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Dancers delight at Pen Mar Park

July 24, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

CASCADE

Hunched over as he stood, one Chambersburg, Pa., senior citizen admitted he had trouble hearing over the noise of a band playing Sunday at Pen Mar Park.

On the dance floor, it was another story.

"He'll be 91 next month. He's giving me lessons," Brenda Binkley marveled as her dance partner, Steven Kovacs, spun around to the rhythms of a live band.

Many people, including the young and many young at heart, turned out to dance, picnic and people-watch as Spectrum played Sunday. While a few people turned their gazes to their feet as they swayed, other couples moved in perfect harmony.

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For Binkley and Kovacs, who travel to dances together, the activity is a way of life.

"Yeah, he's my teacher," said Binkley, 57, of Hagerstown.

"My partner," Kovacs said, pointing to her as he rested on a bench under the pavilion where the band played.

Binkley said she has trouble keeping up with Kovacs.

"I've had guys from 75 to 90 give me dance lessons. It's a lot of fun, good exercise," she said.

Other people said they came to watch the dancers and listen to music.

As Spectrum played "Wipeout" by The Beach Boys, Peter and Karen Walters of Waynesboro, Pa., relaxed in folding chairs in the grass at the park.

"A fast one like this is when you separate the beginners from the very goods," Peter Walters said.

With their daughter's wedding coming up, the couple began taking dance classes to prepare, he said.

"We come here because I'm a cheap date," he joked.

Evie Cook estimated she and her husband have come to Pen Mar Park for dances on Sundays for about 16 years. They have been married 21 years, she said.

"We enjoy dancing. Well, that's how we met each other - at a dance," she said.

A widower, Kovacs proudly pulled out of his wallet a picture of his wife, who frequently danced with him.

"I'd like to dance every day. I can't. I'm too old," he said.

For Binkley, a grandmother to four teenagers, dancing is a way to stay young.

"People that come here are so much more alive than the younger people because of the exercise," she said.

As the band played during the last minutes of its set, she and Kovacs danced to the music of "My Girl."

By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Bill DeLauder and Helene Frazier dance to the music Sunday at Pen Mar Park in Cascade.

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