Dances At The Camps’, 1957

The 1957 B. & P. W. scrapbook contains a section on “Recreation,” which describes what was, at that time, a much-anticipated social event for the young people of Bradley. 

The scrapbook description:

“Once or twice a month, on a Saturday night, a group of thirty-five to fifty teenagers meet in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Camp to dance and just have fun.

The week of the dance, Mrs. Camp calls the leaders of the group, and they in turn notify the young people on their list.  A record player provides the music.

In order to have the latest records at every dance, each person is assessed fifty cents when money is needed in the treasury.  Mrs. Camp notifies the leaders of the group if an assessment is to be made at the next dance.  Assessments are made about every third meeting.  A statement showing the amount of money spent for records since the last meeting and the balance or indebtedness is placed in a conspicuous place for all to see.  A sheet of paper with a pencil is also there for the young people to jot down the records they would like to be bought before the next meeting.

Intermission is held about 9:30 during each dance, and refreshments, which consist of Coca-Colas, are served.

The boys buy them for the whole group one time and the girls the next time.  A semi-formal dance is held once a year during the Christmas holidays.  At that time, there is more festivity, and the mothers of the group make the refreshments.  College students, home for the holidays, usually attend this dance.  Fifty-five young people were present at the 1957 Christmas dance.

The dances always start at 7:30 P.M., ending at exactly 11 P.M., except the Christmas dance, which starts at 8:00 P.M., ending at 12:00 midnight.  Rather strict rules are observed.  There is no going and coming during the dances.  Once a member leaves he cannot come back and he must notify Mrs. Camp when he leaves.  Everyone who comes must not arrive later than 8:00 P.M.  There is no sitting in cars before coming in.

Any teenager is welcome to come, provided Mrs. Camp is notified ahead of time.  If a member of the group wishes to invite a guest, he must call Mrs. Camp before the dance.

Mrs. Camp teaches the young people who do not know to dance but would like to learn.”

– – – – –

The home of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. “Buck” Camp, Sr., was located diagonally (south and east) across Highway 160 from where the school gymnasium is located now.  Mr. Camp was Mayor of Bradley at that time, and for many years thereafter.

One cannot help but reflect as to how fortunate the young people of Bradley of that era were to have these affairs to look forward to on a regular basis. 

The article refers to “leaders” of the group.  If anyone can identify who these “leaders” were, it would be appreciated.  Something else that would be interesting would be what the favorite songs and artists of the group (Elvis must have been one) were.

The scrapbook contains four photos made at what was apparently the Christmas 1957 dance.  These photos have deteriorated and discolored with age, but are reproduced below in slightly edited form.

Dances, upper left, edited 2 A, 300 pixels

Dances, upper right, edited 2 A

Dances, lower left, edited 2 A, 300 pixels

Dances, lower right, edited 2 A, 300 pixels

 

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