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Dancing couple, 83 and 84, never misses Saturday night at Carol’s

Updated: November 22, 2012 6:10AM

People always smile at Rubin Culak Sr. and Louise Hayes every Saturday night when they command the dance floor at Carol’s Pub.

Their eyes sparkle like the tiny rhinestones on the pockets of their matching cowboy shirts.

Some people take photographs.

Rubin Sr, is 83 years old. Louise is 84.

They take their time.

It’s too maudlin to suggest Rubin and Louise represent happy endings. But they are the picture of happy possibility.

“Do you know slappin’ leather?,” Rubin asks on a recent Saturday night. “We do it at least twice, three times [to any fast songs]. She don’t like to do it too much. We do the Texas two-step. We do the three-in-one and we waltz. We boot scoot. People don’t know how to dance anymore.”

Louise points out, “He knows the tush push.”

Rubin counters, “We let no grass grow under our feet.”

Rubin has had a triple bypass, and four stents were installed two months ago. “Three days of therapy,” he says from underneath the shadow of a cowboy hat. “Then you go Saturday night dancing. That’s four days a week.”

Rubin usually drives his Chevy Cobalt from his Northwest Side home to pick up Louise at her home in west suburban Northlake. They arrive at Carol’s around 9 and leave around 1 a.m. “My daughter says, ‘How can you stay out so late?’ ” Rubin says. “I say, ‘When you ain’t got much time left, you better stay out.’ ”

The dancing couple coordinate their outfits in a midweek phone conversation. Rubin and Louise each have five matching cowboy shirts.

Louise has been coming to Carol’s Pub for the past 34 years. Rubin is a newbie, having only accompanied Louise the past four months. “Our big group used to be together,” he says. “But now me and her are the only ones left dancing.”

Rubin and Louise like all kinds of country music, including Freddy Fender, Alan Jackson and George Strait. “But the country today isn’t country anymore,” Rubin says. “It’s all jazz.”

Louise cut her teeth at the late great Nashville North country music bar and boutique in Bensenville. “I never was country until my husband [Harold] passed away,” Louise says. “I’m a widow 39 years now. He was an inspector at Williams Electronics at California and Roscoe. I did the assembly line. I soldered. We made pinball machines, shuffleboard games and slot machines.”

They hit the jackpot of love.

Louise came to Chicago in 1954 from her native Martin, Tenn. A native of rural Moulton, Texas, Rubin arrived in Chicago in 1951 after serving in the U.S. Army. He is a retired slipcover maker for Sears.

His wife Mary Jane died three years ago.

Rubin gets up off a chair and leads his diminuitive companion to the ample dance floor. Rubin is a gentleman. Before he leaves he says, “We used to have a boyfriend and girlfriend but they passed away so now we’re together,” and a community of friends capture the moment for a future memory.

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