I have been a band member of the Prime Time Swingers for five years. The band was originally started 22 years ago by Diana Cullin. She was an activities director in various nursing homes for 33 years. Her motto is, “If you keeping going, you’ll keep going.” Now the band consists of senior citizen friends. Playing again for the Christmas season brings sad but happy memories of Christmases past.
The most vivid of these memories is of our precious 92-years-young “spit-fire” Opal. She wore our Christmas outfit and a red cowboy hat. She would invite people to dance with her. She danced daintily with nursing home residents, young men and children. The children in turn would join her in a dance and instantly become her friend.
We as a band had our picture taken with Santa at Karcher Mall. Opal remarked, “I never sat on Santa’s lap.” So that day, she did!
She passed the following January, and there’s no doubt she’s dancin’ with the angels.
I remember Norma because of her nice personality, and kind and gentle ways. Because of mobility problems she could not continue with the band.
Then there was Josephine, who loved to watch the little children while we played. Her eyes would sparkle as she would remember Christmases of the past.
Then there was Florence who had been a band member with her husband, Art, and continued after his death. The band was her outlet, and she loved it.
“Uncle Calvin” was our stand-up bass player and jokester, and a wonderful human being.
I remember these friends with love and laughter. We had good times together. We have gone many places with the band, just to name a few: Christmas Tree festivals and the western stampedes both in Nampa and Caldwell. From fundraisers and grand openings to parades, birthday parties and holiday celebrations, we are there!
So many people have come up to me saying that we gave them a special holiday treat. They have given us much more. I get the Christmas spirit each time we play before the Christmas crowds. Smiles, laughter and Christmas music, who could ask for more?