Betty the Spy
Home Up

Written by Rick Archer

Gary and Betty Richardson are two of my best friends here at the studio. Every computer at SSQQ has been made at Gary's computer store, TFW Computers.

Not only has Gary built nearly twenty computers for me, he has made over 100 computers for members of the ssqq dance community. Go read the list if you don't believe me-
TFW Computers

The following article is a true story that Gary told to me about his beautiful wife's adventure in the summer of 1999. It is a very cute story that you can't help but enjoy!   RA

Betty the Spy

"Harriet the Spy" was one of my daughter Sam's favorite books (and movie too) when she was a little girl. "Harriet the Spy" is the story about a young girl who peeks through windows and around corners to watch people in action, then writes down her impressions. Harriett is quite sneaky.

Betty and Gary Richardson drove up to Denton, Texas, over the May 15th Weekend in 1999 to celebrate their son Chris' graduation from North Texas State. Along with daughter Cindy and son Mike, Gary and Betty are about to achieve their life-long dream of putting their three children through college. What a proud moment this must have been for Betty and Gary!

On the way Betty surprised Gary by asking him to take a little detour over to Fort Worth.  Curious, Gary asked what was up. Betty told him she had found out that her father Bill liked to go Ballroom dancing every Friday night at the Stardust Ballroom. This has been his hangout for 16 years. Betty only sees her father once or twice or year to begin with and she has never seen him dance.

Betty whispered to Gary that she
has a secret desire to watch her father in action on the dance floor. One catch: Betty's Dad doesn't know she is coming. He doesn't even know she is in town. That's okay with Betty. She wanted to see what her Dad was really like in an unguarded moment.

Gary pointed out that Betty didn't even know if he is going to be there. After all he had been nursing a hurt foot and hadn't been dancing for nearly a month.  Betty replied out her father mentioned on the phone he thought maybe he might try dancing again this week. Gary pointed out that Fort Worth is a long way from Denton for a 'maybe'. Betty said she doesn't mind. Gary pointed out he will have to wear a coat and tie. Betty said she doesn't mind. Gary said he doesn't know how to Ballroom Dance. Betty said she doesn't mind. Gary was starting to figure out that whatever his excuse would be, Betty wouldn't mind. She wanted to do this.
So fast-forward to Fort Worth on Friday. Betty got Ready. She was very glamorous in her beautiful black sequined evening dress cut high. Betty always gets compliments on her lovely legs. And then she put her hair way up the air so she is four inches taller and added high heels so now she is six inches taller. She was ready to dance. Gary put on his tie and grumbled a little, but seeing the determined look in her eye decided not to say anything more.  Was Fort Worth Calling? Yes, it was.

Betty and Gary arrived at 8:30 pm. They found an inconspicuous corner spot at the Stardust and began to watch for Bill, Betty's father. Gary noticed the crowd was in its seventies and eighties and started to feel like a teenager again. Promptly at 9 Bill strode in wearing a sporty light blue blazer. Gary wondered to himself if the coat could glow in the dark.  This coat was lighthouse kind of bright. The whole room seemed to lighten a bit. Must have been Bill's presence. Or maybe the coat had something to do with it.

As Gary watched, it seemed that Bill was quite popular. He danced every dance. Once he looked over to the corner where Betty the Spy sat, but she quickly covered her face by looking down. Gary wondered if perhaps Betty was sneakier than he realized.

Then about twenty
minutes after the dance started, a "John Paul Jones" is announced. (By the way if any of our readers has a clue why these dances are named after the famous Naval hero, please let me know,
This is a dance where everyone dances with everyone. As Gary discovered, here at the Stardust they don't get in two circles like here at SSQQ, but rather just trade partners whenever the whistle blows.

Gary gave Betty a nudge. This was of course the perfect chance to make her move. But she wasn't quite ready.

Betty wanted to study her father in action some more. Gary nudged her again and pointed out there may not be a better chance for some time. This made sense, so Gary and Betty hit the floor.  Gary was a little nervous because he didn't have a clue how to Foxtrot.  Furthermore he was worried that Bill might recognize him so he located himself far enough to hide but close enough to watch.  Okay. Just how far away was that?  About twenty feet.

After five whistles, Betty suddenly ended up in her Dad's arms. His first remark was, "Oh, aren't I lucky!!"  

Gary was interested in Bill's reaction.  At first Bill was clearly pleased to have such a young and pretty lady to dance with.  But after about ten seconds had passed, Bill's expression changed to a frown. Now he clearly had begun to look at her intently. Then Bill said, "You know, you sure look a lot like my daughter."

"Oh really?" replied Betty, smiling at him. With her hair up, she had changed her normal appearance quite a bit. They danced the Foxtrot some more. Bill didn't take his eye off Betty for a moment.

Then Bill said, "You really do look a lot like my daughter. I have two of them, but you look a lot like one of them."

"Oh really?  What's her name?"


"Oh really?" Another smile from Betty. "Is she pretty?"

"Why yes, actually she is very pretty." 
They danced for a minute more. Bill ignored the whistle to change partners. Betty just continued to quietly dance and smile. Sometimes she looked at her father, sometimes she watched the other people. She didn't want to make this easy for her obviously flustered father. Finally Bill asked, "By some chance are you are Betty?"

"Why Yes I am!" Betty announced with a grin.  Almost at that moment, the whistle blew again. This time Betty deliberately separated to dance with a new partner, leaving her father standing there flabbergasted.  Fortunately some woman grabbed Bill to get him moving again. Betty watched her father Bill finish the song out of the corner of her eye. He was in a trance.

Bill was still in shock even when the song ended. In a daze, he walked over to his table. Gary and Betty followed him waiting to be greeted. Unfortunately Bill's social graces were temporarily lost. He just sat there speechless. He appeared to be stunned. The lion wasn't used to being followed to his lair. Finally another gentleman sensed Bill's shock and decided to help by pointing to some extra chairs and inviting them to sit down.  Betty and Gary joined Bill at the table.

Not much conversation ensued. Bill was quiet. Fortunately the music rescued the awkward situation as Gary asked Betty to dance.

It took 30 minutes after the initial encounter for Bill to finally snap out of his shock and began to show his natural warmth. Bill started to smile. Now he introduced Betty and Gary to everyone in the building. Everybody thought Betty's trick was precious and loved meeting her.  And since there were several more women than men, Gary was immediately put to work keeping the extra ladies busy.  For the rest of the three hour party, Gary and Betty danced nearly every song.

Gary wasn't really interested in spying. He was more worried about not knowing how to Ballroom Dance. The Orchestra played a lot of Big Band music. He was greatly relieved to discover his Twostep could pass as a Foxtrot.

Once that he got his dance confidence back, Gary found he was quickly becoming quite popular!  One 80-year old lady about 5 feet tall in a red dress called him "Sonny". This lady couldn't get enough of Gary!  One time on another John-Paul-Jones the red dress lady elbowed another woman out of the way to get another dance with him!  Gary complained that the women were fighting over him so much they tired him out. I tried to feel sorry for him until he mentioned he had led a Twostep move called, "the Big Bad Wolf Step."  Well, to these women, that is like throwing a match on dry timber in the forest. Gary never sat down again. He danced the night away! 

Gary also found out his Swing dancing worked just fine. And a Waltz was a Waltz was a Waltz. His only insurmountable obstacle was a Rumba. One lady even tried to teach him how, but Gary's hips didn't move quite the right way so as a public service he sat back down.

Then came a Polka!  Not George Straight, but a Lawrence Welk Oom-Pah Polka. No matter. But Betty and Gary didn't dance the Polka. Instead they decided to try the Whip instead since the speed of the music was about right.  

Betty's hips clearly worked better than Gary's!   And they worked just fine in front of Daddy no less!   Gary smiled when he remembered he could still outrun her father if necessary.  Everybody was watching and they started to clap!  Bill's eyes rolled out to the edge of his nose... is this really my little girl?

Fortunately, Bill took it the right way. He said to Betty after she got off the floor, "I have never in my life seen anything like that in my life. You are a great dancer, young lady!"  

I imagine Betty the Spy smiled. It was fun to be Daddy's little girl again.  She had way too much fun that evening.

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