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Gil Rocha (Eureka Valley Recreation Center Director) confirmed that groups will begin to move in the first week in February. He says that he has just last week hired and/or confirmed staff to cover the hours needed. WSD has the downstairs space with the stage (same as before only with an accessible ramp) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 – 9:30 pm. He felt that our official start date at EVRC would be Monday, February 6. WSD has been dancing at EVRC for about 20 years. About two and half years ago, we had to relocate to Mission Playground to accommodate the center’s remodel. In September 2005, we began our new Mainstream class at Studio 204 at 3435 Cesar Chavez. Returning to the Castro is satisfying and a dream come true. February Club Night will be our official Coming Home celebration. Michael Levy will be calling from 7:30-9:30 pm on February 15. Come out and see our space. Our sojourn is over. We’re coming home.
February 6 Our Return Date
Please see the back page for details Celebrate WSD Style!
March 25, 2005
BEAU BRUMMELY-- Dressed to Kill MILAN—Jackie Kennedy wearing Oleg Cassinni. Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy. Liza Minelli in Halston. Couture marches on. Now the glitterati all demand a Joe&Todd original. Be sure to tune in on Oscar night when the red carpet will provide a promenade for their latest creations. Of course, there is always competition— Tomas in vintage Mr. Blackwell, or convention medallion recipient Ed Mah in that Chanel knockoff. It is always difficult to narrow the list down to a Top Ten; but that is a full square, an heir and a spare. Let the count-down begin!
In the vanguard-- Joe and Todd introduce the wolfpatch-shoulder look
10. MERLE Brokeback Wampum
9. JAMES Hello Dolly/Goodbye Deli
8. ERIK Leather Hunk
7. DAVIDA Seeing spots
6. MARIO Good Hummer Man
5. DANIEL Anything for a buck
Fresh from his record-breaking tour in “Brigadoon,” The Pine Valley Playhouse is Proud to Present
4. FREEMAN Like the chrome off a trailer hitch
3. JERRY Last Lap, Indy 500
2. MATT Utilikilting
1. TODD Sheer and see-thru… Peek-a-boobery
HEAR WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING!
Russ King in MANBOOBS—THE MUSICAL
with Elaine Stritch as Jim Dewsnap Lava-Lamp Lighting Design
“I saw it twice”— Josef Prochnow “Josef needs new glasses”— Tom Ophardt
Words & Music
Steve Scott “DESTINED FOR BROADWAY”
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Phil Payton Phil Payton & Doug Clark Eric Henerlau Vanya Leighton & Scott Byars Mel Liter Paul Marcum Paul Waters Paul Marcum Paul Infanti Mike DeSisto & Paul Marcum Deborah Parnell Shelby Dawson Deborah Parnell Eric Henerlau Andy Finch Darren Gallina Bill Eyler Vic Ceder Todd Fellegy Anne Uebelacker & Saundra Bryant Scott Byars Vic Ceder Eric Henerlau Eric Henerlau ???
Club Night, Golden Gate YMCA Golden Gate YMCA Golden Gate YMCA California Club Golden Gate YMCA Golden Gate YMCA Golden Gate YMCA St. Paulus Lutheran Church St. Paulus Lutheran Church Fly-in, Russian Center St. Paulus Lutheran Church St. Paulus Lutheran Church Temple United Methodist Church Temple United Methodist Church Temple United Methodist Church Temple United Methodist Church Temple United Methodist Church Temple United Methodist Church Most Holy Redeemer Church Fly-in, EVRC, MHR & School Cafeteria The Center Friends Meeting House Friends Meeting House Ebenezer Lutheran Church
Volunteers needed to organize the 25th Anniversary celebration (Fly-in?). We can make it happen only with your help! Please speak to a member of the Board of Directors.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Favorite color: Red. Sometimes purple or blue or yellow. Favorite food: Almost any kind of chicken and rice. If you could be any animal, what would you be? A sloth or a koala. Lucky number: 7: I was born on the 7th day of the seventh month. I have several 7s in my life. Favorite movie: A Clockwork Orange Favorite song: Pachelbel’s Canon in D Your hero/idol: Thomas Merton Other hobbies: Reading, computer graphics and such, baking, collecting hats, downloading porn Where born/raised: Born in Tyler, Minnesota, raised outside of Arco (population about 100, counting dogs and cats; the main business is a bar/liquor store, naturally), about 11 miles away. Went to school in Ivanhoe (population 719, a major urban area in those parts, yah, you betcha!) about seven miles in the other direction. As the youngest of eleven children (a Catholic farm family in Minnesota where the winters are cold and folks do what they have to do to keep warm), I learned early about crap flowing downhill, but managed to turn out okay. I think. WORST subject in high school: Woodworking Shop—nothing I made ever looked anything like it was supposed to. Ultimately, I’d put a groove in it and call it an ashtray. The teacher hated me. Education & training: It only took me 20 years to get my BA in Linguistics from San Diego State. My MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from SF State only took two years. Tell about your boyfriend(s): Ha! Applications are being accepted. Tell about your work: I taught foreigners to speak bad English with a strange accent. I spent more than two years teaching in a refugee camp in the Philippines for Southeast Asian refugees. I spent three years teaching rich kids in Seoul, Korea. All together I’ve lived about twelve years in Asia. What is the BEST thing about you: I have a warm, giving personality with a good sense of humor.
15. How & why did you start square dancing? Ed Mah, Josef Prochnow, and Nobu Yamagi were raving about how much fun they had square dancing, but I resisted mostly due to the hooky factor. Finally, I came out one evening in October 2002, and was hooked. Square dancing has done tremendous things for my life, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. 16. Funniest or happiest experience square dancing: Blindfolded dancing at the Blue class graduation. 17. Favorite call: Weave the Ring, Teacup Chain, Spin Chain & Exchange the Gears if I get to lead the parade, 18. Least favorite call: 8 Chain Thru 19. Favorite callers: Rich Reel, Eric Henerlau, Howard Richman, Michael Kellogg, Deborah Carroll-Jones 20. Favorite dance partners: The ones with good energy and a warm smile. 21. I like square dancing because it makes me feel energized, and I get to spend time with friends. 22. Tell about your club leadership roles. I started with the newsletter. It hadn’t been published regularly for some time, and I volunteered to do it. The first issue was pretty awful, but each one after that was a little better. I’ve very pleased to provide the finest gay square dance newsletter possible. Other club tasks fell into my lap, and Angel Island Picnics were revived. I was immensely honored when I was elected Administrator last fall. The New Year’s Dance was my idea, and I hope we can make it an annual event. 23. Future square dancing plans: I plan to stay with WSD for some time. I have no interest in taking Advanced class. Plus dancing is satisfying for me. 24. Personal plans: I hope to die before I get old, and have some fun along the way. 25. Advice to new dancers: While you should try to be the best dancer you can be, remember that some people have problems that affect their dancing—age, injury, medication, etc. Be patient with them. We are here to have fun. It isn’t a test nor is it a contest. Don’t take it too seriously. Go to the convention!
myself: a lazy way to fill up space (see #3 below)
The Newsletter Editor interviews the WSD Administrator or talking to
February 4 2:30-10 pm February 10-12
New Year’s Ball Capital City Squares. Jet Roberts calling. 2:30-5:30 A1,/A2/ C1* 7-10 MS/Plus/A1* Bell Avenue School, 1900 Bell Avenue, Sacramento PACE Ben Rubright calling. Friday A2 Diablo Light Opera Co. 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, Saturday C1/C4 American Musical Theater, 1717 Technology Drive, San Jose, Sunday C3A/C3 Pleasant Hill
February 15 7:30-9:30 pm
February 17-19 February 25 7:30-10-30 pm February 26 March 10-12 March 10-12 March 11 7:30-10:30 pm
CLUB NIGHT! Michael Levy caller. EVRC
ACDC VII DC Lambda Squares www.dclambdasquares.org/acdc/ ¾ Thru Winter El Camino Reelers Andy Shore calling. Plus/A2 $8/$10 St. Andrew’s Methodist Church, 4111 Alma Street, Palo Alto Midnight Squares Andy Shore calling. Details being determined. PACE Vic Ceder calling. Friday A2 Diablo Light Opera Co. 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill, Saturday C2/C4 Location TBA, Sunday C3A/C3 Pleasant Hill Rain Festival 2006 Puddletown Dancers www.puddletowndancers.org Flip the Flowers Diablo Dancers Anne Uebelacker calling. MS/Plus/A*. Details to be determined.
March 15 7:30-9:30 pm
March 18-19 March 24-26
CLUB NIGHT! Fen Tamanaha caller. EVRC
2nd Central Coast “Mini” Fly-in Cuesta Squares Vic Ceder, Darren Gallina, Dave Rensberger callers. MS-C1 Arch & Dive Thru St. Louis 2006 Gateway Squares Kris Jensen, Gary Monday callers. gatewaysquares.50megs.com/custom.html
March 25 7:30-10:30 pm
March 31-April 2
24th Anniversary Dance Eric Henerlau caller. MS/Plus/A* $8/$10 Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco
Philadelphia Freedom XIV Independece Squares independencesquares.org
Western Star Dancers 584 Castro Street #480 San Francisco, CA 94114
Happy 24th Anniversary
Leaving Edith Headless
HOLLYWOOD—As Women’s Wear Daily had predicted, couture from The House of Joe & Todd dominated the red carpet promenade throughout the recent awards season. Faux fur shoulders, African print Western wear, sheer glitter fabrics, and electric pinwheel pendants were all very popular among most of the award nominees and presenters. Starlets arrived in matching frocks; and rumor has it that Tom Cruise appeared in tablecloth chaps. Although jewelry from the Merle Adams Collection or from Paul Gonyea Designs continued to adorn the throats of the film industry elite, hypnotic, illuminated pinwheels are now the choice of Hollywood’s new edgy generation. But older Hollywood was also represented with Ed Mah in jewelry inspired by Freeman Stamper, and Joan Rivers mistook Davida for Virgina Graham.
Seeing Double. Faux Fur and Glittery Gossamer
The red carpet welcomed both Him and Her prints
Jewelry favored by Hillary Swank
Ed Mah wore his traditional Chanel
Davida in The Color Purple
MORE GLAMOR SIGHTINGS!
Matt and Steve attended the Peter Berlin Look-Alike Contest. Their baskets were unappreciated; however, congratulations must be extended to WSD Purple Class “Herselvis” Leigh Crow’s Whoa Nellies partner Peter Fogel, who actually won the coveted title. Happy Anniversary, April Fool and Ta-Ta from Tinsel Town!
Matt— Should have worn Chanel
Steve— Should have entered the Carol Channing Contest
Tablecloth Tom— Oilcloth chaps and fleshview shirt
April 15 7-10 pm
California Twirl into Spring Dance Foggy City Dancers. Joe Saltel caller MS/P/A* $8/$10. Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco Silent Auction
April 19 7:30-9:30 pm
April 20-23 April 21-23 April 22 7:30-10:30 pm April 28-30 May 4-7 May 5-7
Club Night! Ron Masker caller. EVRC
Southern Belle Meets Elvis Cotton Pickin’ Squares, Memphis, TN Todd Fellegy caller. Ropin’ the River 2006—Spin the Big Top Grand River Squares, Grand Rapids, MI Bronc Wise, Betsy Gotta callers Walk & Dodge into Spring El Camino Reelers. Seth Levine caller. P/A2* $8/$10 St. Andrew’s Methodist Church,
4111 Alma St., Palo Alto
Peel Off in Palm Springs 2006 Men Only Todd Fellegy caller. CCBC Resort, Cathedral City, CA Pass the Ocean Hon 20th Anniversary Chesapeake Squares. Callers: S. Bryant, E. McAtee, A. Ubelacker, D.
Hodge, M. Disisto. Rehoboth Beach, DE PACE (Fri-A2; Sat-C2, C4; Sun-C3A, C3) Barry Clasper caller. Diablo Light Opera Co. 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill
May 15 7:30-9:30 pm May 17 7:30-9:30 pm
Purple MS Class Completion Party, EVRC Club Night! Gary Young caller. EVRC
Stumptown Stomp Capital City Squares. MS/P/A/C1* Mike DiSisto, Eric Henerlau callers. Veteran’s Hall, Guerneville. Info: George (916-929-8697
May 22 7:30-9:30 pm
Free Intro to Plus. Rich Reel, Instructor. EVRC
Western Star Dancers 584 Castro Street #480 San Francisco, CA 94114
ONLY ten months remain until the Western Star Dancers’ 25th Anniversary Blowout! Details are few, but imaginative Todd Young, Special Events Coordinator, is heading up the committee. Volunteers to assist in this noble endeavor should call Todd (436-9161) or speak to him at class. This will not be a traditional fly-in, nor will it be merely a dance. What it will be remains to be seen, but we know it will be fabulous! THE Board of Directors is sponsoring a 25th Anniversary logo design contest. The contest is open to everyone in the whole world. Deadline for submissions is July 31, 2006. The author of the logo that is chosen will receive some sort of nice award or prize or honors. Anyway, give it a try, and you might win something!
Western Star Dancers now number 59, an increase in membership of nearly twelve percent over last year. In an era where straight square dance clubs are in a decline and gay clubs are being constantly challenged to maintain their membership, the Western Star is in ascendance. Club Administrator Daryl Daniels commented, “I’m ecstatic about the club growth. When I first joined the club a few years ago, the membership seemed lethargic. It is exciting to see the enthusiasm and energy that now characterize all of our activities.” Membership Coordinator Joe Casserly echoed those remarks, “Our club is doing fine and dandy. Attendance to our dances is up. We have an enthusiastic class. I do not see any [anticipated] crisis, and I don’t think that I'm being shortsighted.” Several fun activities are in the works. Besides the IAGSDC 23rd Annual International Convention in Anaheim over the July 4th weekend, which many of you will attend, there are some local plans. In August (date to be determined) we will host the annual Angel Island Picnic. Watch your mailbox for more information. WSD will hold a yard sale, probably in September. This is a chance for you to clean out some of the “treasures” you have accumulated, and let someone else enjoy them. Our attempts at a silent auction in the past were disappointing. We hope that a yard sale (in a really prominent location) will let us make some money, have some fun, and maybe recruit some new dancers. Our summer activities will culminate with the Castro Street Fair. Once again, we will have a booth with dancing. Plan now to join us in our primary recruitment activity. These are exciting days for the club. Join in. Don’t stop. Don’t slow down.
WSD—Bigger & Better
Quarter Century Countdown
The Western Star Dancers have entered their 25th year of square dancing and will be celebrating the completion of a quartercentury at festivities to be held in March of 2007. Of course, most of the WSD members were not dancing 25 years ago. Most were involved in other pursuits. Some were in diapers and were breast feeding (some still are). In 1982, the blockbuster movies were E.T. and Tootsie, San Francisco defeated Cincinnati in the Super Bowl (26-21), and the median household income was $20,171 (in current dollars). Jim, what were you up to in ’82? “I'd moved to San Francisco in mid-1980 (from a teaching job in South Carolina) with my 16-year-old daughter, Winter. I met my lover, Bob (a former Catholic priest), at 21st Street Baths in early '81.”
In 1982, Michael Jackson released “Thriller,” the biggest selling album in history; Ronald Reagan was in the White House; and the cost of a first-class postage stamp was 20 cents.
Matt—During his days as a driver for a fire department in Ohio.
“The Stage Door in Dayton—a twentyminute drive from Yellow Springs—was my favorite place for an after-work beer and game of pool. Walking in the front door, you Hey Matt, where were you in ‘82? would see a bar very similar to the Rainbow Cattle Company in “This is the group I worked with as a volunteer for thirteen years in the village of Guerneville. Next best place was The 1470, a club of mixed (but mostly Gay) patrons. Yellow Springs, Ohio.” Loved it. Learned a couple of now-forgotten line dances there. Met a few hotties, too.”
Jim enjoying a bay cruise in the early 1980s.
“By '82 I'd finally gotten a job (as a writer for Shaklee Corp.) that paid my share of the rent, and Bob and I and Winter, had moved in together.” Sadly, Bob is no longer living. Does your daughter still reside in the area?
“Square dancers have become my replacement in many respects for this group. Dance classes replace weekly skills training. Car fire calls and EMS response have become equivalents for Saturday night dances, and Convention is sort of like those rare barn fires, or working house fires that require a whole lot of neighbor people and equipment from all over the county.” “I owned and operated a foreign car garage in Yellow Springs during the ‘70s & early ‘80s. Then I went to work as the buildings and grounds director for a local, communitysponsored non-profit skilled nursing facility. That was a fantastic job—a real personal growth period spanning eight years.”
“Winter is married and she is living in Mt. Juliet, TN, (near Nashville).” Thanks, Daddy Jim, for your memories of days gone by.
Matt (right), pretending not to lust after the fire department’s medical doctor.
Thanks for sharing, Matt. And who would have thunk there were Castro Clones in Ohio during the ‘80s?
Having finally reached his purple prime, Matt recently graduated Mainstream (again).
Jim—Golden Gate Park, 25 years ago.
Jim—Applauding for Matt at Graduation, 2006.
Interview by Dan Smith
D: So your name is…? S: Steve Scott. D: Where were you born Steve? S: I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can’t tell by my southern accent. D: Where were you raised? S: My Father worked as an accountant for a construction firm so we literally lived all over the country. Whenever a dam was built or a bridge was finished, we moved on with the entire construction firm. I attended school in multiple states-South Dakota, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, West Virginia, etc. We moved every two or three years. D: How many sisters and brothers do you have? S: I’m an only child. D: Can you tell me your first realization about being gay? S: I have lots of memories of having ‘fun in the hayloft’ with my younger male cousin. Visiting my Grandparents in Arkansas was like summer camp because most of my cousins lived out in the country and had horses, cattle and chickens. I helped with the chores and rode the horse out to Spring Lake and played around in the barn. I really didn’t think of those experiences as being gay I was just having fun. In high school I did the hetero dating scene. I went to my junior and senior high school proms with a girl. I was always trying to have sex with everyone and anyone of either gender as much as possible. Well, it really only happened with guys (laugh)! After high school I kind of realized that… “Hm, maybe there is something to this?” I have an interesting coming out story, if you will. I attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and received a BA degree in Psychology. The final year I took a Sociology course. We were supposed to interview a criminal for our final paper; it was for half our grade. At that time, 1969, homosexuality was a crime in the state of Illinois and so I went to a Greyhound [station] (Steve chortles) picked up an older man (‘Older man’ at that time was someone about 35), had sex with him, got some information from him and wrote up an A+ paper. Those days it was pretty dark because homosexuality was a DSM diagnosis (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). That book was a labeling device for mental health disorders and homosexuality was in it. I was undeterred however (laugh) and I experimented a lot more. After that I got a Masters Degree in social work from the University of Oklahoma in Norman. And that’s where I really started experimenting sexually with men and, I’d say, really identified as being a gay man. S: Oh, well! Dancing, we want to get into dancing? I will credit my mother; she took me to a dance studio when I was about ten. It had ballet classes. I was the only boy in a class of girls. I absolutely hated it and I was awful at it too. The teacher said I wasn’t graceful. I went home and complained. Mother said, “Well they have tap dancing at that studio too.” I thought “That’s noise and that sounds interesting.” Well I was really good at that and I loved it. The class introduced me to rhythms and that’s very important in all kinds of dancing, including square dancing. I took individual lessons up through high school. I was quite good, if I say so myself. Out here in San Francisco it was disco! Let me tell you I was hitting the disco clubs every single weekend. I was a disco bunny and loved it. I also took a little country western, two-stepping. At rock concerts, I’d move to the beat. Music and dance has always been a part of my life. D: How did you get into square dancing? S: I had been in an 18-year relationship, and when it ended in 97 I thought, “What the heck am I going to do with myself?” One day I went to the Folsom Street Fair. I heard some country kind of music…came upon WSD’s booth and saw people dancing. I realized immediately, “Well that’s it of course; dancing, I’ve always loved dancing.” I saw it as an opportunity to meet people, well, specifically gay men. I actually thought, “Oh, who knows I might find my next lover, oh just any minute?” More then that, because it was in San Francisco and because I was going through what I was going through emotionally and it was a gay club and there were men dancing with men and it was ‘hugs all around’ at the end of the tip… Felix Fornino, who used to be an administrator of the club, was there with his lover. Felix gave me the application or the information and I signed up. (To be continued)
After college I got a job in Northeastern Arkansas at a Community Mental Health Center in Jonesboro. I worked there for about four years. Then in 1975 I decided that I had met my commitment to my home state and I needed to explore my sexuality a bit more. I literally went on a ‘happy homeground’ search. It struck me that maybe Phoenix, Los Angelis or San Francisco might be good places to, I don’t know, be who I am. So I explored those cities and it was a pretty easy choice. When I got off the plane in San Francisco, I remember it very clearly, I saw a man coming off the plane and being greeted by his boyfriend/lover with a big kiss. And I thought, “Well I’m going to live here.” D: Tell me about you and dancing.
June 3 7:30-10:30 pm June 4 2-5 pm June 9-11 June 17 7-10 pm June 18 2-5 pm
Diablo Dancers 16th Anniversary Dance Tim Crawford calling. MS/P/A $8/$10 Jewish Community Center, 2071 Tice Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek Midnight Squares A2 Graduation Tim Crawford calling. A/C1* $8/$10/Graduates Free Jon Sim Center, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco PACE Ross Howell calling. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am, 2:30 pm C1. Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3 Diablo Light Opera Co., 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Foggy City Dancers Pre-Pride, Pre-Convention Dance Mike Kellogg calling. MS/P/A* $8/$10 Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco Midnight Squares C2 Graduation Dance Mike Kellogg calling. C2/C3A* $8/$10/Graduates Free Jon Sim Center, 1519 Mission Street, San Francisco
June 21 7:30-9:30 pm June 24 7:30-10:30 pm June 30-July 3
Club Night Gary Young calling. Eureka Valley Recreation Center
Pride Dance Saundra Bryant calling. MS/P/A* $8/$10 Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco IAGSDC 23rd Annual Convention When You Wish Upon a Thar MS through C4 Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, CA
PACE John Sybalsky calling. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am, 2:30 pm C2. Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3 Diablo Light Opera Co., 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill
July 19 7:30-9:30 pm
Club Night Neil Heather calling. Eureka Valley Recreation Center
Western Star Dancers 584 Castro Street #480 San Francisco, CA 94114
Nominations are open for candidates for election to the Board of Directors. The annual club meeting and election will be on September 20. Nominations should be received by August 20. Bob Brundage, Joe Casserly, Daryl Daniels, Dan Smith, and Todd Young have announced that they will stand for another term. The club bylaws allow up to seven board members.
Club Notices -- Information You Can’t Live Without
debuts. This was Dave’s first year on the board. He was the Archangel for the Purple Mainstream Class. Both will be missed. E-mail and spam being what they are, the members of the board request that the Subject line of your email include “WSD.” Some of us, maybe all of us, receive huge amounts of spam. Flagging the subject line with “WSD” will help avoid inadvertent deletions. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. Get well wishes to Kip Mackey and Freddy Papapietro. Kip had back surgery that he says has greatly reduced the amount of pain
he experiences. He hopes to get back to square dancing soon. Freddy had abdominal surgery. He is home now recovering, but is quite weak. Hang in there, and hope to see you both on the dance floor again soon. Kip is feeling so good that he is hosting a pool party again this year. The Pool Party will be Labor Day weekend on Saturday, September 2 from 1-8 pm at 1035 Las Gallinas Avenue in San Rafael. Guests are requested to bring party foods to share, as well as whatever intoxicants you may desire. RSVP if you plan to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 4794759.
Joe Iser and Dave Murphy have resigned from the Board due to personal reasons. Joe had served several years on the board, most recently as the Dance Coordinator. He booked top-flight callers well in advance, and brought in a variety of club night callers, two of whom were making their calling
WSD Quarter-Century Countdown. Part 2 in a Series. Welcome back from Anaheim. Everyone had a good time: Cinderella went to the ball, and Daniel stalked Betsy Gotta for the second year in a row. Rich called a couple of swimming pool tips, Gary tried to pass for twink in the Under-30 specialty tip, and Grey squared up for A2 even though he has never studied A1. Luckily, Randy Laroche and David Laudon are juxtaposed alphabetically, so they were called simultaneously from opposite sides of the stage, received their 10-Year Medallions, embraced and were photographed hand in hand. Enough fun for now. We need to get back to business. So, as part of our 25th Anniversary Countdown, it is time to play Match the Mugshot. The numbered photos are either from about 25 years ago, or from when the poser was approximately age 25! Match them with the recent lettered photographs.
Time’s up. How did you do? Number 1=D: Our WSD Administrator Daryl. 2=E: Davida (Duh!). 3=C: Twinkle-toed and top hatted terpsichorean Steve. Number 4=A: Russ, who has been around WSD for nearly a quarter century. 5=B: Fred (during his stint in the army). Describing his days as a young buck in uniform, Fred says, “I went to Fort Roberts for training (infantry); but after 6 weeks I signed up to go to the State of Washington to be a radar operator. I wasn't crazy about that, so I became the Battery Clerk for the rest of my time there to complete my two years. I got drafted. I got a lot out of it—the first time in my life I was away from home. It was difficult but I managed.” That leaves Number 6=F: Last, but certainly not least, Merle. “Twenty-five years ago, I was playing softball with a pick-up team, and sometimes I’d go hiking to Mt. Tampalpias. We traveled a lot in 1982, also. My partner, Jed, and I would travel to his Chemical Conventions. I got to see a lot of U.S. cities—and to shop. In 1982, we went to some Gay motorcycle weekends. Also, spent a lot of our time supporting the S.F. Gay Chorus—we still do that.” They first met in 1957 in the Pacific Northwest, visited San Francisco the next year, then moved to The City in 1962. Merle remembers, “Our rent was $85 a month, furnished.” Times have changed. In 1978, they moved into the home on Diamond Heights where they still live.
MATCH THE MUGSHOT
Merle—soon after moving to San Francisco.
What is the secret of maintaining a relationship for 50 years, or even 25 years? “It’s a lot of work,” Merle explains, “and you don’t have to think like each other, but you have to respect each other.”
Merle and Jed—on a biker run. Debonair Fred—25 years ago.
Twenty-five years ago, Merle and Jed were celebrating 25 years together! They are now approaching their 50th Anniversary.
Thanks to my research, photo and proofreading staff (Gary, Daniel and Steve). And who would have thunk I’d be moist from thinking about Merle?
Steve Scott Interview Part 2 (Continued from last month) by Dan Smith STEVE: I took Ballroom dancing in junior to be twirled. That was easy, I mean I friends through it. When I’m walking with high. I was very popular at lunch breaks was one of the first ones over there to the my non-square dancer friends I always because when the kids went to the gym girl line and that continues to be my say, “Oh, that’s another square dancer, and turned on music I was the only boy favorite position. I’m, so called, bi-dancial that’s another square dancer.” I always dancer. The girls would dance together. now, I can dance the boy part also. I like feel very pleased about the fact that I’m The guys would just kind of sit watching. to think that I’m a pretty good boy, leader. recognized and I know other people Well I’d get out on the floor and dance, I love people who will allow me to twirl through this activity. I was invited to be on the Board by Alan making me very popular with the girls. I (Steve laughs) as much as I possibly can without spinning me out into the universe. Turpin who became a very, very good loved ballroom dancing. DAN: Did you ever dance with a guy as a D: You took the Basic/Mainstream class friend of mine. He was a part of a small at Western Star, did you immediately go group of square dance drag queens and I kid? became one of those. Alan Turpin’s drag to Plus? STEVE: No. S: I took the Plus class from WSD as soon name was ‘Crystal Ball’. Alvin had red as DAN: That’s sad. STEVE: Yes it is, knowing what people can as it was offered. Foggy City Dancers his color and my color was green and my do now legally and with support. I think started their Mainstream class well after name was ‘Tammy’. WSD so even though my WSD’s D: Was that name because of Tammy that’s terrific. DAN: Tell me about learning to square Mainstream class was not quite finished I Wynette? was able to Angel FCD’s new Mainstream S: And Tammy Tell Me True. It’s the dance? STEVE: I learned at Eureka Valley class. I learned Boy doing that. I did the country girl in me. D: Had you done any interesting drag Recreational Center. Ron Masker was my same thing with Plus if I recall correctly. activities before meeting Alan. first Mainstream caller. I remember that I D: How did you find Foggy City? loved it right away. I love it because you S: Andy Shore was teaching and I found S: When I lived in Northeastern Arkansas, that there were many in Jonesboro, working at my first post more squares so that education job there were no gay activities, was interesting in some literally, OK, period! So every weekend I ways but, I don’t know, drove for about an hour and a half to it felt a little crowded. Memphis Tennessee to a very famous What I got out of it was drag bar. I have memories of seeing a different Instructor, fantastic drag shows at that bar. Famous teaching things performers like I Will Survive, Gloria differently and I think Gayner performed there. Alan as you know is a very talented that is still a useful tool. D: Did you also move on seamstress. He has in his basement all to A level at some point? kinds of costumes. His favorite holiday is S: I guess spent a year Halloween. He and his lover Harold, who dancing Mainstream were both in Western Star, would go out then went onto Plus and on Halloween dressed as queen Elizabeth danced at that level, and Glenda the Good Witch from the which remains my Wizard of Oz. Because I was part of their favorite level for three entourage I was introduced to drag again. or four years. After that There were four of us (Alan, Alvin, I took Advanced class Douglass and myself), all members of the twice. A Class consists Board of WSD, the Rainbow Girls, who of A1 and A2. I still feel appeared at events like Castro Street Fair like I don’t get enough to recruit new class members. Western floor time with A and Star as you know does a color of the can be a single person and join a square don’t feel really strong at it. I enjoy going rainbow designation for the different once you learn the moves; the fact that to Midnight Squares, where you go at classes. We didn’t quit have 6 colors but the moves are a set of calls that are least in San Francisco to advance beyond we called ourselves the rainbow girls. We known across the world was really Plus. I have angeled the A class at least would go to the Castro Street Fair in appealing to me. complete drag and square dance and that two times and I’m doing that right now. D: Did you take girl or boy first? D: Cool, so you have a lot of experience. was a lot of fun. We also did that at the S: Oh girl, that was easy. Ron said, “The When did you first think about becoming convention. way to decide about being boy or girl: do D: Thank you Steve. some kind of official in Western Star? you want to twirl someone else or do you S: You know I have always felt grateful to S: No, thank you. want to be twirled?” Well, HELLO, I want the club because I have met so many
August 5 7:30-10:30 pm August 11-13 August 12 4-8 pm August 16 7:30-9:30 pm August 19 9:45 am-? September 2 1-8 pm September 8-10 September 9 10 am-6 pm September 9 7-10 pm September 20 7:30-9:30 pm September 23 7:30-10:30 pm September 25 7:30-9:30 pm October 1 All Day October 2 7:30-9:30 pm
Star Across Summer El Camino Reelers. Howard Richman caller. 5-7 pm Potluck/Intro (free), 7:30-10:30 pm Plus/A2 $8/$10 St. Andrew’s Methodist Church, 4111 Alma Street, Palo Alto PACE. Saundra Bryant caller. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am, 2 pm C1, Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3. Diablo Light Opera Co., 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Picnic & Promenade (Potluck Picnic & outdoor dancing in the Oakland Hills) Oaktown 8s. Bay Area callers. MS/Plus/A*tip $8/$10 Skyline Community Church, 12540 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland
Club Night Fen Tamanaha caller. EVRC
Angel Island Picnic. Rich Reel caller. $20 Advanced reservations suggested (includes ferry). Contact Todd (415) 436-9161 Kip Mackey’s Pool Party. Potluck. 1035 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael. RSVP: email@example.com or (415) 479-4759 PACE. Anne Ubelacker caller. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am, 2 pm C2, Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3. Diablo Light Opera Co., 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill WSD Yard Sale 4056 – 18th Street. Bring your stuff to sell. Buy good things. Volunteer to help raise money for your club! Harvest Dance Foggy City Dancers. Eric Henerlau caller. Class/MS/Plus/A*tip $8/$10 Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco
Annual Membership Meeting & Club Night Ron Masker caller. EVRC
Leather & Lace 2006 Andy Shore caller. MS/Plus/A*tip $8/$10 Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco Purple Plus Class Completion Party EVRC. Partners, friends invited. Castro Street Fair Volunteers needed to dance and help recruit. Rich Reel caller. Free Introductory Red Mainstream Class Rich Reel caller. EVRC
Western Star Dancers 584 Castro Street #480 San Francisco, CA 94114
The Red Mainstream Class of 2007 will square up with two free introductory lessons on October 2 and 16. This will be our first class since returning to Eureka Valley Recreation Center. The Board is hopeful that our fabulous venue in the heart of The Castro will facilitate recruiting. Hundreds of flyers and brochures are being distributed, and we have placed ads in the Bay Area Reporter. A good turnout is anticipated. The always-exciting, always-entertaining Rich Reel has again agreed to be our class caller. The class per se will begin on October 23.
The schedule calls for 26 weeks of Mainstream, followed by 15 weeks of Plus program. The cost of the class will be $100 for beginning dancers (a real bargain—and easy payment plans are available). Any former WSD members who wish to brush up on their dancing for our 25th Anniversary will be charged only $50. This is a special offer just for our Silver Anniversary. Bring your friends, partners, colleagues, classmates, roommates, comrades, buddies, homies, and amigos. They make the BEST dancers!
25th Anniversary Countdown Third in a series
Babies, Barbies and Bargains While some current Western Star Dancers were already promenading with crinolines aflutter 25 years ago, a few others had only just learned to walk. Now, not only can they walk and dance, some can dance and jump at the same time!
Turning back the hands of time, Ammon relates what
he was up to in the early 1980s. AMMON: Little Heartbreaker
Gary and Daniel—Anaheim ‘06
Daniel—Caught in the act.
Gary—During the Truman Administration.
“During the time when these pictures were taken I was a young lad living with my mom and my grandparents in Melrose, Massachusetts, which is a suburb of Boston.”
At left—Ammon sitting on some old guy’s lap.
EXCLUSIVE! Brenda interviews Gary
Brenda Line: So, how is it that you got to be included in the group who were tiny tots 25 years ago? Gary: I danced in the “Under-30 Tip” at the Convention this year. Brenda: Are you sure you’re under 30? Gary: I have a dangle to prove it.
“My favorite pastimes included watching game shows on TV with Grandma (shows like
"Card Sharks", "Jokers Wild", and "The Price is Right") and playing with my cousin Tracy, who lived just down the road. I used to think that Tracy had all the coolest toys, including a Jacuzzi spa for her Barbie dolls, and a board game called "Bargain Hunter", which was all about shopping at the mall using credit cards. Such joy. I didn't have too many career aspirations at age 3, although I do remember that I really wanted to be one of the kids on Sesame Street.” Daniel liked to spend quality time with his grandma, too. At age three, he was living in Florida, spending most of his toddler time munching on Cheerios, and devouring ice cream cones. In those bygone days, his favorite flavor was vanilla. And, his favorite pastime was reading “The Charlie Brown Encyclopedia” with Grandma (most likely because he did not have a cousin with Barbie dolls or credit cards).
Creamy lips—Probably ice cream.
Oh Baby, Baby Fearful that our readership might fall if we do not move on to more mature subjects, we decided to focus on Bob in his sporty foundation garments.
Keeping limber—This position might come in handy some day.
All grown up.
Bob modeling NY Wrestling Team shirt Looking back to a quarter century ago, Bob remembers, “I was living in S.F. at that time, but was a member of the New York wresting club. I always have been interested in wrestling, sexual and pro style. I was also a member of wrestling clubs here in S.F. Being from New Jersey, I had a certain bond with some guys from New York. They asked me to join their club. This pic-ture was taken for their monthly newsletter back when I was the Wrestler of the Month.”
An Interview with Marilynn Fowler by Dan Smith
D: Your name is? M: Marilynn Fowler. D: So Marilynn where were you born? M: San Francisco. D: Oh wow! And have you lived here all of your life? M: Pretty much, yea. I went to Grattan Elementary when I was really little, then to Westmoor High in Daly City. I also have a BA from Berkley in Social Science field major, with emphases in mass communication and Social Psychology. D: So that’s what you do for a living? M: No I build web pages. I used to work at this company, I call it the evil company; it’s the evil place. I was building a data base for them, so they lent me a computer because I didn’t have one at home. While using the computer I thought, “Well what’s this thing they call the web?” I found free Email and a free web site. So I went to this web site and I followed the template. One day I wanted to do something more then what the template offered. Again I thought, “I wonder what would happen if I did this?” and “Oh! It worked, it worked.” I went on line, found tutorials and taught myself. With the web you see right away what you’ve made. “Well I’ll try this, how does that look? Um no; OK change this. OK THAT’S what I want!” I like the challenge of figuring out the Java script. How to get it to work the way I want it. D: How did you happen to hear about square dancing? M: Through Joe and Todd. They invited me one evening and everyone was having a good time. I also went to Class Completion. Joe and I go way back, we’ve known each other since 1988 or 1989. I met Todd through Joe when they started going out. In fact I live in Joe’s old apartment. Its fun to say, “Oh let’s do gay square dancing. You want to come with us?” I like all the little stylings. A bunch of my friends came to class completion and they loved it. Well, one woman really wasn’t in to it but her friend Zach just loved it. We think he’ll be coming back and I think my friend Steven might want to square dance and my friend Jon expressed a real interest. I enjoy it because my friends are in it. When I went to the freebie thing (Class) and there was Leigh and Laurie, in addition to Joe and Todd; that sealed the deal. D: And already you’ve impressed us by calling two tips. M: Those were memorized. I didn’t … they’re not extemporaneous. D: They may be memorized but they were executed flawlessly without any nervousness apparent what so ever and without squares breaking down really. M: Oh! (Marilynn laughs) D: Do you want to continue with that? M: I think it would be fun. Part of my history was as a choreographer. I used to be a dancer with a group called Voice Farm and at this club named The Box on Divisidero, we were The Box Dancers. things you’re suppose to be doing depending on what the musicians are playing. D: You’ve done a lot of dancing and choreography. Did you go to Rich’s Caller Lab several weeks ago? M: Yes. I sucked but it was fun. It was so hard ‘cause I had all these people standing there looking at me expectantly and I’m standing there going, “Hummmm…” and they’ll be whispering little helpful hints…”Do this.” I realized I had no idea what it was I needed to do to get the people back where they need to be. I remembered the stuff Rich told us on how to resolve things but otherwise I had no clue. (Marilynn softly claps her hands together). I like the kaleidoscopic nature of managing people. I think that Calling would give me that ability to manage a group of people. D: Have you done any other artistic things? M: Well once I had a fake art show. I knew this woman who had a hair salon slash art gallery. She Ask me, “Want to have an art show?” and I said, “Sure.” So I made up all this fake art…” D: Why is it fake art? M: Because I’m not an artist. It was just like drawing all this stuff. I did a couple of paintings; I did some collages with stuff I got from the Weekly World News…I cut out “Is your roommate a space alien?” I said I was the daughter of a Senegalese expatriate and a Dutch lesbian or something like that. I gave all my friends, who were coming, lines to say; things you’d hear at a pretentious art gallery, such as “Oh I think it is terrific, of Mahler.” D: “This reminds me of Vermeer.” (We both laugh) M: Oh I’m a deejay at a radio station, KPOO; Poor Peoples Radio, Monday 9a.m. to noon. I play the blues. I get lots of callers. They’re the ones who help me make the show. I also started fencing at the end of 87. D: Why? M: Because it’s chess with blades. I’m a member of Halberstadt Fencers Club which is on 17th and South Van Ness; I fence foil. In foil it’s all about right of way and only the torso is the target. D: Is there anything else that you want to do that you haven’t done yet? M: Oh there’s tons of things. I want learn how to weld, hula dance, silkscreen and I want to learn how to play the piano. D: Thank you! M: And thank you.
Joe (Casserly) was also a Voice Farm dancer. He came on probably a year after I did. Then I did some choreography for some shows… D: Tell us about the shows? M: My favorite show that I did choreography for was Hillbillies on the Moon, it was a musical and Leigh Crow and Laurie were in it. Leigh was one of the two hillbillies and I was the evil insect queen…Oh! The other show I really liked was Women’s Prison Christmas. That was fun although I didn’t choreograph it. And my favorite show that I choreographed where I hated the show would be Rocky Horror Superstar. I loved all the people that I met but it was a disaster. But the dancing was flawwwwless, I was really happy. D: Have you done any other kind of dancing? M: I tried the Brazilian martial art Capoeria until I got kicked in the head and realized that it was just a little bit beyond me. Then I learned the Cuban couples dance called Danzó́n. With Danzó́n you have to listen to the music because there’re specific
October 2 7:30-9:30 pm October 6-8 October 7 7-10 pm October 14 7:30-10:30 October 16 7:30-9:30 pm October 18 7:30-9:30 pm October 23 7:30-9:30 pm November 3-5 November 4 7-10 pm November 11 7:30-10:30 pm November 12 November 15 7:30-9:30 pm November 18
Red Mainstream Free Intro Night, EVRC – Angels Needed!
PACE, Betsy Gotta caller. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am & 2:30 pm C1, 7:30 C4, Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3. Diablo Light Opera Co. 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Oaktown 8s Gotta Pass the Pumpkin. Betsy Gotta caller. MS/P/A* $8/$10 Redwood Heights Elementary School, 4401 – 39th Avenue, Oakland Diablo Dancers Spin Chain & Exchange the Seasons. Pat Carnathan caller. MS/P/A* Jewish Community Center, 2071 Tice Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek
Red Mainstream Free Intro Night, EVRC – Angels Needed! Club Night Fen Tamanaha caller. EVRC Red Mainstream 2007 Class begins. Rich Reel caller/instructor. EVRC. Angels Needed!
PACE, Ett McAtee caller. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am & 2:30 pm C1, 7:30 C4, Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3. Diablo Light Opera Co. 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Foggy City Dancers 23rd Anniversary Dance. Mike DeSisto caller. Class/MS/P/A* $8/$10 Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco El Camino Reelers Trade by Fall. Todd Fellegy caller. P/A2 $8/$10 St. Andrews Methodist Church, 4111 Alma Street, Palo Alto Midnight Squares Dance with Todd Fellegy caller. Details to be determined.
Club Night Ron Masker caller. EVRC
Prime 8s & Capital City Squares Afternoon of Dancing & 25th Silver Anniversary Dance. Phil Farmer caller. 25 pm A2, 7-10 pm MS/P/A* Afternoon $7 Evening $8 Bell Avenue School, 1900 Bell Avenue, Sacramento For the latest dance information, check www.bayareadancecalendar.org National & International events can be found at www.iagsdc.com Click on Events
Western Star Dancers 584 Castro Street #480 San Francisco, CA 94132
2007 Red MS Class Got the Mojo!
Bright new Faces, High Energy, four squares of Dancers
students in the class, as well as three angels returning to active duty. Archangel Todd Young is absolutely ebullient when speaking about the class. “These are really good dancers. Many of them have previous dance experience, and that helps.” Instructor Rich Reel was pleasantly astounded when four squares formed on the floor. He has never seen that before while teaching for WSD. Registered for the Red MS Class are: Marilynn Fowler (retaking) Connie Champagne Scott Cunningham Steve Huggins Janet Jacobs Dani Lawler Steven Miller David Ramirez Donald Robertson Michael Sui Kathy Tuccio Eloise Twining Jon Wessel Mark Yee The returning angels are: Mimi Mueller Mike Kleemann Greg Gomez (from Cap City Squares) Angels are always great to have around. Come down and join us on Monday nights! lectricity was zinging through the air during the first night of the 2007 Red Mainstream Class at Eureka Valley Rec. There are 14
25 ANNIVERSARY COUNTDOWN
Part 4 in a series
Acknowledging our quarter-century theme, for the past few issues of the newsletter, several dancers have volunteered to share a moment in time and let us know where they were and what they were up to 25 years ago—or when they were age 25 themselves and celebrating their own quarter-century. ______________________________________ - Simulated and Stimulated Steve Trips Down Memory Lane Brenda Line Interviews Tomάs Twenty-five years ago, I had just moved in with the man who would be my
Brenda: So far, Merle is in the lead in the national “I Would Have Done Him” Poll. The line of former young bucks continues to step up to the plate. Tomas, where were you as you approached age 25? Tomas: I was in the U.S. Army, stationed in El Paso, Texas. I was at Biggs Field to study Vietnamese with the Defense Language Institute. I’m sure that comes in handy for reading menus. What did you do for fun in those days? Once I went to a bar across the boarder in Juarez, Mexico. A woman sitting next to me had a cough, so I offered a lozenge. And what did she offer you? It turned out that she was a performer in the simulated sex show there; so she got me naked to join her in the show. In order to control my stimulation, the Master of Ceremonies kept inserting cocktail straws into my butt. How picturesque… lover for 18 years. We lived in a top corner apartment in Presidio Heights with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Russian Hill area of San Francisco. We were both into going to the gym. We had two cats that lived until age 20. The cats were both male, and we called them "Fred" and
New class members may not realize that WSD will soon be celebrating a milestone anniversary.
"Ethel"...one was a swish, so it worked.
Construction Worker Steve
THE DILEMMA OF THE EARLY ‘80s: Trying to decide which of The Village People to emulate. I had a Master's in Social Work; but I had been working as a bar back in a gay bar, also in retail, as a waiter in a cafe, and doing data processing. I was on the verge of making the connections that would lead to a social work career working with the developmentally disabled. The SF Gay Freedom Day Marching Band had several offshoot groups, including the SF Tap Troupe. I performed with this group for several years in such venues as Davies Hall, The Closet Ball, Men Behind Bars, and even the Hollywood Bowl. Dancing (disco, tap, or square) has always been a part of what I do for fun.
Soldier boy Tomάs— Out of uniform.
We had better go back to discussing how you helped make the world a safer place for Democracy. I went to Vietnam during the war to serve as an interrogator. I was supposed to be interrogating POWs from the North Vietnamese Army; but when my colleague arrived, he discovered me learning folk dancing from the POWs. War is hell.
Sexagenarian Tomάs with his faux-Gal Pal, the ageless Davida Ashton
He’ll never guess where that cocktail straw might have been
My favorite color used to be Red, but now that I’m in my ‘70’s, it has mellowed to Yellow. My favorite food is Roast Lamb with mint sauce. If I could be any animal, I’d be a giraffe. I have no lucky number. My favorite movie is Robert Altman’s Nashville. One of my heroes is Bill Clinton. Other than square dancing, I guess reading is my favorite hobby (non-fiction rather than fiction). I write some, too.
My worst subject in high school was physics (I should have taken chemistry!) Had it not been for Sylvia Waters, my lab partner who rigged all the experiments, I never would have passed. I went to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, for my B.A. Then on to Navy Officer Candidate School and three years aboard the USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938), a brand new Destroyer. Got to go through the Panama Canal and down to Peru. Got to go on a State Department cruise to 14 countries in Africa (from Dakar on the west coast to Dar es Salaam on the east coast. Spent six months in the Mediterranean. Got out of the Navy in Charleston, SC, and landed a job as a City Reporter for The Charleston Evening Post. Met my wife when we were cast opposite each other in a play at Charleston’s Dock Street Theatre. Thence to Penn State for an M.A. in Theatre Arts. And finally, years later, I got my Ph.D. in English Literature at The University of Georgia. Have been Chairman of the Drama Department at Brenau College in Gainesville, GA; an Associate Professor of English at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA; and ended my teaching career as Professor and Chairman of the English Department at Francis Marion College (now University) in Florence, SC. My marriage lasted 10 years. I have two daughters: Winter Frennier, who lives in Mt. Juliet, TN, (outside of Nashville) and Amanda Redding, who lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC (across the Cooper River from Charleston). I have three grandchildren: Josh, Jami, and Anne Kathryn.
I moved to San Francisco in 1980 (twenty years in the Deep South was enough!) and started clawing my way up the corporate ladder. Worked for Shaklee Corporation as a writer and manager of a Sales Communication department for five years. Was laid off in ’86 and subsequently decided that working for morons was no longer an option for me. I got certified as a massage therapist and became a registered Jin Shin Do acupressurist and worked at home until I retired last year. To supplement my income, I wrote gay erotic fiction and published 30 stories between 1987 and 2000 when the internet put most of the sexy pulp magazines out of business. I still write occasionally for an internet site (Masculine Gay Men Stories) out of Knoxville, TN, run by a guy named Hawkman. In San Francisco, I’ve had two partners: the first was Bob Dreher, a former RC priest whom I met at The 21st Street Baths in ’81. We were together for eight years until he died of AIDS in ’89. I met Jim Turnipseed on my massage table in late ’90. We became a couple in ’94, dividing our time between Fair Oaks, CA, and SF. He died of a heart attack in ’96 at the age of 42. I’ve opted since to live alone. I started square dancing in 2001 when a bowling buddy, Gordon Levitt, told me he’d started a beginner’s class. “I got more hugs last night than I have in the past three months!” he said, and that sold me. I gave up bowling and joined the Orange Mainstream class. I began dancing just in time to join the festivities of the 20th Anniversary Fly-in. And I’ve been dancing ever since. I was treasurer of the club for two years (2002-03) and am now back on the Board as secretary. I think joining Western Star Dancers was the best decision I’ve made in the past 6 years. I’d say that 90% of my friends now are square dancers since most of the friends I’d made in the ‘80’s are no longer here,
I was born and raised in northern New Jersey (about 25 miles west of NYC). Born in Bloomfield, NJ, and reared in Cedar Grove, NJ. I went through the 8th grade in Cedar Grove, but had to go back to Bloomfield for high school as Cedar Grove was too small and rural to have its own high school in those days.
An interview by Dan Smith
D: What is your name? B: Bob Brundage. D: Where were you born? B: Orange, New Jersey; in the Northern part. D: Mother and Father? B My Mother was a waitress, then a secretary. She’s 84 and is still in New Jersey. Father’s passed away. He was a truck driver for a small company. D: Where did you go to school? B: I went to West Essex’s High School in New Jersey. I attend Muhlenberg College in Allentown Penn.; a Lutheran school. I majored in Mathematics. I graduated in 1968. D: After you left school what did you do? B: I worked for AT&T. That was before it broke up. Sometimes they had transfers available. I got one and moved to California. I loved it here and haven’t been back in 30 years, except to visit. I moved to the San Jose area first; it was nice. I mean it was California, something different. I lived in a singles complex and was young. I sat around the pool. It was kind of fun to be warm in the winter time. I was only there for about two years. That was 1976, I kind of realized I was gay and thought there was a better chance to be
happy in San Francisco. I got a computer job at a business that was very disorganized. For about 5 or 6 months I did nothing but push papers around. I finely got so bored that I quit. I’d always wanted to go to Europe so I spent about three weeks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I had a good time. When I came back I took a job at a small 95 room hotel and I’ve been there for almost 30 years. I do everything: answer questions, give directions, make reservations and help with bills. Lots of times our manager is not at the front desk so I become a site manager. I direct the bell man, “Do this. It’s got to be done.” Often there’s only one person on the desk so I’m security too. If I see someone coming in who I feel shouldn’t be there I question them and shoo them out. I’ve had people kind of swear at me because I’ve pushed them out the door. So we’re Jack-of-all-Trades. D: When you came to San Francisco did you get any kind of social activities going on or were you a bar and bath person? B: I did get into a wrestling club. We were a bunch of guys interested in wrestling who liked to get together. A guy over in Bernal Heights had a ring so we all fooled around there. He also had a pool, so we had parties. Some guys would go down and wrestle and some guys would set around the pool. Sometimes the man in Bernal Heights would say, “OK you guys are invited over and if you only want to wrestle fine but if you meet somebody and have a private match afterwards…” But a lot of times guys at the ring just wanted to wrestle. They were serious about it. I also belonged to a New York wrestling group; I had my name on a list of guys interested in wrestling and when guys passed through they’d call me up and see if we wanted to get together. One time I and a gay were at the Hyatt Regency down at Embarcadero and we put the bed up
against the wall and while we were wrestling the bed fell down on top of me but I wasn’t hurt. Wrestling is fun. D: How did you find out about square dancing? B: I had a lover for 14 years and when we broke up, a friend Gary Linders, who was President of Foggy City Dancers at the time, suggested it to me. He tried to push me. It took me about a year before I’d actually do it. I was sort of resistant at first. Finally I said, “OK, I’ll try it.” I wanted to meet guys so that’s why I went into square dancing. I enjoyed square dancing at Foggy City, one night I heard that Western Star had their club night and I started going there. Steve Scott asked me if I wanted to join and I said. “Yes, why not? The price is right; it’s not that expensive.” D: What’s your favorite level to dance at? B: I just finished A2 at Midnight Squares last April and I still want to perfect it more. For now Plus is my favorite level. I’ve also danced at Diablo, El Camino. I went to PACE a couple of times with Don Queen-the Queen brothers. A lot of straight people are there. I danced Girl there but I don’t feel real comfortable doing that. Being from New Jersey I danced at the Times Squares in New York when I went back last Christmas. I saw Ammon there, Betsy Gotta was calling. D: What’s been your favorite experience in square dancing; something you really enjoyed? B: It’s my feeling is that it’s a way to meet guys and sometimes guys you wouldn’t normally meet or fit into your…you know like bear type guys, people who are different then your own classification. I enjoy just the interaction of being with a whole bunch of guys. D: When did you become interested in becoming an officer (Treasurer) for Western Star? B: Joe Iser was the one who sort of pushed me to do it. He told me, “Why don’t you get on?” So I said, “OK I’ll try it.” I’ve been on the Board for a year and a half. I like controlling money. I’ve always been a finance person. D: Has the club set aside any money for 25th Anniversary? B: We have some CD’s [Certificates of Deposit] and one of them will be put it in our checking account and it’ll be used as we need money for the 25th Anniversary. D: So there wouldn’t be a financial problem with the event as long as the club is sensible? B: Right exactly. D; Thank you Bob. B: You’re welcome.
In order to keep members informed of the affairs of the club, the Board of Directors decided to publish our minutes. Any comments may be directed to any board member. Members are welcome to attend board meetings.
Annual Meeting – September 20, 2006
The Western Star Dancers Annual Meeting was called to order at the Eureka Valley Rec. Center by Administrator Daryl Daniels at 8 p.m. Daniels announced that all six club members running for the 2006-07 Board had been elected: Bob Brundage, Joe Casserly, Daryl Daniels, Jim Dewsnap, Russ King, and Todd Young. Daniels reviewed the past year of club activities. He also mentioned the fact that two Board members had resigned mid-term. A discussion followed regarding the resignations having to do with a push to merge another club with ours. Our September 9th garage sale netted $444.05, and we received a $200 ‘credit’ from Community Thrift with the proceeds going to the Aids Emergency Fund. The next item of business was a discussion of plans for the 25th Anniversary celebration in March 2007. The consensus was that this would not be a full weekend Fly-In. Plans are for a gala party/dance on Saturday evening, with other activities taking place in and around the weekend. Russ King voiced his wish that an emphasis for the celebration should be the inclusion of former members of Western Star. The Anniversary Celebration committee will meet again in November. Former Administrator Steve Scott voiced his appreciation for the outgoing Board for having provided us a very ‘vital’ year. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
A discussion followed on how best to encourage more member participation in organizing and attending club functions. Various incentives were suggested. The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
Board Meeting, October 21, 2006
All Board members were present. Administrator Daryl Daniels called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m. The minutes of the September Board meeting were approved. The Administrator gave a ‘well done’ for the Castro Street Fair but added there was not as much member participation as one would hope. Rich Reel has been given his contract for the 2006-2007 Mainstream [$300] and Plus [$300] classes. He will return it when signed. Our agreement with Rich is if there are more than 15 students, the pay increases to $350, and if there are more than 20 students, the pay will increase to $400. Roles for the new Board have been defined as follows: Administrator: Daryl Daniels Treasurer: Bob Brundage Secretary: Jim Dewsnap Dance Coordinator: Russ King Class Coordinator/Archangel: Todd Young Special Events/Anniversary Coordinator: Joe Casserly [Webmaster: Joe and Todd will take this over until a new Webmaster is found.] Because the 2007 IAGSDC convention will be held over Memorial Day weekend, we will plan a Fourth of July picnic on Angel Island instead of an August picnic. The Treasurer’s report was accepted. The Class Coordinator reported there are 14 prospects for the new Mainstream class. Todd will contact all of them before the first class on September 23. It was agreed that there would be no limit to the number of new students. The Dance Coordinator reported that we have booked all three of our 2007 dances at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. They have raised their rental rate to $300 plus $75 for the janitor (up from $200/$50). All callers for our major dances have been secured. No Club Night callers have been booked as yet. The Special Events/Anniversary Coordinator reported on tentative plans for the 25th Anniversary. The proposals include events on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. There was a brief discussion as to how to get more member participation at our events. It was strongly suggested that we involve new members. The next Board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on November 20. The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Board Meeting, September 30, 2006
Members present: Brundage, Daniels, Dewsnap, Young Administrator Daryl Daniels called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. The minutes of the Annual Meeting (September 30) were approved. Daniels stated for the record: “As long as I am Administrator of Western Star Dancers we will not merge with another club.” He gave a “Well done!” for both the Yard Sale (9/9) and the Leather and Lace Dance (9/23), commenting on the “curious lack of WSD members at the dance – only 18.” Final plans were made for the start of the Red Mainstream Class (10/2) and the booth at the Castro Street Fair (10/1). The Board decided to raise Rich Reel’s remuneration for teaching/calling the class from $250 to $300 with an added bonus if we have more than 14 students. Discussions of roles for the new Board and of a possible 4th of July picnic were tabled until the next Board meeting (scheduled for 10/21). The Treasurer’s report was approved. Daniels reported that callers are already booked for next year’s dances and that Russ King is working on scheduling callers for class nights.
December 2 7:30-10:30 pm December 9 December 16 7-10 pm
Diablo Dancers: Relay the Reindeer Mike Kellogg caller. MS/Plus/A* Jewish Community Center, 2071 Tice Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek PACE: Caller Appreciation. 11 am C1, 2:30 pm C1 Diablo Light Opera Company, 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Celebration of the Life of Tommy Valdez Fen Tamanaha & Richard Tuck callers. MS/Plus/Floor FREE Bring food to share. Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco
December 20 7:30-9:30 pm
December 25 January 1 January 7 2-5 pm January 12-14
Holiday Party with White Elephant Gift Exchange Rich Reel caller. EVRC Happy Holidays! No dancing. Celebrate responsibly.
Midnight Squares: Winter Dance Kris Jensen caller. A2-C3A (tentative) Other Details TBA PACE, Mike Jacobs caller. Friday 7:30 pm A2, Saturday 11 am & 2:30 pm C2, Sunday 11 am C3A, 2:30 pm C3. Diablo Light Opera Co. 1948 Oak Park Boulevard, Pleasant Hill
January 17 7:30-9:30 pm January 22
Club Night Surprise Guest Caller! EVRC
Free at Last! M.L. King Day No dancing. Shop responsibly.
For the latest dance information, check www.bayareadancecalendar.org National & International events can be found at www.iagsdc.com Click on Events
March 21, 2007, in conjunction with our 25th Anniversary Celebration Performers (talented or otherwise) needed! Contact Russ King or Joe Casserly to sign up
Club La Star –
The Next Generation
Western Star Dancers 584 Castro Street #480 San Francisco, CA 94114
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