New wrinkle to the senior prom

2:48 PM, Mar 8, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

KSDK -- It's the time of year when teenage girls aren't just putting on makeup, they're putting on the glitz.

"I'm just so excited," said 17-year-old Megan Wood.

It's prom night in Washington, Missouri.

"This year, I bought the first dress I saw," said 18-year-old Kashen Moore. "Because (sic) I was like, I don't want to worry about it the next four months."

Wood and Moore say this is the highlight of the year. Their night to remember includes a ride in a limo that will be hard to forget. It's painted red, white and blue. By the time they pick up their dates and arrive at the dance, anyone would quickly realize this prom has a wrinkle or two.

For the last ten years, the Washington High School senior prom has included local senior citizens. The program began ten years ago, when the seniors with the student council were looking for a way to give back to the community.

"The kids have a great time, the seniors have a great time, and it's a melding of the two generations together," said Dr. Frank Wood, principal of Washington High School.

They come from nursing homes and assisted-living centers, but just because you've grown older it does not mean you've grown up.

"I had to confiscate a wine bottle tonight," said Wood.

This is Charlie Frazier's third year at the prom. The 82-year-old graduated from his high school a year early and went off to World War II.

"I never went to my prom. I was 16 and I didn't really know what girls were. No, I'm kidding," he said.

Charlie nearly threw away his dancing shoes when he lost his wife, Norma Jean, in 2006.

"My wife and I were married 51-and-a-half years," said Frazier.

He said the senior prom has helped him get past the grief. And now his dance card is full again.
Usually when you reach Charlie's age, the word 'hip' is followed by 'replacement,' but the girls say these seniors are way more hip on the dance floor than their usual dates.

"Wow, they are good dancers and sometimes I'm like, 'Wow, I didn't know you could move like that," said Wood.

And as they go off to college, Megan and Kashen said they'll both look back fondly as their favorite high school memory.

"Maybe I'll come back. I don't think that's allowed, but I don't care," Moore said.

After all, every generation needs regeneration.

"These kids make you realize what our future is like," said Frazier. "I'm encouraged, I really am."

This is a night when the only mention of time is that everybody had a good one; thanks to a high school class with class.


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