The Bronze Age

You may remember this post from last week, where Kevin’s school ballroom dancing team competed in the city semifinals. In that competition, Kevin’s team – all fifth graders – captured the gold, and moved on to the city finals.

The city finals were held yesterday at a charter school in the eastern part of the city. Kevin’s team – he and his best friend Grace are captains – was going against eight other schools from across the city. The moderator said the competition would be intense, and the judges would be more strict. They weren’t lying.

Kevin and Grace danced the waltz in their first routine, and the merengue in their second. They and the rest of the team were fabulous, in my opinion, and we all felt pretty good about their chances. The judges announced the bronze awards, silvers, then golds.

The first school they called was Maternity BVM – Kevin’s school. You would have thought they were being called to the gallows. The team glumly walked to receive their awards, many, including Kevin, were crying. After a semester’s worth of work, they missed out on gold, and it was a very long ride back to school.

I tried explaining winning a bronze in a city competition is pretty impressive, but he wasn’t hearing it. Hopefully, he’ll realize how well he did after a few days’ thought. Either way, we’re all very proud of him.

They’re Movin’ On Up!

I mentioned Kevin’s dance competition yesterday, but I wanted to expound on it a bit now that I’m less stressed and we have better video.

The contest includes every school in Philadelphia who participated in the dance program. Teachers would come to the schools, instruct the kidds, and see how they applied the skills. The semifinals were yesterday, and as I mentioned before, Kevin and Grace’s team moved on. (Kevin and Grace are the dance team captains – as well as best friends.)

In addition to the waltz, the captains are permitted to perform for the audience. In this case, Kevin and Grace did the merengue – a dance perfected in My Blue Heaven – an fabulous film with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. Suffice to say, Kevin and Grace wowed. They’re dressed in blue below.

The kids cheering for them at the beginning is also heartwarming.

After the captains’ dance, Kevin and Grace’s team learned their fate…

Continue reading “They’re Movin’ On Up!”

Dance The Night Away

For the past few years, my youngest son Kevin has been participating in dance lessons held at his school. It’s a program which reaches out to local schools and teaches those interested to dance – from everything from the waltz to hip hop. Kevin has always enjoyed the lessons, but we had no idea how good he actually was.

Last week, they put on a show for the parents – I was working, naturally – and Kevin moved on to the semifinals. He will be dancing the waltz with his partner and best friend Grace. Not only that, but the pair have been chosen as the captains of their dance team.

The semifinals are set for tomorrow morning, and sadly, he’ll be dancing while I am getting my biopsy results. Mrs. Earp bought Kevin a new shirt – it needed to be blue – with an accompanying bow tie. We’re trying to keep him grounded, and reminding him if he moves on, that’s great and if he doesn’t, he focuses on his accomplishments so far.

The fact he’s dancing with Grace is a good sign, so he’ll see this more as fun than as a competition.

UPDATE: Mrs. Earp sent video of Kevin and Grace’s waltz…

Kevin and Grace are in blue.

UPDATE 2: GOLD!!! Kevin, Grace and the rest of their team are moving on!!

Congratulations, Erik!

Erik, the kid who basically grow up on my blogs, celebrated his eighth grade graduation last night.

Erik is arguably our most gifted child. The boy excels in both his studies – he usually earns at least second honors at the end of every quarter – and in sports – Erik has done well in soccer, track and field, and lacrosse. He will be following in Kyle’s footsteps and attending Father Judge High School, where he will be following Kyle again on the lacrosse team.

The mass and subsequent ceremony were lovely. Erik and the five other eighth graders from the band – three female violinists, Eric (clarinet), Jomal (trombone) and my Erik on drums – played during Communion. While he didn’t win a scholarship, he did receive the Charles Canuso Award, “awarded for great effort in all subjects.”

The award also came with a $25 check. Score!

It’s a bittersweet time for Erik, because some of his friends are attending other schools, and Father Judge is an all-boys institution, so he won’t see his female friends much anymore. Thankfully, he is friends with most of his classmates on Instagram, so they will keep in touch…

Erik’s eight grade dance was held Tuesday night on the Spirit of Philadelphia; a small ship which cruises the Delaware River. His crew, Aaron, Eric, James, Erik, and Jomal (below), was dressed for bear.

While I was worried Erik would be a wallflower, apparently he mingled with boys and girls, and even took a picture with one of his favorite classmates, a very nice, crazy cute girl named Regan. Erik and his crew spent the night eating, laughing, and dancing.

And speaking of, Erik was challenged to a dance-off by a kid from another school. For some reason, the kid has a $100 bill and stated he would put it up when he lost. Erik obviously doesn’t carry $100 bills around – neither does his parents – but he danced anyway. Both the boys and girls judged Erik the winner, but the kid left without ponying up the $100 bill.

Oh well, at least he impressed the ladies.

Old School


For those of you who send your kids to pagan public indoctrination camp school, we are smack in the middle of Catholic Schools Week. The schools are promoting events and special days all week, which began with Sunday’s open house at my kids’ elementary school. Among other events was a mini-concert performed by the school band and my son, lead drummer Erik.

Yesterday the school held First Responder Appreciation Day to thank the men and women of the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments. Relatives of the students were invited to the prayer service/celebration, and since it was my day off, I participated.

The students recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang God Bless America, and thanked us for our service. The pastor had us all stand up, introduce ourselves to the few hundred kids, and tell everyone about ourselves. Audience participation… for an antisocial person who routinely suffers panic attacks. Hooray.

“Good morning, I am Detective Earp, and have been with the police department for almost twenty-three years. I’m the father of Erik, Kevin, and Julia.” I immediately handed the microphone back to the pastor and hyperventilated into a paper bag.

After the event, we were taken to the cafeteria for snacks where Kevin and Julia inhaled cinnamon buns and cookies. (Erik, sadly, was home sick with the same virus I had been battling.)

As I was leaving, a student handed me a few thank you cards the students created. As luck would have it, it was written by Kevin…


If you click the photo, the truck on the right reads, “Not A Bad Guy Truck.”