Friday, December 23, 2011

Beulah's Boogie: Part 2

    “Ho!  Ho!  Ho!  Here’s one of Santa’s elves bringing you some hot chocolate and Christmas cheer,” said Beulah Knapp, barging into her daughter’s bedroom. 

“Just put it down on the vanity,” said Cynthia.  “I don’t want any right now.” 

  “You don’t want any hot chocolate?  Or you don’t want any Christmas cheer?”

“It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without Daddy.” 

    “I know sweetheart.  It’s been six months and I still expect to see him puffing on that nasty pipe every time I walk through the den"

"but he wouldn’t want us to spend our whole lives moping just because the Maker called him home."

"During the war his best friend from flight school in Tuskeegee was shot down over Limosa, but it only made him more determined to keep fighting to make liberty and justice a reality for all."

"He was counting on you to carry on that fight for freedom."

"How will you make it to law school and become the first black woman on the Supreme Court if you flunk out of college in your first semester?  -- which, by the way, the dean called to tell me you are in danger of doing.” 

“I’m sorry Mama.  I miss Daddy so much I just can’t concentrate.” 

    “It’s been hard for me too, baby.  That man was the light of my life…” 

  “Tell me the story about how you met Daddy again.  All my friends think it’s the most romantic thing they’ve ever heard.” 

  “Well, in November of 1946 when I was a freshman at Hampton, my steady was pledging Alpha Phi Alpha so he escorted me to the Alphas' Harvest Hop."

"Stanley wasn’t much of a dancer"

"but he indulged me because he knew how much I loved to cut a rug.  I liked the up tempo numbers"

"but Stanley liked the slow ballads."

     "After a few songs Stanley went to find some refreshments."

"I appreciated the gentlemanly courtesy, but the music was so good I couldn’t help but tap my feet while waiting for him to come back."
     "Next thing I knew, a bold stranger had taken hold of my hand."

“May I have this dance?” he asked.

“I opened my mouth to tell him I was waiting for my date,"

"but he looked like a sepia Clark Gable and I couldn’t resist when he pulled me onto the floor.”

     "His lead was masterful, but tender."

"He was so debonair and sophisticated I could tell he was one of the older veterans finishing his degree on the G.I. Bill.  He swept my feet off the floor and swung me over his right side"

"then around to his left."

"All I could do was hang on,"

"but he was so strong and gentle, I knew he wouldn’t drop me even though he just about mopped the floor with me that night." 

    "He slid me down in between his legs,"

"stepped around,"

"and then lifted me back up onto my feet."

"I thought I was home free, but then he wrung the dishrag with me,"

"clasped my wrists,"

hoisted me up onto his broad back,"

"and flipped me over his head!"

     "Twenty years later when we saw Stanley at a Hampton alumni event, he had a successful company, a wife, and five kids but he was still complaining about how “Those G.I.s took all the girls.”

     "By the time my feet touched the ground again I was head over heels for Mr. Nassau Knapp and when he said ‘I want to see you again,’ I forgot all about Stanley Morton!"

  “We eloped and got married at the courthouse in Baltimore a few days before Knapp graduated from Hampton that May."  

"I transferred to Howard so I could be with him while he completed his law degree there.  We graduated with the class of 1950 and a few months later, we were blessed with a beautiful little girl named Cynthia Taliaferro Knapp who used to get mad as blazes when her daddy would sneak and eat the cookies she left for Santa Claus."

    “Yeah.  I didn’t know he was Santa Claus.” 

  “Well he still is.  He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been cutting class so buckle down and study for goodness sake!” 

  “Oh Mama!  I’ll do better, I promise.  I'll make Daddy proud."

Happy Holidays to all!

I could have sworn I uploaded the "Updo Twists" tutorial several weeks ago but it's not on my You Tube channel so here is a short documentary on the "Hairstyle for Safety" that inspired it:

À Bientôt


  1. After briefly mourning his loss, that dance between Bea and Nassau had me LOL! Now that's what I call sweeping a woman off her feet! I'm surprised my son didn't ask why I was laughing at the computer (again).

    Great story!


  2. Great Love Story! Happy Holidays and Have a wonderful healthy New Year!

  3. Another fantastic story. I didn't think you could top part I, but you did. At least for me. I, too was dying laughing at the dance. I love seeing the old videos of them doing the jitterbug back in the day. Poor Stanley. Even today, the guy that can dance is more likely to get the girl.

  4. Hello from Spain: I liked much history and since you made the photos of the dance. It is everything very real. The porcelain cups enchant to me. Great job. Merry Christmas and we followed in contact of blog blog

  5. Great story! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also laughed out loud at all of the dance moves and how she left poor Stanley all alone. Lol! It is so cool that you use characters that are different from what most of us have.

    P.S. Initially, I was thinking that Stanley was a young Nassau.

    Happy Holidays to you Paulette!

  6. Hi Ladies,

    Thank you for your comments. The jitterbug dance was a lot of fun to shoot and I was amazed at how well Nassau and Beulah were able to pose. Nassau is fully articulated but Beulah's legs barely bend and she doesn't twist at the waist.

    Stanley was part of a wedding party that I bought at Toys R Us in the early 1990s. Those dolls are unusual in that they have glass eyes. My godfather, who attended college in that period shares Stanley's complaint that the G.I.s took all the girls.

    I'm writing the story around the pictures I took of the wedding night so hopefully the last installment will be ready for Friday.

    Peace and Joy to all!

  7. Hello from Spain: I am wishing to see the continuation of history. Your text and photos are very good although I certainly lose I argue because of which my English is very poor. We follow in contact of blog blog

  8. Wow! What a great post! Sorry I am so late getting over here to see it lol. I love your story! I was laughing at the dance moves as well. I love the use of the black and white photos. Your accessories are so cute! Love the mug set :)
    Great story. My husband Hampton went to Hampton as well LOL.
    I am looking forward to more!

  9. Hi Chynadoll,

    Glad you enjoyed the story. My grandfather, uncle, father, and mother all graduated from Hampton. I spent a summer there when I was eight while my mother was taking courses towards her Master's and had a grand time roaming all over the campus. The house we rented was right on the water so I also collected a lot of shells. My fictional Beulah stayed in Virginia Cleveland Hall when she was there which your husband may remember.

  10. Great story and shout out to the Tuskegee Airmen. My Uncle was one and we cant wait for the movie Red Tails to come out. I love what you did with the Black and White photos. I have GOT to get a camera so I can capture my craft as well.

  11. Hi Tami,

    Glad you enjoyed the story. There is one more installment coming so stay tuned.

  12. You are one of a kind!! I love the flashback in Black and White.