Walton R. Collins '51 | June 19, 2015
The last time I saw my father, he danced for me.
In his pajamas and slippers and robe, he got stiffly out of a chair in the tiny nursing-home room that is now his universe and began doing a cross between a jig and the Charleston.
He always liked doing the Charleston for his children, especially the part where he put his hands on his knees and crossed them back and forth. A good salesman, he was blessed with a sunny disposition and has kept it into old age.
He was 91 last October, but if you ask him how old he is he’ll reply, “100.” That’s because he plans to make it to his personal turn-of-the-century, which comes due three years before the turn of the millennium. Mainly he spends his days saying the rosary in his 15-by-15 foot room with two chairs, a bed, two small chests and a 30-year-old record player whose volume he keeps high so the rest of the nursing-home floor can enjoy the music of Henry James and Glenn Miller. No one ever complains.
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