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The Regulars

Manny Interiano

aka, "Lonely Boy"



 

Yea, that's me all right, and that is Kathy Labbs with me. I can clearly remember the day that photo was taken; it was taken on top of Bayview Hill, behind what is now Candle Stick Park stadium. What in the world is the name "Lonely Boy" doing on my car? I tried to remember how that came about. Why would I put such a name on my car anyway? You would have to be out of your mind to paint that on the side of a car. Then it all came back to me, I remembered back to that time, a time that I consider my halcyon days.

I can remember coming home from school and turning on the TV to watch the Ted Randall show on KPIX TV in the City (it was "The City" to all of us, out of respect for the greatest city in the world, San Francisco). I liked to watch the show because, it seemed to me, the most beautiful girls danced there to the latest top 40 hits of the day. The guys were good dancers too, but I really enjoyed watching the Regular girls and day dreamed that I could meet and date some of them. Although, my reality, at the time, was that I was a big "zero" who didn't know how to dance or even how to talk to girls. I didn't know any girls, and was deathly afraid of them because I felt that I had nothing going. I didn't play on any of the sports teams, I didn't have a car, I dressed like a dweeb, in essence, I was a terminal nerd.

By the way, "Regular" was the term that was used to classify those dancers who got to go on the show every day; most people went on as daily guests, and appeared only that one time.

I found myself trying to learn how to swing dance by watching the Regular's feet and hanging on to a door handle as a substitute for a live partner. Eventually I could do a fair imitation of a robot man dancing, and got the nerve to go down to the station. I put on a sport coat and tie (these were required) and was shocked to find out that there was a line to get in and you had to have tickets. By talking to some of the kids outside, I found out that I should stay in line because they would let some of the "standby's" in if enough ticket holders did not show up.

This first time I waited but no one ever invited me in. This happened at least two times, that I remember, before I got lucky one afternoon and got in to the show. It was immediately intoxicating; there were bright lights hanging from the ceiling, the girls were even more beautiful than on TV, there were very large cameras moving around, and through the crowd of people, and the studio was much smaller than it appeared on television. I danced a few numbers with some of the daily guests and was hooked; I knew then that I had to come back again, and again. I should mention that I had expected to see Mr. Ted Randall as the host because that is whom I had been watching all along; however, there was this new young guy hosting, who I found out later, was named Dick Stewart.

I continued to go to the show as a standby, but I never got in again. So, being the law abiding guy that I am, I found a side door that was unlocked and sneaked in a few times. After a week of sneaking in, I was almost caught by one of the employees when he ran into me wandering in the back corridor. I noticed the way he looked at me and I was immediately aware that he was suspicious, so I said, "excuse me sir, I was looking for the water fountain." This allayed his suspicions and I got into the show again; however, I was caught sneaking in the very next day, was escorted out, and the door was permanently locked.

Oh well, back to the drawing board. I waited outside for the show to end that day because, I knew that, although they used the small entry to let people in, they opened the big studio doors (that opened to Van Ness Avenue) after the show was over. I knew that would be an opportunity to talk to the new guy and ask him how to become a Regular. When the show ended, and all of the kids came surging out, I spotted Mr. Stewart and some other tall man standing near the doors. I walked right up to them, and asked Mr. Stewart how one becomes a Regular. He turned to the taller man, who I found out later was the show's director, Dave Parker, and he asked him, "Dave, aren't we going to do some tryouts for new Regulars soon?" Dave Parker said yes, and then they turned to me and suggested that I send in a letter applying to be auditioned, and telling them about myself. They said that they would contact me for the auditions.

One day in early March of 1959, later in the evening after the show was over, I found myself at the auditions along with some other kids whom I did not know. There was this one lovely blonde girl who was there with her mother, but she had no partner. Her name was Lynn Facciola, and she agreed to be my partner for the dancing part of the audition. We both did well enough to be selected as Dance Party Regulars and received a permanent pass to show the security guard at the door for entry every day.

What can I say; I went from being "Mr. Zero" to being Mr. Popular. By dancing every day, my movements improved, and I became smoother. All of those beautiful girls were now dancing with me. They were my friends. I got to date some of them. I also found that many girls who were fans wanted to date me. I got fan mail. I got invitations to private parties all over the bay area. I could not believe that all of this good stuff was happening to me; to say that I was pleased would be a gross understatement. It was like having a great dream that turned out to be real; I was ecstatic and intoxicated by my new found fame. Although, I have to say that there was one negative aspect to this new found fame. There were many bullies out there who were jealous and wanted to smash our faces. All of us Regulars learned to be very careful where we went, and to do things as a group.

Anyway, getting back to my my car's name. It was the popular thing in those days to paint the title of a popular song on one's car, for instance, I remember seeing cars named "Earth Angel," "Little Star," "The Great Pretender," "Mack the Knife," and other song titles. I was, around this time, seeing a pretty girl who was a fan and lived across the bay, in Oakland; her name was Linda Moritz. One day Linda said, "you know, whenever I hear Paul Anka singing 'Lonely Boy' I think of you." "I don't know why but that is your song." Well that got around and pretty soon some of my friends started "jokingly" calling me "Lonely Boy." When I scrapped enough money together and got my "old clunker," what else could I name it? Years later, after Dance Party was past history, even my grandmother would say, "I heard the song 'Lonely Boy' on the radio; it made me think of you."

The strange thing was, in those days, I was anything but a lonely boy, thanks to my new found fame. Linda ... wherever you are, if you read this, I hope it brings a smile to your face, as it has mine.

I was a Regular on Dance Party from March of 1959 to mid 1961. It rates among the best of times in my life, and I will always be grateful to Dick Stewart and Dave Parker for letting me be a part of the group, and for all of those memories. I am also happy that I am still able to visit the beautiful ladies with whom I danced, meet their families, children, and grandchildren. They are like sisters to me, and I care for them all.

I went on, after the show, and did other things that provided me with varying degrees of gratification. I got a college degree in business administration, did a tour of duty in the service, and had a career working in various state agencies. I ended my working days as a law enforcement agent for the State of California. I traveled some, but nothing like Lois has done - I am still shaking my head. Like Dick Stewart, and my Dad, (to see photos of my Dad, and learn about him, double click on the blue words "my (Dad")I learned to fly and found it to be a lot of fun ... occasionally, a heart stopping, terror rending, pucker factor of 10, type of fun.

Everything has come full circle for me. I have never forgotten my old friends from Dance Party. It was my fondness for my old friends, and the memories, that motivated me to do the reunions and building this web site. It is a way to continue the association with the people who gave me such great memories and continuing friendship.

 

When I first saw Manny Interiano I couldn't get over how much he reminded me of Paul Anka. That may be why he came about the nickname of lonely boy.

Manny was one of the of the original Dick Stewart Show Regulars. When he first came on Dance party he was on the shy side, but, when he realized that so many pretty girls surrounded him, he quickly came out of his shell. And let me tell you there were girls, and he noticed them all. He was the typical red-blooded American male.

Manny went out with several girls who were on the show. I loved dancing with him; he especially liked the slow dances hmmmm. You couldn't help but like Manny. He was a likeable guy. He was a lot of fun to be around, and he became one of the more liked regulars.

Years later we got in touch again for the last reunion. If I had to sum him up in one word it would be "Loyalty." Manny values his friendships, he especially has a soft spot for all of us regulars; he views us all like we are his extended family. His values have never changed; he is a man of his word. I am privileged to count him among one of my dearest and oldest friends. - Carole Brooks, Regular


Manny Interiano Scrapbook


 

 

Links to different web pages

Dick Stewart
The Regulars
Scrapbook
1997 Reunion
Memories

Photos


Links
In Memoriam
2004 Reunion
The Missing Regulars

 

 
 
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by M. Interiano
  Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
  Revised: March 4,200412/16/10 12:43:51 -0800.