Heardmont Park kicks up its heels

Ron Garmon and Ann Hofmann dance to the rhythm of Vintage Gray at the Heardmont Senior Center Feb. 10. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – About 40 seniors do-si-do’d around the Heardmont Senior Center Feb. 10 to the tunes of the Vintage Gray band.

The Valentine’s Day-themed dance offered local seniors the opportunity to enjoy socializing, dancing and sweets with neighbors and friends.

The members of the Vintage Gray band are from Tuscaloosa and West Blocton, but the group plays in Shelby County periodically. After Lillian Jones, an organizer for the Heardmont dances, heard the band play at Camp Branch in Saginaw, she asked the band to play for the dance on Friday night.

Buddy Gray, the band’s drummer, has been blind since he was 9 years old, and when he’s not rocking out with his band mates, Chap McDaniel, Steve Rayborn and Mike Robinson, he tunes pianos in Shelby County and surrounding communities.

Gray originally played the guitar as a child, but once he heard the Beatles, he fell in love with Ringo, he said.

“We all love music,” Gray said. “The heartbeat of the band is the passion we have.

“What makes us unique is how we’re so different,” Gray added. “The magic comes on when we’re on stage.”

The band kicked off the night with “All My Exes Live in Texas,” a cover of a classic George Strait song. The couples in attendance immediately began dancing to the rhythm, and didn’t miss a beat throughout the evening. Even those without partners lined the back of the room for line dancing.

“I love this band because they play everything,” Jones said of Vintage Gray.

“We have dances once a month on the second Friday,” Jones said. “We’re trying to build it up. It’s a lot of fun, you socialize with a lot of people and you stay young.”

Dances at the Heardmont Park Senior Center, which is located at 5458 Cahaba Valley Road, are held every second Friday at 7 p.m. For more information, call 991-5742. To learn more about Vintage Gray, find them on Facebook.