Swing Discussion Boards > Triple Jumping Jack Hoax

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Black Sheep, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Swing Buffs,
    My conscious has been itching these past years about a statement I made in my last book, "Lindy by Lanza" on page 87, " She (Ronnie Hawks ) was (one of many) of Joe Lanza's Swing Protégé's...and his Test Pilot when he developed the 'Triple Jumping Jack'; the aerial that has never been duplicated any other Swing dancer in the Last 45 years."
    I have been long in retracting this historical mistake, for reasons of placating Ronnie who has enjoyed an unmerited fame for something she never accomplished, and I had been incorrect in reporting and with a hazy reluctance to let a sleeping dog lie. But If I am to be a creditable reporter, I need to make retractions and correct historical facts that I was inadvertently guilty of.
    The first time I began to suspect my incorrect historical report about Ronnie Hawk's 'Triple Jumping Jack' was two summers ago at the Green Hotel where Marcus Koch and Barble Kaufer were running a Swing Venue. Two incidents that night triggered my memory: The first incident took place early in the evening as I was observing Ronnie on the sidelines trying to teach Tip West & Holly DuMaux the 'Triple Jumping Jack'. When I saw her beginning the aerial after the initial Jump, I interrupted her, and admonished her for teaching it incorrectly. Later I did show Tip and Holly the correct procedure, but with no success.
    The second event of the evening that was even more 'telling' that Ronnie never did the TRIPLE JUMPING JACK (TJJ) took place toward the end of the evening when Marcus asked me to demonstrate, using Ronnie, the Triple Jumping Jack as he filmed us on his video camera. Of course both of us being over 65 in 2000 could only go through the various moves without leaving the ground. But the incident that stuck in my mind and eventually unraveled the confusing I had been under for those 45 years was when I attempted to demonstrate the initial move; I was interrupted by Ronnie who adamantly disagreed with me (on camera) and insisted the aerial started with her back toward me bent over, a move that actually came after the first jump.
    My retroactive memory eventually kicked in and I recalled how in the 1950's, Ronnie was unable to execute the first jump, and I eliminated it for her and started her aerial after the first Jump which left Ronnie with ONLY TWO JUMPS OVER MY HEAD, making it a 'Double Jumping Jack' (DJJ) . So all these years Ronnie Hawks Merritt was getting credit for performing the 'Triple Jumping Jack' which she never did. My protégé, Charlotte Cross of only three months training was the first lady who I used as my 'Test Pilot'. Dean Collins, Nikkie Faustino, Gill Brady and, Al Learner were present; Al was my 'Spotter Safty man'. A few of my other dance partners repeated the TJJ with me through the years, but Ronnie never did perform anything more than a 'DOUBLE JUMPING JACK'.
    One other Swing historical fact needs to be corrected: Freda Wycoff Angela stated on camera during her interview at the 2nd Annual 'Camp Hollywood' event that she and George Christopherson used to practice the 'Flying Dutchman' before contests. Anyone who knows how the Jack Cary 'Flying Dutchman' works knows how ludicrous Freda's claim is; George and Freda's doing the Flying Dutchman ? Not even in her wildest dreams. Tut tut, Freda!
    Just trying to set the record straight!
    Black Sheep
    I need twenty more YES votes before I release the Magic Pill. d.lanza@netzero.net
     

Share This Page