Daniel McGrew had no shortage of dance partners Friday night at Arlington’s Eunice Activity Center.
The WWII veteran, who turns 102 today, was the center of attention during a special early birthday celebration organized by his friends and fellow dancers. McGrew enjoyed cake, birthday cheers and several turns around the dance floor at the Eunice Activity Center, 1000 Eunice St.
McGrew, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the early 1940s, said he has been dancing since he was 14 years old.
“Saturday night dance was at somebody’s residence. You go to town, find out where the dance is,” said McGrew, who proudly wore his 102nd birthday button on his western shirt. “We didn’t have electricity. We had lamp lights. We had musicians and we would dance in someone’s living room or in the barn. That was 1931.”
Jim Eller, who has known McGrew for 10 years, said he’s blown away by how well his friend gets around the dance floor.
“A couple of years ago, I found out he was 100 and after that I had a whole new perspective of Dan. He blew me away,” Eller said. “For 100, he was doing excellent.”
Thelma and C.L. Smith, who organize the Tuesday and Friday night dances at Eunice, said they were happy to help their friend celebrate his special day.
“He’s dedicated. He’s friendly. A lot of people respect him for what he’s done for this country and how he’s served our country,” said C.L. Smith. “I have a lot of respect for veterans who have done that.”