Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shag Attack

I finally got back to the beach this past weekend for the first time since fall SOS. I was beginning to have withdrawal symptons. My wife, Nancy, and I attended the Shaggers Hall of Fame "Shag Attack" party. We stayed at the beautiful Norfleet Jones Resort and Weapons Depot, on the intercoastal waterway, located near the heart of North Myrtle Beach S.C. As he has graciously done many times over the years, he once again "comped" our room, food, and beverages. Thanks Norfleet for your generous hospitality.
This was the weekend when, for a select number of shaggers, dreams came true, and for others, dejection and disappointment were the more prevailing emotions. Four males and four females were elected on Saturday by a group of their peers to be the Shag Hall of Fame Class of 2009. The folks whose names were called out on Saturday night are all well-deserving of this great honor, and they have my heart felt congratulations. I was especially pleased and proud for my friends Bill Hussey, Ronnie Shue, Olivia McManus, and Jennifer Wattenberger. Again, congratulations to all the members of the class of 2009.

This year's selections for Keeper of The Dance, Kristal Taylor and Jason Cagle, were outstanding choices. Bob Myrick was dead on when he described Kristal's dancing ability. As to Jason Cagle, in addition to his dancing and continuing contributions to our community, he is one of the finest young men that I have had the pleasure to get to know. The selection committee did themselves proud.

I attended my first SHOF in 1985 at the old Sand Flea Beach Club in Greenville S.C. This just happened to be the year that my favorite "shag character", Jo Jo Putnam was inducted. It immediately became one of my favorite events. I have always had an interest and a respect for the history and the players of our community. Each time that I go to the beach I always make time to go by the O D Resort and read a few of the HOF plaques displayed there. I can't say that I've read them all, but I've read quite a few of them over the years. I always come away with a greater sense of who these folks are and were, and why they're on those walls.

This past Saturday morning, in anticipation of doing this blog, I read again the plaque of one Rick Hubbard. Rick opened The Sand Flea Beach Club in 1983 in Greenville S.C. Later that year Rick met in Charlotte with the late Harry Driver and a few other shag pioneers, to discuss his idea to recognize, honor, and remember, "those what brought us to the dance." Thus was born The Shaggers Hall of Fame. As I read Rick's plaque I couldn't help but wonder how many people have come to and enjoyed HOF parties and events at the beach, without ever knowing how it all started and who started it. ( think Gene Laughter ) Truth be told, most of 'em could give a shit.

A few years ago Rick was down at the beach for a HOF induction weekend. It had been quite some time since I had seen Rick, and I was glad we got the chance to catch up. I took the picture you see here of Rick, (with trademark suspenders) that night. I told him that I wanted a picture of the man who started the SHOF. He genuinely seemed to appreciate that someone remembered. I wish I had gotten someone to take our picture together. I hope time doesn't run out before I can get that done.

I guess that I too often forget, to not expect so much from people. But is it really too much to expect that if you want to be a part of a community, maybe you should learn as much as you can about it? Couldn't you, at the very least, remember "the one's what brought you to the dance."


  1. Tommy, you are da man !!

  2. Ahhh - Rick Hubbard! What a fun delightful person, full of caring and spirit. I miss him so at the beach. No! Rick is not forgotten!!!


    Gene "Swink" Laughter

  3. The early years at the old Sand Flea in Greenville were some of the best parties I've ever been to..Hubbard and his staff were a "wonderful bunch of misfits" and included one Rick "Cooter" Douglas!!! That in itself ought to give you an idea what kind of party it was. Not one person on this earth loves the "Shag" more than Rick Hubbard!!! Love you and miss you sir, and please come out and visit us some time.

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