkers had reverted back to the fellow we had first known as teenagers.



“Crap, he’s put all that weight back on again.” I had no idea my mouth blurted aloud what my brain considered. Susan grinned and we both rubbernecked to sneak a peek at the stage but the masses had multiplied yet again. Our chairs were still where we’d left them. Whew. Fans danced on the grass and blocked our view of the stage without guilt. Between gyrating bodies, I managed a glimpse of Chubby and he looked nothing like his on-screen projection. On-stage, he sported the signature baby blue jean jacket, jeans and red T-shirt. My preview proved him slim, trim and fit. Overhead on the video, he appeared overweight by a good 40 pounds.

“I don’t understand why the difference?” My friend didn’t know the answer either. Daniel Powter hadn’t been replicated as heavier but the same. For a better view of the stage, Sue darted closer to the stage. I followed. She’d worn a fanny pack. Smart lady. I had my old lady carry-everything-I-hold-sacred bag over my shoulder. Can’t look cool shaking what my Momma gave me with my house on my back like a turtle. Now I know why they don’t dance—or can’t.

We were lost in a sea of gray hair and wrinkles, a few walkers, hearing aids, and toupees. A guy on crutches with a steel cage attached to one leg sashayed back and forth as he leaned against the barricade in front of the stage. Everyone and everything—and I mean everything—rocked and swayed, shook and wiggled like jelly. I wondered why all the people who can’t dance always make their way in front of everyone else to show off their best moves. Does that mean the good ones are behind me?

Yes, many young(er) concert-goers attended too. Some of them couldn’t dance either. I marvelled they even knew what The Twist was, let alone do it, or who CC was?

The night turned cool enough for a sweater. I had come prepared. The mosquitoes mustn‘t have liked the loud music because they were absent. Small mercies are always welcome. We danced and jiggled, stomped and clapped and sang for an hour. By then, with ear drums blown, my back screamed for a sit and I tried to quash the drum set hammering in my body. The end of the show was almost a relief. It’s a wonder the sound system hadn’t interfered with all the pacemakers and hearing-aids in the crowd.

“Look at him. He’s not even doing the real twist.”

I howled with laughter. “Neither are we, Sue.”

Fifty-three years ago, The Twist and Mr. Checkers had hit the charts. Fifty-three years? Already? For a seventy-one-year-old, he put on a fast-paced show. Of course he didn’t do The Twist quite the way he had all those summers ago but I can’t complain about the performance.

Chubby Checkers almost in my town. I was a kid again for almost an hour—long enough to break a hip but I did not. Why hadn’t I packed my camera? A senior moment perhaps.

~ * ~

If you have come this far, thank you for sticking with me. I have strived for 500 words, more or less, but today went over by more than 200+ words.


Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

30 thoughts on “Chubby Checkers Comes to Town

  1. We had a Credence Clearwater tribute band come to our 55+ community. They played on the stage and we danced on the plaza, and damn, we had fun. These days, we don’t care who we dance with, and generally it’s all the girlfriends, a ring of six to ten of us howling at the moon. There is nothing like hearing some of your old faves, buzzed on a little wine (we’re all cheap dates these days), wearing your cool little flowy cotton number from Fresh Produce and remembering when. Thanks for the memory.


    • My first time in over 35 years. Forgot how loud it would be. Glad my girlfriend suggested going to the festival and it was FREE. Parking was $10.00, so we split that

      I marvel at the good show Chubby put on. I hear he’s got a back problem now. I wonder if it’s from out the twisting over 53 years.


  2. Smiling with this walk down memory lane and your comment, “Neither are we, Sue,” cracked me up. $5 for fries!!!!! I’m still back in the shockingly old dark ages with prices and can’t help the whip lash when I hear current prices, gulp.
    Thanks for sharing this fun one. 🙂


    • We hadn’t had any supper. I had just finished babysitting and rushed out the door to pickup my friend to make it to the first set (Daniel Powter, her favourite). The pizza was a better buy: 2 large pieces for $3.99, and loaded with veggies.


  3. I admire you guys for braving the crowds. The last concert I went to was Bob Seeger in Denver, CO a few 🙂 years ago. Lost a third of my hearing that night under the towering speakers, saw a guy I dated once doing a bouncer gig on stage, and had a great time. Your post made me think, however. Who would I still pay a ton of money to see? Only one guy. But, it might be tough since the venerable icon of the blues and master of the Stratocaster, Jimi Hendrix, is dead. Tragic for him but probably good for what remains of my hearing.


    • I haven’t been to a live concert in 35+ years and this one was FREE. Can you imagine that? A friend asked and I figured it was time to do some out of the ordinary for a change.

      Once my hearing stabilized, sometime last weekend, I was glad I had gone and had a new experience again.


  4. Too funny! We should all do the twist in our minds, even if our hips can no longer cut the mustard.


  5. Oh Tess you had me in fits of laughter. What on earth is a fanny pack??? Does that word mean the same over there as it does here? I remember the name CC but I’ve never seen what he looks like, was he a heartthrob? your descriptions are hilarious and I think if I tried to twist what I’d see in my head would be somewhat different from what everyone else would see. I intned to keep growing old disgracefully and I suspect you will too 🙂


    • A fanny pack is one of those pouches one fastens around their waist when travelling, so no-one can grab their money or papers.

      That’s him on my post. He’s 71 now. the girls liked him in the 1960 when he came on the scene.

      I intend to enjoy myself as I ”mature’ and because I’ve earned it, I will darn well do as I please. Glad I’m in good company, Gilly.


  6. What a wonderful trip down memory lane and an opportunity for all of you to shake what your mamas gave you. Now I have visions of dancing turtles in my head, twisting again like they did last Summer :). Rock on, Tess.


  7. You braved the crowds for CC, good for you! You had me chuckling through this entire thing. I still now and then brave the crowds for a concert, though not to often these days.


  8. Now I just want to do the Twist and might as well Shout while I’m at it! 😉


  9. It must have been nice Tess, to be transported back to a different age…
    I have to say, I’m not one for live concerts. mostly because of the people always in your space, but also, seeing those folks on stage and how age changed them, as it has me – maybe I’m not ready for a reminder of my inevitable fall 😉


    • I’m not much for live concerts either. Haven’t been to one in over 35 years. this was FREE and I forgot about the sound system.

      Age is a bitch and sometimes I forget that I’m not the younger self either when shocked by a star’s age.


  10. How fun! I’m sure you didn’t look like a turtle, either.


  11. Daniel Powter, I like! And i know just what you mean – the spirit is willing and all that, but the knees are downright reluctant sometimes.


  12. A fanny pack is a bum bag to us because fanny means something much ruder on this side on of the pond. Great story of a great night. I’m not surprised you were knackered after all that jigging about 🙂


  13. The last one I went to was a scientist ( just the other night.) How embarrassing.

    I’m very glad that hip stayed in place.


  14. Oh I was with you alright! That was fun – your depiction of it and … well your depiction of it! Great fun! Thanks Tess 🙂


  15. Just saw Paul McCartney in concert, or rather, I saw a huge image of him on the video screens at either side of the stage. If I squinted real hard through my binoculars I could see him…sort of. Nonetheless, all kinds of good memories came flooding back about the good ole days. Ahhh…life seemed sweeter then. 🙂


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