Seven buses and activity vans took 220 boys and assorted faculty to the Asheville School on a brilliant October Saturday afternoon. Warmed by the sun cooled by the crisp breezes, and fueled by tons of tailgate feasting at home, fans were dressed in green, painted green, glittering in green, carrying banners and flags and a blue skeleton waiting to be hanged or hatcheted. We cheered, we yelled, we schmoozed, we held our breaths (though the suspense was only for play, since we knew we’d win). At the end of the game we rushed the field, then returned to school tired but happy. In the evening we danced under swirling colored lights to the primitive beats of the sound system. Boys and girls mingled, boys danced alone, girls danced in groups, boys and girls dances in lines and together. It was an evening for young energy. The island boys laid down fancy moves, Asian boys met Asian girls, a mysterious well-rounded apparition in a bathrobe and flipflops proved light and agile on his feet and blew us away, little brothers danced and teased and mingled in, a quiet boy found a girl who thought he was fascinating and they talked all evening, ping pong balls got squashed underfoot, and chaperones prowled the perimeters, some bored, some tsk-tsking, some cheering on the Red Sox on the silent TVs overhead. Four hours of dancing, and it was time to say good bye for another year and to start looking to the winter.
P.S. On Sunday I asked one of the Korean boys how he had liked the dance. He said, "I went, but I didn't stay very long. The dancing they were doing wasn't like the etiquette dinners. I thought it would be more like that."