He sits at a table with his wife listening to music at the American Legion.

He reaches over and softly caresses her hand. When the band plays a slow number, he takes her on to dance.

He holds her tenderly while she holds onto her walker as they sway back and forth.

She closes her eyes at the pleasure of it all.

Something about the gentleness between Bob Faulks and his wife Margie brings tears to the eyes of those watching.

It’s apparent there is something special about the relationship of the Port Charlotte couple.

Neither age nor physical limitations can keep them from dancing.

Bob Fulton just celebrated his 90th birthday. “Margie is only 87. Men like older women,” he quips.

At least three or four times a week they can be found dancing at area clubs.

“We just love to dance,” says Margie. “We dance until the band stops playing then sometimes we go to another place that still has a band playing.”

Nothing much can keep them from dancing … not even Margie’s two broken ribs.

A few months ago she fell in their home while Bob was sleeping but managed to crawl to the bedroom for help. She had broken ribs on both sides.

Some people give up on physical activity after a hip replacement or serious fall. Not Bob or Margie.

They danced with Margie in a wheelchair until she could progress to a walker.

Bob danced through his own physical challenges. In 2009, he had both knees replaced. In 2012, he broke his left hip. Three years later he broke his right hip.

“I break something every three years,” he says. “It slows us down but it doesn’t stop us.”

With his keen sense of humor he tells people he and his wife live in assisted living.

“We do. I assist her and she assists me. Together we manage just fine.”

Indeed, throughout their 26-year marriage they function together as one.

While Bob says he was attracted to Margie from the first time they met, it took a few years of dating before she agreed to marry him.

“I was happy living by myself and going dancing with my girlfriends. Then I found when you have a good partner, it works.”

Now, they inspire others with their closeness and with the fun they have with each other.

They are well known to bands throughout the county.

“When we show up, some bands will announce, ‘Margie’s here’ and will play J’ohnny Be Good’ for me,” she says.

Then she does her exuberant shimmy, wearing her trademark jewelry with flashing lights.

“When I die, they’re going to play that song at my funeral,” she says. “Until then, I’m never going to stop dancing.”

Bob sites Ginger Jones as another inspirational dancer in Port Charlotte.

At 98, Ginger is a graceful vision of elegance on the dance floor.

In Englewood, the dancing diva is 90-year-old Dorothy Stokley. Her enthusiasm and vitality light up area dance floors several times a week.

When she turned 90 more than 100 of her admirers honored her with a surprise birthday party at the Rotonta West Elks.

“I’ve been dancing since the age of 10,” she says. “My husband was a good dancer and after he died I miss having a partner. But that doesn’t keep me from the dance floor.”

She says she’s glad women without male partners are now going out and having fun on the dance floor.

“Dancing keeps you young,” she attests.

Bob Faulks sums it up this way: “We don’t quit dancing because we get old.

“We get old because we quit dancing.”

Pattie Mihalik is a regular columnist for the Sun. Contact her at newsgirl@comcast.net.


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