WINCHESTER – Attendees of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s Young at Heart Dance on Thursday lived up to the day’s theme and proved that age is not a deterrent to having a good time.
Angelo Perriello, a 90-year-old Spring Arbor resident, decided it was never too late to try something new and said this was the first year he attended the dance.
Staci Collins, a Spring Arbor caretaker, said Perriello made the most of his time at the dance. Shortly after taking a picture with Ms. Apple Blossom Dot Kelly, she said Perriello “swept her onto the dance floor” and showed how well his spry nine-decade-old legs could move.
It was also the first time that Bill and Helen Heidelberger attended the dance along with their neighbors. Although both are in their 80s, it did not stop them from getting married two years ago after Bill Heidelberger said: “We both became single.”
“When you want to get married, that’s what age you are,” he said.
The Heidelberger’s friends – Galen Hart, 81, and wife of 60 years Sandra, 80,– proved to be young at heart as they just returned to the area from a three-week ski trip in Salt Lake City, Utah. After hitting the slopes, they said dancing should prove to be no problem.
Besides spending time with friends, Galen Hart said one aspect of the Young at Heart Dance he enjoys is getting to “wear this jacket” – which was a vibrant turquoise color – “the one time for the year.”
While Ronnie Pomeroy can no longer enjoy a dance with his wife Cathryn due to knee problems, he said “being alive” is enough to keep him coming back to the event. The couple has attended for about the last 10 years, and he said not being able to dance does not stop him from enjoying the band.
His tablemate Barbara Coolis said she enjoys attending the dance every year because it allows her to see people she does not see on a regular basis.
Jo Ann Brown said she and her husband Dave like the event because it is a Winchester tradition and makes them feel like part of the community.
B.J. Dove, a co-chair of the dance, said she is not sure just how long the dance has been an Apple Blossom tradition but that it has been around at least since she began volunteering in 1983.
She said: “It is just a fun event” and “a nice opportunity to put on pink and green.”