Prom Ballroom

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I wasn't around in the days of the Prom Ballroom, but being part of a musical family, I know that Prom Ballroom has an important part in Minnesota History. From what I know, this venue was part of the culture of Minnesota, home for people to enjoy the big band era, hosting talented local musicians and attracting famous musicians from around the country. A place to congregate, to celebrate, to escape the pressures of the day and of the world. My grandfather was a member of the house band for many years and tuned piano there for 35 years. My father is a local musician as well and has memories of the Prom Ballroom. The Prom lives on in Oakdale, with the new Prom Center, managed by the sons of the old Prom Ballroom great, Harry Given.
~Lisa Damon, Afton, MN



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My mother worked at the Prom Ballroom for about forty years. She retired a few years before the Prom was demolished. My aunt Dorothy Youreman was the pop corn lady and ran the pop corn stand at the Prom. Dorothy retired about the same time as my mother. I also worked in the Prom coat check room a few years while in high school. I remember the big bands that played there also some of the early rock bands like Bill Haley and his Comets that played there. One memory is about The Spike Jones orchestra. He was hired by the Shriners Fraternity for one of the annual conventions at the Prom. Spike and his orchestra played most of the day in the main ballroom and then the played for the grand ball in the main ballroom in the evening. The check room crew made the most tips known at the Prom for that event. The check room crew split the tips evenly among those who worked the convention. I knew Harry Given and he offered the use of Arizona room at no charge when my parents celebrated their 50th Anniversary there. Harry Given attended Dorothy Youremans funeral. One neat comment by Harry was "I know your aunt Dorothy is in heaven making pop corn now". Harry also mentioned that he stood across the street and cried when the Prom Ballroom was demolished. Jerry Weihrauch, South St Paul, Minnesota


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