It had been a rough week in Fisher House. A couple families had loved ones pass away. Others had patients who were gravely ill. The atmosphere was gloomy. I got to work on Friday morning and manager Cecile Bagrow stopped me at the office door. "I have decided that no one comes into this office today unless they do a Soul Train line dance!" She turned on some Marvin Gaye and said, "You can come in, but you'd better be dancin'".
She made the same announcement to the housekeepers Any time they came in they had to dance. (You really haven't lived until you've seen a housekeeper empty a waste basket to "Got to Give it Up").
Then the real fun started. Every time a guest came to the office door Cecile would jump up from her desk saying, "Stop!" She'd run to the boom box, tell the guest what was going on, hit the 'play' button and say, "Now dance!" Old and young, black and white, adults and children, each one complied. They'd dance in, first a little hesitantly and then, as Cecile and I clapped and danced on either side, each guest would drop the sheepish grin, burst into a smile and bust a move. Everyone played along, even an older woman with a walker! (Now that.was a sight!)
Each guest would boogie from one end of the office to the other, then Cecile would turn off the music, sit at her desk and ask, very professionally, "What can we do for you today?" It was silly and frivolous. It was fun and sometimes downright hysterical. But the Day of the Soul Train Line Dance accomplished an important purpose. Gloom was replaced by light and sadness got smacked down by joy and laughter.
Some days, you just have to dance.