Vicarious Memories

I love to go running by rivers, and when I do, a line from the refrain of the song “Proud Mary” always pops into my head:

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

This in turn brings up a memory that’s vivid in my mind but one I’m not sure is my own.

When I was in grade school, my mom would help organize parent dances that would take place in my school’s gymnasium. They’d decorate the gym with paper streamers suspended from the middle of the ceiling in two arcs that repeated down the length of the room. Copious amounts of canned beer would be served (presumably), and a DJ would spin the hits from a stage at the front of the gym.

From my mom’s telling, there was a lot of wild dancing culminating in the parents lying down on the ground and rolling around on the floor while “Proud Mary” played. This was my mom’s favorite part of the evening, and her joyous descriptions of it have sealed the image of this rollicking dance by the parents I knew at the time into my mind.

It’s possible I did see it happen at some point because I have a vague memory of working a coat check at an evening event at my school. But regardless of whether I actually saw it or not, the memory is there.


*I’ve lived in Atlanta eight years and have only recently discovered the joy of running next to the Chattahoochee River. A super view from a recent run is pictured above.

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