Did any of you ever enjoy a night of dinner and dancing at the Water Wheel Inn in Ardsley, New York? Back in the ‘70s, it was considered “Westchester’s most gracious supper club.” A could-have-been-trouble chapter in my life occurred at this elegant restaurant.
Bud, Mom, Dad and I were together enjoying an evening of fine food, music from a live band and plenty of dancing in a fairy tale setting. We were having a wonderful time being together—Dad even let Bud do the driving! At one point, the band started playing one of our favorite songs, “So Rare,” and Bud swept me on to the dance floor. He was a wonderful dancer, so smooth and graceful—he made me look like Ginger Rogers to his Fred Astaire.
The dance floor was crowded and the surrounding tables were filled to capacity. As we spun around, my derriere brushed the arm of a gentleman who was turned around in his seat, facing the dance floor with his elbow on top of the chair.
“Now that was a pleasant surprise, come back,” he slurred. It was obvious he had been drinking; his wife tried to quiet him. Unluckily for the man, Bud had heard the comment and was already heading back to that table.
“I’m going to have a few words with that jerk. He can’t insult you like that and get away with it,” exploded a usually quiet and mild-mannered Bud. I grabbed his arm and pulled him back:
“Just keep dancing! Do you see that 5’ 7” Sherman Tank across the dance floor?” I was pointing to Dad. He wasn’t tall but he was built solid and we did call him our Sherman Tank.
“If he sees you confronting that man, he’ll be across the dance floor in a shot just itching to add his two cents to this mess. We can’t have that happen!”
Bud stopped in his tracks, put his arm around my waist and danced us out of the battle zone. “You’re right, honey. I know Dad would have been getting in that guy’s face; no one insults his family. ”
On the way home—Bud drove again—we finally told Dad and Mom about our encounter.
“Why didn’t you tell me,” demanded Dad, “I would have given him a thing or two to think about!”
“That’s exactly why we didn’t say anything to you,” I answered, “You would have been in the thick of it!”
In the early 2000s, the Water Wheel Inn property was sold to a developer and affordable housing is now on that site. I enjoyed going to the supper club many times; this special and cherished experience will always live on in my memory
Note: I mentioned twice that Dad let Bud drive. Let me explain: It was well known that he never let anyone else drive his cars. When I bought my first car, independent of him, he gave me the cold shoulder, told me girls didn’t need their own cars. It was my aunt, his baby sister, who laid it on the line:
“Why shouldn’t Ruthie have her own car? You’ve never let ANYONE borrow/drive your cars for as long as I can remember.” Bud rated A+!