A Prom Story

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This is not my usual blog about sports, so if that is what you were expecting, just stop reading now.  I truly will understand.

Instead, since the local papers this past month have been featuring photographs from proms of the Lehigh Valley high schools, it made me reflect back on my own prom many, many years ago.  Things have not changed much.

I know I was nervous.  I was meeting my date’s parents for the first time.  They were Ukrainian and spoke very little English.  I was leery about my ability to show them my charm and wit if they would have trouble understanding me.  But, I figured what are a few minutes of idle “misunderstanding”?  I would be in and out.  No harm done.

Of course, when I showed up at the house, their daughter was not ready.  I was left alone.  I quickly discovered that Europeans feel that hospitality means sharing an alcoholic drink.  I was certainly aware that I could not legally drink, but I was also aware that it might be rude to turn down the offer.  And, what could one drink hurt, anyway?

The drink was called a “kamikaze”!  Yes, the same term used by the Japanese when a pilot was going to end his life during a military battle.  It contained nothing but alcohol.  The mixture was a special brew concocted by the host.  It was as powerful a potion as you could imagine.

After a couple of sips, I no longer cared if their daughter ever got ready.  I was feeling GOOD!!  She could take her time and I would allow myself to be entertained.  I even began to believe that after a few more sips, I was beginning to understand Ukrainian.

Luckily and probably to my benefit, my date came down the steps.  She looked absolutely beautiful.  I now was woozy from the drink and just as woozy from her appearance.  She looked absolutely beautiful.  I remember how nervous I was pinning on the corsage.  It was in an area where only bad things could happen.  Somehow, I managed to get the task accomplished.  There was no blood.   The required pictures were taken and off we went.

The prom was held in the high school gymnasium.  When we arrived, parents had formed two lines, much like cheerleaders form when their team is running out on the field.  The “oohing” and “ahhing” was nice.  I guess we looked pretty good.  The only thing missing was a PA announcer prefacing our arrival to the gym door with formal introductions – probably would have been a nice touch.

We waited for others to arrive.  One classmate had rented a big Cadillac and we wanted to see him arrive.  He pulled into the parking lot.  We noticed that he could barely see over the dash.  It appeared he had to look through the vent of the car just to know where he was going.  He decided to back into a space.  I’m sure when he turned around to see where he was going, all he saw was the headrest.  He backed right into a concrete pillar.  There was glass and metal everywhere.  Those of us who watched offered our condolences.  We convinced the couple to have fun and we would deal with their accident later.  Little did we know he would later damage the front of the car when pulling into his driveway and banging into a telephone pole (true story).

The prom went off without a hitch.  Up next was the after-prom party, held at a classmate’s home.  It was fun; there was drinking, but not by me (despite my earlier experience with the “kamikaze”). Beer was the drink of the night and I hated the taste of beer, so I did not partake.  As everyone began to get weary, I vividly recall the final sounds of the prom – fellow classmates vomiting throughout the night in the bathroom.  In case you’ve never experienced it, it is very hard to get sleep while others wretch their guts out.

Hangovers abounded the next day, but the prom officially ended with everyone arriving home safely.

By the way, my date that night became my wife.  I drank a few more kamikazes in her home before her parents passed away and I still get a little woozy when she gets all dolled up and I am awaiting her at the bottom of our staircase!


  1. The Dodgers just swept the Phillies and the Yankees took the weekend series with the Red Sox. They appear to be the best teams in baseball right now.  It could be a throwback to the day when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn and the Yankees in the Bronx.  It would be a great World Series.
  1. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We’ll see.  Bill Belichick’s daughter, Amanda, was just hired to coach the Holy Cross women’s lacrosse team.  That means she will coach in the Patriot League against Lafayette and Lehigh.  She recently coached at Wesleyan and they went from #49 in the national rankings to #17 under her guidance.
  1. I am not sure how the Golden State Warriors do it, but they sure make NBA basketball fun to watch. They work exceptionally hard, play tough defense, and overcome injury after injury.  They could lose this series because the Raptors are very good, but it will not be because they don’t give it everything they have.  That’s all you ask of a professional.
  1. Congratulations to the Liberty and Notre Dame baseball teams and coaching staff for winning the District XI baseball championships. And congratulations to the District committee for giving the players the opportunity to play their title games at Coca-Cola Park.  What a thrill for them.
  1. Blue Mountain League baseball coverage begins next Tuesday and continues to the playoffs. The BML Game of the Week comes on at 9:30 PM.  Join the RCN-TV sports team.



Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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