||THE LAST DANCE Vonda Peterson Merriam Non-Professional First Place Anecdote When I was growinf up in Manti, we made up our own fun without the use of commercialized playthings. Of course, there was the "picture-show house," and every Friday right after school we would dash across Main Street to see the matinee. The grown-ups had their own recreation to create. One thing they especially liked to do was dance. My parents, John and Nellie Peterson, belonged to a crowd of about eighteen couples and each took a turn having the dance at their house on birthdays. When it was my folks' turn, Mother pulled up the carpet and took out the straw padding. She scrubbed the floor and let it dry while making wax chips from large candles. She then called us kids to slide the chips around the floor to make it slick. In the evening, the crowd would cope, some bringing buggies with babies, and all carrying food. The music would start with Dad playing the guitar, Uncle Jim the violin, Jim Stewart Ute harmonica, and Edwin Carpenter and Alma Peterson the mandolins. At midnight they stopped to eat and to take care of the babies that needed tending, and then they commenced dancing until morning. Everyone then walked to their homes, singing or humming without the noise of cars, for there were none. After Mother died in 1929, we didn't have any more dances at our home until dad remarried and moved. It was his birthday on Valentine's Day and, for a surprise, my sister Ella and I went down to the empty house and got the floor ready for dancing. Edgar Merriam was my partner and we fell in love that night as the string orchestra played waltzes, "two-steps" and quadrilles at the last dance the old crowd held in that old house.