by Jerry Guarino
October 23rd, 1976 (New
Brunswick, NJ) - Tony finished his set at WRSU
around 7pm. He would grab a quick dinner, then
head over to the dorm for his gig as DJ to their
party. Playing for college dances was better than
being on the air; you dont have much
interaction when youre alone in the radio
booth. Here he could see coeds dancing and if he
was lucky pick up a date.
Are you the DJ? said the house
manager as he extended his hand.
Hi, yes, Im Tony, from the radio
station. Good to meet you.
You too. Im George. You can set up on
that small stage; we use the dining area for
OK George. Were going to start around
8 is good Tony. The music will signal
people to come down from their rooms. But youre
going until midnight, right?
Yes, usually, unless the crowd disappears.
Most of the sororities and fraternities would be
partying tonight, especially after the football
team won. Tony knew everyone would be in a good
mood. After setting up his equipment, records and
speakers, he ran a sound test and found a
comfortable stool. By 8 oclock he was
setting the mood with music from the early 70s. Sly
and the Family Stone, The Hollies, Elton John and
Three Dog Night. Just hits.
A brunette with frayed, bell-bottom jeans and a
tie-dyed shirt came over to him. Youre
gonna play some Clapton, arent ya?
Derek and the Dominos or Cream? said
Do you have Layla?
You got it next.
The girl smiled and skipped away as residents
started to fill the room. It was a coed dorm, not
part of the Greek system, so this was pleasant
company, not the drunken frat boys around the
corner. Within an hour, the dance floor was
filled; beers were everywhere and the usual
pairing off had begun.
Wow. 9 oclock and we already have
couples leaving for the rooms upstairs. This
might be an early night, Tony said to
himself. Then he saw her, a cheerleader still in
uniform with some friends coming through the
kitchen. He knew her name, Karen, but she didnt
know him. Back then all the guys knew the
cheerleaders by name, even though they never met.
Tony knew what he had to do. K.C. and the
Sunshine Band, Earth, Wind and Fire and The
Doobie Brothers. Dance music will get her on
the floor. As Get Down Tonight started, Tony
pushed the volume up until it ended all normal
conversations. Sure enough, Karen and her friends
started to dance.
Hmm. Her boyfriends not here. All
the cheerleaders had boyfriends, maybe a lineman
from the team. But they were probably partying at
the football frat; surely Karen would be there if
she wanted to be. Maybe hell show up here
or shell leave. Tony would just
have to wait and see.
A coed came over to him with some chicken wings
and French fries. She was pretty enough, but Tony
was otherwise occupied. You must be getting
hungry; I made you a plate.
Oh, thanks he said to the cute girl
in a red Danskin and corduroy pants. As she
walked away, she turned to smile at Tony. He gave
her a wave and a more genuine smile, then his
attention returned to Karen. But he didnt
Damn. Tony scanned the dance
floor. What if she stepped out? I
should have talked to her. Before long,
it was 11:00pm and the crowd was thinning out,
couples off for the night and singles leaving,
only about 30 people left now. He lowered the
volume of the music and made an announcement.
Youve been a great audience tonight.
Were going to wrap it up in about ten
minutes. Some mild disappointment from the
crowd, so he decided to end the night with some
power songs. Boogie Wonderland by Earth
Wind and Fire, Thats the Way I Like It by
KC and the Sunshine Band and Play That Funky
Music White Boy by Wild Cherry. He turned
the music up.
Excuse me. A lyrical voice called him,
accompanied by a hand on his shoulder. He looked
up and saw Karen. Suddenly his whole night was
back in synch. She was smiling. I love
these songs. Too bad you have to stop.
I can stay a little longer. My names
Nice to meet you Karen. So you came right
from the game?
Yeah, my girlfriends took me out to dinner
for my birthday, then brought me
Tony had a clue. She should be with her
boyfriend on her birthday. Maybe she broke up
Well, happy birthday. Tell you what. Ill
play as long as you like. Tony thought that
was a smooth line.
Oh, thank you Karen said and gave him
a little hug. She walked back to the dance floor
with her friends. Tony watched her dance for the
next hour. That cheerleading uniform was more
than he could resist. He just hoped she would
stick around after and talk to him. His head in
the clouds, it was midnight before he realized.
Well, thats it folks. You dont
have to go home, but you cant stay here.
Well, unless you live here. Tony tried to
make a joke, but it bombed. He started packing up
the equipment. Karen walked over to him.
Thank you so much. I was feeling a little
down tonight. Will you be here long?
Tony was hoping for the best. No, I just
have to secure this in that closet. The techs
will bring it back to the station tomorrow. Do
you need a ride home?
That would be nice and she smiled.
Tony wasnt expecting this, but recovered
Ill take you. Just give me ten
OK. Ill tell my friends goodbye.
Wow. Shes leaving her friends to
be with me. I must have played the right notes
Karen was quiet on their ride back to her dorm,
but you could sense the conversation between them,
going on in their heads.
Tony: I wish we were heading to my apartment
instead of her dorm.
Karen: I wish he would ask me to his apartment
instead of taking me home.
Tony: What do I say?
Karen: I wish he would say something, anything.
So, you made my night a little brighter too
Karen. I didnt expect a pretty cheerleader
to even notice me.
Karen slid over to Tonys side and held his
hand. Youre not so bad looking
yourself. Did you think dating a cheerleader was
out of your league?
Tonys life quickly passed through his brain.
She said dating a cheerleader!
Its a dream come true, unless she is
already with a player from the football team. Its
worse than having an affair. If he found out, he
could punish you on a regular basis.
You couldnt just disappear, especially once
they got your class schedule and address. Worse
yet, he had 60 or 70 teammates you could run into,
Tell you the truth. No, I never considered
it a possibility. Tony hoped Karen would
give him one more sign to proceed. At the stop
sign in front of her dorm, she leaned over and
kissed him. My roommate went home for the
weekend. Arent you going to come in?
and she closed the door and ran to the door.
That was the sign. Tony parked quickly and ran to
catch up with her. They made love for the next
hours, aided by some champagne she just happened
to have in her fridge. Low lights and soft music
from her stereo intensified the mood. Tony gave
her a massage while he recovered, hoping the
night would never end.
Then there was a knock on the door, a pounding!
Karen looked at him, threw on her robe and went
to look out the security hole to see who was
there. Tonys heart and imagination were
racing to what could be an ignominious finish of
a glorious night. He could make out some muffled
sound from the door.
Oh. She turned to Tony. Its
only my roommate; she forgot her house key.