Winnetka Way: Barbara Joyce

Gazette Article by: Barbara Joyce
Appeared in the Gazette: Winter 1994

Winnetka Way articles are written by guest columnists who have been asked to share their memories of an aspect of Winnetka that they remember fondly. Winnetka Way articles debuted in 1994 and continue to the present.

Dancing the Watusi…No Necking

In the days when “hootenanny” was a household word, Winnetka had its own teen dance club, the Rolling Stone.  I was eager to go to the Stone, but membership was restricted to teenagers who lived or attended high school in New Trier Township. Being only 12, I was too young.

In the spring of 1965 my three friends and I wore identical clothing.  We wandered Glencoe and Winnetka.  We frequented Ricky’s, Lenny’s, Hubbard’s Cupboard and the Sweet Shop.

Then we got our chance to be cool. Amy, one of our foursome, had a brother, an aspiring Mick Jagger, whose band was booked for a Saturday night at the Stone.  This provided us the ruse we needed to get through the door: We knew Mark, the lead singer.

It worked! After paying the $1.00 admission fee, we were allowed entry to 513 Lincoln Avenue, the Rolling Stone—a former garage turned disco.  In this smoky atmosphere of about 750 teenagers, we pushed our way through to the stage.  There was Mark, singing, gyrating, winking—looking like the real thing.  Around us couples were dancing the frug, the watusi, the jerk and the swim.

A boy came up to ask Amy to dance.  Amy was tall, looked 17. Another boy approached me.  He asked, “How old are you?”  “Fifteen,” I lied.  He poked his finger into my chest.  “You are not,” he sneered, walking away.  A slow song came on, and couples got together to sway back and forth to the music in each other’s arms.

Suddenly I looked up the four-step platform to the door where the bouncer stood guard.  There was a figure so out of place that I felt everyone in the room must have noticed her: my mother.  There she was, decades older than the oldest teenager, unashamed in her village coat and hat.  In the momentary quiet at the end of the song, she called out through the crowd, “Barb? Barb?”

I raced to her, to escort her out as quickly as possible, before anyone would notice we were related; before others would realize I was “Barb.” “I came to pick you up,” she explained, once we were outside.  “But you’re a half hour early,” I complained, still reeling from humiliation.  “And I told you I’d be waiting in front,” I whined.

She ignored me. “Was that dancing?” she asked incredulously. She had seen the slow number. “It looked more like bear-hugging to me, when those boys and girls embraced like that. Did you do that kind of dancing?”

I slunk down low in the Valiant station wagon. As if anyone would ask me to dance. Nevertheless, the embarrassment reversed itself: Now I was ashamed of the antics of my generation.

The Stone, located where Fell’s is today, was short-lived. It opened December 11, 1964 and closed in 1967. On the membership card, which cost 5 cents, were the rules: No drinking, No necking. Slow-dancing, or “bear-hugging,” evidently was okay.

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13 Responses to “Winnetka Way: Barbara Joyce”

  1. May 21, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    Fun to read this. I was friends with mark hannon’s younger brother Phil. Although I’m a few years younger than you, I too finagled my way into the rolling stone. I last saw Amy at marks funeral some years ago. We had become good friends over the years. I was actually looking for info about the band “the chosen few” when I came across this. Brought back memories.

    • January 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

      Funny thing. I was just searching around google for old Winnetka things and you pop up with a comment. I was in your brother, Mark’s class at North Shore. You graduated while we were still in middle school I think. Keep in FB contact with Mark. Hope you are well. Barbara Callihan

      • January 13, 2018 at 6:55 am #

        Hey Barbara, when did you change the spelling of your name?

  2. April 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    Boy, do I remember the Rolling Stone having gone to New Trier from ’64 to ’68. The Del Vetts were my favorite band. The frug and watusi ruled the dance floor followed close behind by my raging teenage boy hormones. My favorite dance partner was a girl from my english class when I was a junior who I named ‘boom boom’ because when we locked pelvises, I went off like a cannon….the first and third of the sex, drugs, and rick ‘n roll triumvirate. Now, at 65, I still get that rush at a Springsteen concert…The magic of being moved by music at the cellular level. So thanks to all the north suburban teen clubs (Green Gorilla, Cellar) for giving me the physical and emotional space to dance the night away and hook me for the last 50 years.

  3. November 16, 2015 at 12:58 am #

    My memories of The Rolling Stone (and I still have my card) are filled with adolescent joy! Together with the Rolling Stone, New Trier East, White’s Drug Store, Hubbard Woods, Tower Road Beach and Gilson Park are the best high school memories anyone could want. Thank god John Hughes made so many enjoyable movies with Glencoe, Winnetka and Northfield landmarks that brings me back to the good old high school days.

  4. October 27, 2016 at 3:57 am #

    We went there quite often and there was a ton of kids there. 1962-65. Just thinking about it tonight good old days it’s just not the same today. Miss it! Don’t remember dancing much haha

  5. January 25, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    Didn’t the location of the Rolling Stone briefly become a wannabee :head shop” called The Spectacle, which I recall visiting in the spring of 1968? It couldn’t have been The Spectacle for very long because I think Fell’s had moved into the new building in 1969, and it had to be built first on the same site.

    • July 26, 2017 at 4:40 am #

      Yes, the “Spectacle” became an anodyne Winnetka “Head Shop”. Before it opened, however, Abe Fell posed with a sledge hammer at the front of the old “Rolling Stone” before they broke ground for his new store. It was published in the “Winnetka Talk”. I hated him for the affront, and swore I’d never buy a thing there. But sixteen-year-olds don’t make the rules, only the attitude. The head shop was just an interim business, and its short life helped me to discovery the temporal nature of things we just assumed were permanent. I went to Woodstock that Summer, at sixteen, in a ruse with a recently relocated high-school friend. We were busted, but that’s another story. Your post is half a year old, but I’d love to hear more from you about those days.

  6. March 7, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

    Delvettes, The Bachs, The Brewers- to name a few- those were the days!

    • July 26, 2017 at 5:27 am #

      Do you remember “Four Days And A night”? How about the “Chosen Few”? They played the “Stone”, and I was tall enough for my age to get in there. A hilarious combination of excitement and fear. I grew up next to Mal Bellaire’s family in Wilmette. That’s where I first met Mark Hannon and Wayne Welsh of the “Chosen Few”.

  7. March 8, 2017 at 2:28 am #

    Lived a couple blocks away on Oak Street….was just old enough to get in. Great place, but, we moved to CT in fall of 65.

  8. March 8, 2017 at 6:28 pm #

    Spent some of the happiest nights of high school there–and carefully altered I.D. to get in under-age. I would go with a gaggle of girls from Sunset Ridge School. We IRONED our hair dead straight. The “cool” outfit was blue jeans and a powder blue work shirt (my mother would roll her eyes as I set off). You had to wait for a boy to ask you to dance in those days–and it could be a long night. There was a refreshments bar–but all soft drinks. I remember kids from Highland Park coming too. A guy named Brad Gordon was a fantastic dancer and my evening was a success if he asked me to dance. Some girls would sneak in little vials of alcohol stolen from their parents’ drinks cabinet. Were we allowed to smoke there? No doubt it was my age, but no other club was ever as cool as the Rolling Stone.

  9. June 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    Hey Stones people, little Tommy Diettrich class of 68 at NTE: Use to love to go Friday night. Always wanted to be in a band so i could pick up chicks
    Always celebrate at the Sweet Shop with a malt; extra malt please.
    What energy there.

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