That’s the Way it Should Be
We spent our first full night home from our Roman holiday, jetlagged, but wanting a little fun, so we headed over to The Speakeasy Lounge for a couple of drinks and to catch up with our neighbors. It was “Oldies” night and Elizabeth Knecht is always a treat. I put on my black hot pants and tried to channel Raquel Welch as we glided out of the rain and through the famous brass revolving door. The bar was cool and dim and Catfish was behind the bar, cleaning glasses and chatting with the customers. Maria and Scott were there to greet us, looking tan and gorgeous, fresh from the Key West sun. Everybody, it seems, had gone somewhere in July.
I sipped a Captain and Coke as Catfish told us about his camping trip at a secret little spot somewhere north of here. His tales of fishing and “no one for miles” sound good after my crowded trek through Rome and Venice, and Bob and I vow to get a quiet camping weekend in before summer is over. Maria shows off her tan in a lovely teal dress that drapes low in the front and lower in the back and is held up with an impossibly thin strand of gems that trail over her shoulders and down across her back. Her hair is up and pulled to the side, looking a lot like the girl in the Speakeasy logo on the door. Denise is there, too, and her concession to the oldies theme is rolled up jeans, a men’s shirt and a scarf tied smartly around her neck. That’s one thing I love about The Speakeasy – everyone dresses the way they want to, and it all works out. I was dancing in my 5-inch strappy sandals right next to a hotel guest whose still-damp-from-the-pool hair and pink, fuzzy bedroom slippers fit in perfectly.
When we were all caught up, we headed into the dining room to grab a couch for the show. Buz and Kathy Whelan were sitting with the Leons and a few other friends, so we decided to join them in the first conversation pit. There were already pizzas and quesadillas on the table, but Bob and I decided to have Maria’s amazing shrimp plancha and, of course, those delicious, salty fries we can never get enough of. I look around, see friends, neighbors and tourists, all mingling and chatting excitedly, and I am reminded of how lucky we are, living here in the Poconos, a great vacation destination in its own right. As Buz has often said, “We live here, man.”
Elizabeth Knecht starts the show by walking down the aisle of the dining room in a lovely 50’s cocktail dress (she later tell us it was her mother’s) and a sweet little veil over her face, singing “Going to the Chapel”, and right away, we are all singing along. She is followed by her three “party pumpers” serving as her bridesmaids. She moves through so many of our favorite oldies standards that I can’t remember them all now, but Connie Francis, The Everly Brothers and the Shirelles were a few. The girls are dancing and the women in the audience are up almost immediately because, who can resist “La Bamba” or “The Hand Jive”?
That last one inspires Elizabeth, so she changes before her second set and puts on her “Sandy” costume – you know, tight black pants, a sexy top, and high heels. She calls up Bob to be her Danny Zuko and together they set us all rocking to “You’re the One That I Want.” Those of you who know Bob Lauri, know that he is a giant ham and it doesn’t take a whole lot to get him in front of an audience, and when it is the lovely Elizabeth that is asking, he fairly flies to the microphone. Naturally, they continue right into “Summer Lovin’.” Then Bob leaves Elizabeth to her amazing rendition of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” as Bob and I join a few other couples for a romantic slow dance.
As the night winds down, I look around and gather a few images to remember this night by –the youngest “party pumper”, Ashley, maybe 9 or 10 years old, asks a young boy to dance and he, too shy, hides his face in his dad’s shirt. The tourist, recovering from knee surgery, who shows us that you can still do the twist, even in a chair, if only you will try. Pink fuzzy slippers girl is cuddling in a booth with her honey. Bob gives Elizabeth a break and belts out “Teenager in Love” (he really OWNS that song!). And Buz Whelan, drinking chocolate martinis, calls out for Elizabeth to sing “Memories” which, of course, she does, and we all can’t imagine any night that could be better than this.
That’s the way it should beee-eee (wah-wah-wah-wa-aah!)