Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 8: Happy Birthday Frankie Manning!

Known as the Ambassador of Lindy Hop, Frankie Manning touched the lives of thousands of dancers across the world. It was easy to like Frankie. He lit up any room he entered. He was funny and warm and full of humanity. Frankie was a true lesson in happy, the kind of happy that radiates from within. Just being around him lifted my spirits, every time.

We met at The Cat Club in Manhattan in 1988 but our true friendship began later that year when Frankie began giving me a lift home after those Sunday night dances. We both lived in Queens and as we made our way over the Williamsburg Bridge to the Long Island Expressway and on home, we talked. About dancing, about friendship, about movies, about food, about relationships...about life. I came to know Frankie well and was honored that he regarded me as a friend.

Frankie would have turned 98 today. Hard to grasp that three years have already passed since he left this world for that big dance floor in the sky, just one month shy of his 95th birthday. His spirit still binds together thousands of dancers from across the globe and tonight there are many celebrations taking place in Frankie's honor. Happy Birthday Frankie!

Frankie Manning, November 2008 (age 94!), at my birthday celebration in Forest Hills, NY

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