Home Page

 

The Regulars

Gary Savin

aka None

Gary was the middle of three brothers, all of whom were Regulars on the show. His older brother was Benny, and his younger brother was Phil. The whole family was blessed with good looks, intelligence, and good personalities. I remember well how their mother, Dorothy, used to feed and look out for all of us kids as if we were her own. I had the good fortune to be among their close friends, and we spent many happy hours doing things, in addition to going on the show.

Needless to say, all of the brothers were very popular with the girls. I remember overhearing some of the ladies, both Regulars and non-Regulars, pining away over Gary or one of the other brothers. As I remember, in spite of all of the attention, they all kept an "even keel" and balanced their studies with their recreational activities. They were all good students in the "B" plus category. To this day, I get questioned by some of the ladies with the following question: "Is Gary Savin coming to the reunion?"

I remember some of the parties that were held in the garage of their home. I also remember some our trips up to Rio Nido, on the Russian River, North of San Francisco. I vividly remember how we used to hide in weeds along the river, waiting for some fair damsels to come along in their canoes. We would then come out of hiding, claiming to be pirates, and take over their ship (canoe). Naturally, as soon as we were recognized as being Dance Party Regulars, the girls were happy to have us aboard. Being as we were usually broke, we would then mooch food from the girls.

I remember one time when we (about 6 or 7 of us guys) were in a canoe, with our street clothes in little bundles that we carried along, when we beached on a nice spot that was great for laying on the beach and watching the ladies. We all stepped off of the canoe into one to two feet of water, holding our clothes up over our heads to keep them dry, and walked up onto the beach. Unfortunately, Gary must have stepped off into a hole about 8 feet deep, and we saw him disappear into the water, clothes bundle and all. He came up spitting out water, mad as a wet cat. Naturally, we all thought it was funny and laughed our selves hoarse. Hey Gary, I belatedly apologize, man. LOL

Well, all of these years later, I am glad to report that Gary is still Gary. He has been happily married to a lovely lady named Robin for 36 years. She is an excellent match with Gary. I had the pleasure of taking them flying on a short trip once, and they were the perfect passengers in spite of the weather, which went sour (rain, hail, thunder, and lightning) on us that day.

I could go on, and on, about the many fun experiences with my good friend Gary, but I will let him tell of his remembrances in his own words. - Manny Interiano

How does one talk about one of the best times in their life? I find it very difficult, but I will try. I remember back in 1958, when I was about to graduate from Portola Junior High School, trying to decide which high school I was going to attend. The nearest school to my home was Balboa, but they changed the boundaries and left me with choices of Mission, Lowell or Galileo. My older brother Ben was given the same choice the previous year and chose Galileo. Ben and I were very close as brothers and had the same friends throughout junior hi so I decided to follow him to Galileo. I was always lucky, for following Ben to Galileo was one of the best things that I could have possibly done.

I remember getting home from Portola and rushing to watch the "Dance Party" program on television. Ted Randall was the host then. I often wondered what it would be like to be one of the lucky kids on the program. Just to be there, dancing away. Meeting all the interesting guests on the program. Gee, just to be on TV!! They looked so happy to be there.

At the time, guys in my neighborhood were more interested in playing sports like baseball, basketball or football. I joined in with the sports since I was one of the bigger guys in the group (but not one of the better ones). I still would have rather watched Dance Party, but I couldn't let the guys know that!

In 1959 a new host was taking over the program named Dick Stewart and they were going to interview prospective kids to be on the program. I didn't know anyone from the program, but I thought I would just take my chances. I decided to refine my dancing, and thanks to my aunt Jean, I did. I sent in my bio and waited for a response. It seemed like forever, but after only a couple of weeks, I received a response. I was asked to come to the program for an interview. Well, I couldn't believe my luck - I was selected!!!! I was going to be a regular dancer on the "Dick Stewart Dance Party Show." How about that!

The reason I was so lucky was that Galileo High School was just a 3 or 4 block walk to the KPIX studio on Van Ness where the Dance Party Show was televised. So, I was always one of the first ones to the studio. A lot of the regulars were not on the show everyday as they traveled a distance to get to the studio from school. I was lucky I was there just about everyday.

I couldn't believe how well I was received by the previous as well as new regulars. It was like a family. I have fond memories of partners like Burgie & Carol, Joe & Shari, Steve & Ann to name a few. I remember close friendships with people like Manny, Archie, Bruce, Leo, Julie, Waynes' (both Clark and Mitchell), Big Jim Hampton, Johnny Lazlo, Everett Barrios, the twins, Darlene and last but not least Barbara. I know I have left a lot of people out, but it's been a long time.

While on the program for @2 years, my brothers Ben and Phil joined me often. I get constantly reminded that my brother Phil beat me in a dance contest. Who reminds me, not Phil, but his wife Esther who was "my partner" when we lost!! That was okay, there were lots of other dance contests and I finally won one!

As I recall I was never interviewed by Dick. I have fond memories of Annette Funicello being on the program and I think I even danced with her. Or was that just wishful thinking? I remember the songs and dances from the show like the Stroll, Bristol Stomp, Mashed Potatoes, Freeze, Swing and my favorite the Calypso. I remember the parties both at my house and the homes of some of the other regulars. I remember the signing of autographs, yuck - who me?!?

I remember the trips to the Russian River to Rio Nido (the Green Toe Clan). Swim parties at the Marin Town and Country Club. I remember especially Shari Langlois. I don't know if she knew this, but when I was younger her father was my boss.

My grades were always pretty good, and when I was a junior I was told that I had enough credits to graduate early (skipping my senior year). Again lady luck was on my side. I joined the Army (82nd Airborne) the summer of '61 and got out in '64. Once again I was lucky, as the Vietnam War was just starting when I was getting out. My training in the army was in telecommunications, so naturally, when I was discharged I began a career at Pacific Bell.

Once again being extremely lucky, I advanced through the ranks and into management within 4 years. There I was lucky enough to have met and married my wife Robin. We will celebrate 36 years of marriage this October. Would you believe she remembers Dance Party and used to watch it all the time? (She doesn't, however, remember me!!!) She even dances our style, which she learned and practiced while watching the show. We have two sons, Joel (single) and Erik (married to Meredith) and a new grandson Henry, born last August. I was able to invest well and retired from Pacific Bell at age of 47. Before retiring, we toured the Southwest to decide where to build our dream house. We finally built that house 5 years ago and are now just 10 minutes from our grandson.

Our interests are in travel, food, wine and of course our grandson Henry. We travel to Mexico annually and to Europe at least every other year. We love to entertain, so if anyone gets down this way give us a call.

Robin and I attended the previous Dance Party reunions and are looking forward to this one.

 

Gary Savin's Scrapbook


 

Links to the different web pages

Dick Stewart
The Regulars
Scrapbook
1997 Reunion
Memories

Photos


Links
In Memoriam
2004 Reunion
 

 

 
 
Home Page

by M. Interiano
  Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
  Revised: March 4,200409/10/06 09:26:33 -0700.