WISCONSIN DELLS, WIs.--Love floats in the rarefied air of the Tommy Bartlett Show.
The Americana water ski show celebrates its 60th anniversary this summer in the Wisconsin Dells. Over the Fourth of July weekend a dozen Bartlett alumni from the 1950s and 60s gathered at the outdoor venue along the shores of Lake Delton.
They reminisced, tried some new tricks and gave a few tips to young whippersnappers from today's show.
I was so focused on gathering oral histories, I didn't consider the fact that the Bartlett show was a likely precursor to "Dirty Dancing" in terms of hot summertime romance--until my videographer Jon Sall pointed this out, along with my cameraman friend Tom Vlodek, who was on assignment at the Bartlett show for NBC-TV. Those camera guys have a lot of time on their hands.
"Listen, when you have beautiful women....," chortled Lance Renfrow, who skied at the Dells between 1959-61. "....I mean we loved it. We had Miss America's. Miss Floridas.........."