The sweetest discovery

An excerpt from Ginger: My Story, tells us about Rogers' lovely first date with Fred Astaire in fine New York. No acting, no rehearsals, no filming, just one evening of two people dining together, not as actors, and outside their work. This, by the way, made my day.

One Sunday, Mother and I were at home when the phone rang. “Yeeees?” I answered, trying to figure out who it was calling me.
-This is Fred Astaire and I’ve been wanting to call you to ask you out for a bite of supper. Now, how about Thursday night next week?
-That sounds good to me. I’d love it!
This date with Fred Astaire was something to look forward to, though I didn’t know if he was a good ballroom dancer. Just because a person dances well on the stage doesn’t automatically mean he is delightful on the dance floor.
The Casino in Central Park was a magical place. The atmosphere was dreamy with soft lights and floral and spice aromas in the air. The circular sand-colored hardwood dance floor came right up to the bandstand. We dawdled over the menu and finally ordered our supper, and then Fred asked me to dance.
I made the happy discovery that as wonderful a dancer as Fred was on the stage, he was equally superb as a partner on the dance floor. Part of the joy in dancing is conversation. Trouble is, some men can’t talk and dance at the same time. They lose the rhythm. Fred was a delightful conversationalist and we chatted away.
He really knew how to lead a girl around the floor and used each rhythm to introduce different footwork. Mind you, there was nothing showy about Fred’s ballroom dancing. It was understated and elegant. You could put yourself in his hands and trust to his feet.
We moved toward the bandstand to compliment Eddy Duchin on his music. Eddy was pleased and looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and he said, “Fred, you and Ginger really look good together.” Fred laughed and put us into a three-second whirl while Eddy smiled approvingly.
Too soon, Duchin’s band began their goodnight tune, signaling that the evening was over. I felt as though I could have danced all night. In the next ten minutes, we were on our way home in his handsome Rolls-Royce town car. Like an aperitif, Fred’s well-trained chauffeur drove us through the park, so we could talk a wee bit more before we said adieu.
Finally, the car stopped in front of my building. The chauffeur got out and walked around the car, waiting on the sidewalk near the trunk for a signal as to when to open the car door. He must have waited about five minutes or so.
Inside the car, Fred had me in his arms, and the kiss that we shared in that five minutes would never have passed the Hays Office code!

I really thank you dv-influxing for the autobiography excerpt!


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