03 August 2007

Mt. Sterling High School Prom 2004

I went to my Herndon High School senior prom back in 1996 and no offense, Camie Poulton, but that wasn’t my most memorable prom experience. (Some might say my hair looks really goofy in this picture but if it was good enough for George Clooney back in the mid-'90's it was good enough for me).

The April before law school started, my friend Ben and I were driving home from his last semester at BYU. (That was also the semester where I was a ski bum at the Sundance Graduate School of Winter Sports).

Ben drove the whole way until we got to Iowa when he suddenly wanted me to drive. At this point we were only a half hour from our next stop in Nauvoo, Illinois. He stopped on the side of a country road and we switched. I was pulled over and got a speeding ticket about two minutes later. Thanks Ben. I wasn’t my normal chipper self so to ease my mind, Ben thought he would play me some tunes. The first song he “happened” upon? The Clash’s “I Fought the Law” where it repeats over and over again, “I fought the law, and the law won.” Nice. So, about 20 minutes later we ended up in Nauvoo and realized everything was closed because it was Saturday night. Nice. I really wanted one of those cool Nauvoo bricks but all I got was this picture:
We got back on the road and after a while stopped in Quincy, a quaint little town along the Mississippi just south of Nauvoo, because we were lost. We were kind of in a funny mood so we asked the girl at the gas station counter how to get to Virginia. I don’t think she thought we were as funny as we did. Ben said he’d buy me dinner so he asked the guy next to us in line where we could find a good place to eat. He said immediately, “Tony’s.” Then the guy behind us said, “Yeah, Tony’s!” This place had to be good if strangers at gas stations were endorsing it. So we got directions and headed off. Tony’s turned out to be a pizza joint, but kinda classy. The walls were dark green wallpaper, there was nice art everywhere, and the tables and chairs were heavy wood. Check out the menu and Tony's history:
We got our pizzas and were enjoying ourselves but we were confused when we kept seeing teenagers dressed in fancy dresses and tuxedos walking by. We asked our waitress what was going on and she said there was a prom downstairs in the ballroom. The Mt. Sterling High School prom, to be exact. We joked about going down to check it out but we decided not to, not because we didn’t have dates and were 25 years old but because we didn’t have anything to wear. Keep in mind I was wearing jeans and a zip-up sweater and Ben had on cargo shorts and flip flips. Ben got up to answer his phone and came back to inform me that he found some tweed jackets in the Lost and Found closet. Obviously we had to attend the prom now.

So we asked our waitress permission to go to the prom. She said it would be okay and even said she’d take our picture down there. So we went downstairs to the ballroom and beheld a marvelous sight: A dance floor, a punch bowl, disco lights, and a lot of girls in dresses.

Ben bolted straight for the dance floor and started busting a move in the middle of a circle of 8 girls. I couldn’t stop laughing. So we danced and worked it. The girls loved us. Then their dates, who were at the punch bowl instead of dancing, saw us with their ladies and came over. They wanted to know who we were, how we found their prom, and where we got the jackets. All valid questions, I guess. We told them we were on business from Virginia. They seemed to think it was pretty cool we were there but everyone had a funny look on their face and didn’t believe us. Then we figured out that there is a Virginia, Illinois not too far from Mt. Sterling. Who knew?

Apparently the kids liked us because they kept dancing with us. And the prom wasn’t all that different from a stake dance because every 4th song was a slow song. I don’t remember which song they played but I do remember Ben saying really loudly to me so the nearby group of girls could hear that he wished we had someone to dance with. Immediately two girls came over and asked us to dance with them during the slow song. We danced the night away but the song and fun ended when we saw an older man in a suit start walking towards the dance floor. The Principal! Ben booked it upstairs, I said bye to the girls and followed, we put the jackets back in the closet, and got out of there.

So, that was my second prom. If you ever have a chance to attend a prom in the basement ballroom of the pizza restaurant where you are eating during your cross-country trip, I recommend that you stop by and hit the dance floor.


yaj said...

Why are you a pepper and not a biscuit?

Ben said...

We should probably note that this all happened before either of us were married (although, I might do it again if I happened to be in Quincy again).