Poetic Thoughts - by C.W. Pruitt II
posted: May 21, 2020
Breakdancing to Grand Master Flash
In Jr. High School Chad McCoy was always getting me into things. He had a membership to the YMCA in Ashland, Kentucky and began taking me with him on passes. When the passes were up, he talked me into buying a membership. It was $35, which was a lot of money, but seemed like a great investment. So, I put some of my lawnmowing money into it.
We began playing racquetball on a regular basis. He kicked my butt up and down before I could play him even.
Then he got me involved in a soccer league. I was leery, and rightfully so. I was used to playing basketball and baseball - sports where I actually got to touch the ball. So after two games of running pointlessly up and down a large field, I quit.
In the early 80's breakdancing was popular in the urban areas all over the country. But not in Grayson, Kentucky. Chad wanted to take a break dancing class at the 'Y'. He had no trouble convincing me. So I bought parachute pants and a flight jacket, and I was ready to go.
For the first class, the instructor came in and he was ready to break. He was in his twenties and had long curly red hair. His name was Trey. (I am surprised to remember his name.) He plugged in his jam box and put on a performance that left us all awestruck.
Over the next several weeks, Chad and I were doing those crazy pop moves. We were also spinning on our backs on cardboard and doing the painful centipede (I should have brought knee pads.) I was a bit reluctant to attempt spinning on my head, but Trey insisted that it was a class requirement. So I gave it a few tries, then left with a sore neck.
Chad and I began breaking out our new skills at parties to 'Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five'. We were truly freaks, for we were the only ones attempting this strange dance form.
I recently found out that Abstract James took a break dancing class at the YMCA in Indiana and owned a pair of parachute pants. I will not say whether my brother Jim (noted local music and art producer) owned a pair or pairs of parachute pants. I hope he doesn't read this article.