Although her dancing days are done, Phyllis Brinkerhoff, of Prairie Village, Kansas, said she's not too old to appreciate a sick beat. In fact, Mrs. B — as she's known in her neighborhood — is obsessed with one dance song in particular: the Hokey Pokey.
"It's just a fun, joyous, song," she said.
And you know how when you love a song, you want your friends to love it too? Well, that's why Mrs. B gave her neighbor, Melanie Mendrys, a Hokey Pokey CD and started talking about the song constantly.
"I can see her name pop up on my phone, and I just thought, 'Oh, it's the Hokey Pokey,'" Mendrys said.
Mrs. B left dozens of messages. "Hi, this is Phyllis. I really do need to talk to you," the messages said. "The CD I gave you, are you hooked on it yet?"
"And I just would always say, 'Not quite yet,'" Mendrys said.
Mendrys' reluctance truly baffled Mrs. B, who seemed surprised that not everyone loved the song as much as she does. "I find that very amazing," she quipped.
Still, she knew her crusade was all but lost.
Then one day, Mrs. B mentioned that her 93rd birthday was coming up. When Melanie heard that, she decided to embrace what she'd been resisting — or, to put it in Hokey Pokey parlance, she put her whole self in.
Mendrys made invitations, rolling them into scrolls wrapped with ribbons and delivering them to neighbors.
Her efforts ended in a Hokey Pokey flash mob in Mrs. B's yard.
"The smile on her face was so big," Mendrys said. "It doesn't take that much to make someone's day. And I think we can all do a little more of it."
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