The Last Chicken Hop

National Square Dance Convention in St. Paul

On June 2, the Wegeners and the Masts traveled to Boulder Creek to attend the 'last Chicken Hop'.  Joel Kadish, Harold Fleeman, Keith Ferguson, Roger Smith and Donn Thomson shared the calling with John Flora and Charlie Eskin doing a great job on the rounds.  Unlike many past years, the weather was marvelous, just right for dancing.  The chicken dinner was ample, too ample and Richard and I had to dance a lot to wear it off.  The floor was always full or nearly so, but not over crowded, except near the beginning, before people headed off to eat.  A bus load of dancers came down from San Francisco.  The recycle room had lots of offerings.  The presentations to the callers and cuers was special this year in that Harold had called every Chicken Hop, Joel most of them, and Roger called at some of the first ones.  Each had a few words to say about his association with the Chicken Hop.  Mary Chambers of the B&B's paid an emotional tribute to the callers and the years of Chicken Hops.  It is sad to think that this might truly be 'the Last Chicken Hop'.
Mary Jane & Richard Wegener

Amtrak got us to St. Paul, MN right on time.  The weather was fairly mild, not too hot or humid.  There were 8811 dancers registered at the convention.  We met people from many states, mostly from the midwest and Florida.  There were not as many international dancers as there were last year.  California came in fifth with 465 attendees, after Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois.  We spent most of our dancing time in the plus halls.  They did some DBD dancing in that hall and we found that Jim has us well prepared to keep up with all of that.  We stopped by Bertie's  booth in the vendor hall to model our Krazy Dazy outfits. She was pleased to see them.  We watched a few exhibition dances.  Kristina was impressed by the cloggers.  The big event this year was the bridge dance.  A record was set by having 6,000 people dancing on the Wabasha Bridge at one time.  Unfortunately, we were on a tour that day so we didn't get to participate. We heard that they really got the bridge moving.  We got to see many of the sites of the Twin Cities.  Our hotel was a healthy walk from the convention center.  St. Paul had 104 Lucy (from Peanuts) statues scattered around and we had fun trying to spot them.  We walked past the Fitzgerald Theater several times, but Garrison Keiller was away on tour.  Kenneth loved the science museum, conveniently located across the street from the convention center.  We spent a day and too much money at the Mall of America.  We took a gangster tour and learned about how St. Paul provided a safe haven for many eluding the prohibition laws.  St. Paul Cathedral was quite impressive, designed after the one with the same name in Vatican City.  It was a great trip, but we're glad to be home.  Next year's national convention will be in Oklahoma City.  We currently have no plans to attend.
Carolyn Bircher & Family 

July 4th Dancing in Campbell

July 4th found the Baxters, Gaddys and Wegeners celebrating at the American Legion Hall in Campbell, dancing to the calling of Mike Luna and our own Jim Osborne.  We were joined by 2 plus other squares for a fun-filled afternoon of square, round, line and country-western dancing.  There were lots of food and drinks and door prizes of night lights made by Mike.  The weather started off being pleasant, and although the hall warmed up during the mid-afternoon it cooled off nicely toward the end of the dance.  Many people wore square dance duds, but others were in cooler garb expecting a hot hall.  Red, white and blue was in abundant display and besides valley dancers there were couples from Gilroy and Santa Rosa.
MaryJane and Richard Wegener

Anniversaries

Dancing at Santa Clara County Fair

Barry & Sandy Binge    July     2nd
Bill & Ellie Foy                           4th
Jon & Linda Soule                     6th
Bill & Laurie Landauer             12th
Ron & Betty Pangborn             17th
Joe & Shirley Keever                23rd
Al & Rosemary Gaddy              26th
Judy Morton-Wirth    August      5th
Mark Randolph & Stephanie Flaniken
                                                     13th
Lynn & Rosanne Hofland           14th
Wilson & Kittie Chang                28th
Charlie & Sherrie Cardona         29th

There will be square dancing at the Santa Clara County Fair on Friday, August 2, from 7-10 PM and on Saturday, August 3, from 2-10 PM.  Everyone gets in free and do wear square dance garb and badges.  There is a parking charge so car-pool if you can.

Please submit any  festival reports and articles to kenfield@earthlink.net