How Grandma danced with Gene Kelly…

In 1945 my grandmother Margaret was stationed in Washington, serving her term in the Air Force (for Canada.) She was one of 26 Canadian joint staff to be invited to attend an annual Roosevelt Ball that raised money for a charity dedicated to Polio research. They were expected to attend in full uniform, and it probably helped their cause a little with the celebrity guests while waiting for their dance cards to fill up.

While she can’t remember the names of all of the guests in attendance, she does remember Gene Kelly, Caesar Romero, Van Johnson, Diana Lynn and Margaret O’Brien. She danced with both Gene Kelly and Caesar Romera. She doesn’t have any photos from the event (silly pre-digital age), but I managed to track this photo down from the evening on one of the American history sites:

If folks track down more photos or can point me in the direction of a place where photos might exist, please do email me. I’d be interested to see them.


About heather

We are organic eating, chocolate sneaking, homeschooling, book reading, knitting, playing, music loving, experimental tourists of life!
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3 Responses to How Grandma danced with Gene Kelly…

  1. sarah says:

    Hi Heather,
    My Grandma was in the air force too! In Montreal, though – I guess she spoke French well enough. They called her the ‘blue streak’ – often when she went for a shower they would steal her clothes and towels so she had to run back to her barracks without!

    • Hey Sarah,

      That’s funny! I wish my grandmother would give me the juicy details, but even the ‘blue streak’ would make her blush.

      Can you link me to your bee blog? I can’t find it anywhere


  2. sarah says:


    There should be something new and exciting up this week, I’ll be checking on them tomorrow night! Can’t wait to see how the honey is coming!! 🙂

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