By Joshua Ballantine
Read in The Miami Herald
There were Pink Ladies, corsages, Greasers, big-band music and dance contests at the Surf Club in Surfside on Nov. 14.
But the year was 2009.
“It’s fun being with kids,” said Weinstock decked out in a bright purple suit and hair that he let grow out to resemble Danny Zuko from the musical Grease. “Some of the kids could be in their 70s or 60s, but kids nonetheless.”
Weinstock, who is on the board of directors at BellaMare, Williams Island in Aventura, invited about 150 guests, including his three children and four grandchildren. Weinstock hired Johnny Amoroso, who used to play with the famous Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, to perform with his 11-piece band.
Weinstock didn’t give many details to his guests beforehand, so they didn’t know what to expect as they drove into the valet parking, with the Surfside city police directing traffic for the party on Collins Avenue.
Phyllis Maurer said she is used to her brother-in-
“One never knows what to expect when you are involved with Jack,” Maurer said. “I expect anything and everything, and at this age to go to a prom, I drink to it.”
Weinstock retired after 60 years in the apparel business.
During his career he worked for Rosemary Reed and Bobbie Brooks clothing and founded August Silk.
He retired to Williams Island, Aventura, four years ago with wife Sandy Price-Weinstock. When they came up with the idea of a Grease themed-prom-birthday party, Weinstock said everyone got excited.
“The vintage shops really should be thanking me because people went there to get their costumes,”
The hall was decorated like a high school gym with a large banner behind the band that said, “JW High School Senior Prom.”
The invitations showed Weinstock and his wife super-imposed onto the bodies of Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease. The food hall was made of stations such as Jack’s Meat Market and Sushi Jack, and guests could take a picture with a life-size cardboard picture of Weinstock upon entering the party.
“I loved working with Jack and Sandy on this party,” said Jamie Sackett, director of catering at the Surf Club. “The party was pretty outlandish for the Surf Club, and I was impressed it was a birthday party for an 80-year-old, especially for someone who looks as healthy as Jack.”
This is not the first big party Weinstock has thrown.
Fifteen years ago, for Weinstock’s 65th birthday party, he rented three floors of a New York building to create an amusement park and celebrate the idea that “old men are children for the second time,” he said. His 80th birthday was a similar celebration.
“This will be our first senior prom,” said Juan Diego Saldarriaga, head engineer of the building where Weinstock lives, who was attending the party with his wife. “We are expecting a lot of dancing and a lot of surprises.”
Weinstock, whose hobbies include photography, movie-making and even a bit of dancing, did surprise the audience with his dancing skills. The 80-year-old joined four professional dancers he had hired for the night for a hip-hop choreography. He donned a backwards hat and peace emblem necklace.
“I’m maturing,” he said with a smile. “Now I’m planning my 90th birthday.”
South Florida News Service reporters Tiffany Savinon and Adriana Galindo contributed to this report.