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Promenader Dance

Sept. 27, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]

There were happy moments: and perhaps none happier than when we called Betty and Andy to the stage, to recognize and thank them for their many years of service, transforming our beloved Promenader from an informative instrument into a world-class square dance magazine -- one that advertisers lined up to insert full-page ads in, and one that we anxiously awaited seeing each time a new issue came out. It had become an “art form” with a usefulness and convenience that kept us going back to it many times, as it kept us quickly informed - “Hey, where is that special dance we don’t want to miss?”

Right on the front page of course! And all of the routine dances were right where people always open a magazine to: the inside back pages!

Again Betty and Andy, thank you for your more than 16 years of keeping us all on the same page …and now for continuing to help as we transition to the new “normal.” That’s right. The world has changed!

Now we want whatever we need to know to be right at our fingertips. With just a swipe and a couple of clicks on this new ePromenader, we can not only discover where the dances are scheduled, we can also find them with a map that shows us exactly where they are located… You don’t know where the Pieters Family Life Center is? Click, and there you are.

If you are reading this, you have already accessed So check out its many features. Sid Marshall, Peter Emmel, Betty Ludwick, and the rest of our Development Team are doing a great job on this -- and we are making continuous improvements.

But, getting back to the dance, there were sadly reflective moments too. But, life goes on, as you can see in the picture of Ken Georger, bravely showing up, doing his thing at the check-in table, as are many others. There was a lot of work to do. I carried in more than 30 bags of clothes that had been stored at Mike and Ann Herne’s home, and soon a swarm of all of you out there were helping get everything set up… and sales were brisk, and thankfully so. Even our new electronic format has costs involved, so we appreciate your on-going support.

Thanks to all of you that showed up, and a special thanks to our callers and cuers who donated their time and talents. It was a fun dance and I think, I know for me, it will be long remembered.

One final thought. If you have a square dance friend who has not tried checking out our online access, take a moment and show them how easy it is… add it to their “My Favorites” list, or bookmark it on their desktop for them.

If all else fails, give them Peter Emmel’s phone number and maybe we can get them a hard copy.

We look forward to your constructive input.

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Sorting Party in the Barn

Oct. 15, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]


When the music stops and the dance is over, most of us just go home. For the past few years Irma and I were trying to cram all the un-sold clothes into our hatchback KIA Rondo, and with the seats folded down we were piled to the ceiling! Needless to say, the work was a long way from being over.

This year we begged off from hosting the sorting party; Irma’s new knee was just not up to it… and in answer to our prayers, Jane Avery stepped up to the plate, offering up her nice dry barn and exiling her car to the elements for the duration. We thank Jane for her yeoman effort in handling it all, and for everyone who showed up to help at her fun Barn Sorting Party, complete with cider and goodies. Shown left to right in the group picture are: Dick Halstead, Barb Green, Andy and Betty Ludwick, Irma Halstead, Jane Avery, Donna Smart, Sharon Meyer, Jan Weitz and Karen Olmsted… Mary Ellen Bella somehow worked hard, but escaped the picture.

We now have containers filled with some great square dance clothes looking for a home… and we are looking for ideas on how best to match them up with just the right people. If this causes the creative juices to flow in any of your fertile brains out there, give any of us you know a call… you might just have the solution!

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Rochester Roll Call at Tumbling Leaves Festival

Oct. 17-19, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]

Pick a year, you could have a “roll call” of Rochester area dancers at Red Bates’ annual square dance “biggie” at Bennington College, “Tumbling Leaves,” and find us well represented. And why not: dancing just does not get any better than this, and with separate halls for whatever level you want to dance at, it is a square and round dancing “pig out”! …And I use that analogy because if you get the all-inclusive meal plan, there are virtually limitless options… check with any of the people you see in these photos… it would take too long to describe here.

Of course, it’s not just the dancing, driving along the thruway the 200 miles to Albany is a joy all by itself on a sunny day in the fall; then just about seven or eight miles north to Troy, and up over the hill, and down the other side, and you are in beautiful Bennington. Make a right and you are two blocks from the Best Western… included in the package; check in, and you are less than five minutes to the college campus, where Ginny Bates will have your package waiting for you, along with a friendly hug! (NOT too vigorous: her back was hurting this year.)

Just below the campus are three of the most picturesque Vermont covered bridges, which are a photographer’s dream. This is assuming you can tear yourself away from your pick of Red, Tim Marriner, Ken Ritucci, Bill Harrison or the Canadian caller for next year, Barry Clasper. Steve and Irene Bradt, and Beverly and Robert Mackay, are slated for next year again too.

Red does not pay me to do this, I just love your company… and we are pre-registered, as I think is everyone you see here.

What does that tell you???

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Country Twirlers’ Trail End

Oct. 25, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]

Saturday, the 25th of October, 2014, will live in the annals of square dancing history in Rochester as the date that an emotion-filled Ken Georger sat before us as their long time, “perennial president,” and together with other long-time members, rang down the curtain on their illustrious 55 years among us: 55 years of leading the way, bringing top notch callers to our area; 55 years of some of the most memorable dancing, and some of the most memorable dancer friends, many of whom are also no longer with us.

Of course, one of the reasons for this closure is that this sterling venue, the Washington Irving School has been sold, and whether it may be an option again for our “big dances” is uncertain!

Right, I am talking about the one that was so conveniently located on Chili Avenue, and near the airport. Everyone loved that raised stage; the great wooden floor… but it was more than that: there were also the declining numbers; and the reason that our beloved Ken was sitting was that it was painful for him to stand, and for a while, impossible to dance.

I know for many of you the ink is hardly dry on the sympathy cards that you sent to Ken at the passing of his wife, and our also beloved friend, Kay Georger. Now I am suggesting that we all send thank you cards to Ken for his many years of service, and especially if you can remind him of fond memories. And just to tickle your “fond memory button” a bit, I am including a collage of pictures, most from the dance last night (for me as I write this), but some you will recognize from the past, as in their 45th Anniversary Celebration, and others.

I am not certain how this will all work now that our also beloved printed Promenader is “history” as we knew it, arriving in our mail boxes…but think positively: my hope is that there will now be room for additional pictures, with the restrictions of printing costs falling away. Tell your friends, we are now available FREE at:

As an aside in ending this, as Federation historian, I have club histories that I hope to be able to make available on our website, working with our webmaster(s), and also with individual clubs to make them in fact, “living histories”!

My personal thanks to Ken and all of the Country Twirlers for a great ride, and with the prayer that we may all be blessed with many years of dancing and working together to ensure that we remain one of the best year-round dancing areas anyplace.

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Shamrock Squares Celebrate

Fall, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]

Recently, and for the first time in Shamrock Squares’ decade-long history, a “Lifetime Membership Award” was made to Sid and Toni Marshall, for their selfless work in providing a means for experienced Plus Dancers to progress to the “A” level.

Some time ago Sid started FREE Advanced classes at a school in East Rochester, and with great success! His graduates have proven a “boon” to the membership of Shamrock Squares.

Ginger and Leon Smith are two of those recent graduates, and are shown here proudly showing off their new diplomas, attesting that they have learned the over 40 new calls that comprise each of the new lists: A1 and A2. Some dances, notably big weekend events such as Tumbling Leaves, offer separate A1 and A2 halls; however, in most venues, “A” dancing assumes proficiency at both.

Sid does a great job with his classes, and the new faces have been welcome additions to our club.

On another celebratory note, two of Shamrock Squares’ dancers have taken yet another step… Oh yes, sometimes our members get married too! I am certain that you recognize these two. Congratulations, again, to Carl and Eileen Webster.

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Cloverleafs’ Honor Flight Dance

November, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]

The Cloverleafs, the Rochester Area Federation’s premier “singles club,” has a long history of doing things right, and a dedicated number of members and leaders that work hard to make it “happen.” The club has supported Rochester’s “Honor Flight” program for many years now. This program sends WWII, and now Korean War Veterans, on an all-expense-paid trip to our nation’s capital, where they are escorted to the Memorial Wall… where they can run their hands over the names of “buddies”; probably saying a silent prayer… I know that’s what I did when I ran my hand over Captain Riley’s name, my boss that bought the farm in Vietnam… and we all know many others. There is a full day of activities that includes ceremonies at Arlington, and the respect of their nation.

But it is not just those that paid the supreme sacrifice that we honor. Everyone that answered their nation’s call, that raised their hand and solemnly swore to defend their country, and has a DD214, a RECORD OF MILITARY SERVICE, deserves our honor and respect. You go where you are needed and sent. No one gives their life on purpose… records show that most did it doing their best to NOT let a buddy down; and to not let their country down. Arlington is the final resting place for many of those who honorably served, from presidents to privates, as are all of our national cemeteries. Indeed, many rest in places known only to God.

The attached pictures show President Jane Avery thanking their club members, and all the dancers from other clubs in the area that showed up, putting us over the top. Sure, we wanted to dance to Mike Callahan, he is a great caller, and a veteran himself; and we wanted to dance to Eileen too… but this was Veterans Day Week, and a great way to show support, and respect for our veterans, and a great cause. Hey, there are not too many of us left, and although at 85, I do not feel like the most senior “vet” around… I must certainly be getting closer every year.

The veterans in the picture are: front row, Pat Hayford, Sharon Woodward, Mike, and Rick Young; back row, me, Carl Webster, Henry Capron, Paul Weitz, Barb Green, Clayton Wing, Steve Barkley and John Baccoli.

The club officers that I caught at the sign-in table are Jane Avery, Steve Barkley (note the Purple Heart from Vietnam), Karen Olmsted, and Dave Sanford.

Again, hats off to the Cloverleafs. Great job… makes one proud to be a dancer.

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Tim Marriner Dance

Nov. 1, 2014      

[Roving Reporter]

A big thank you to the Copy Cats for bringing National Caller Tim Marriner to Rochester, and I have to say they did it right: renting the big hall at St. John Fisher College, wooden floor, great acoustics and all… which I suspect was not cheap! I don’t have any figures, but I think we made out all right. Over 14 squares showed up in spite of it being a dark, cold, miserable evening, and the day after Halloween.

I also thank Mike and Wanda Callahan, and Gary and Alice Bubel, for their support. Mike and Wanda hosted their friend Tim at their home, and both the Callahans and the Bubels worked to make sure the afternoon “A” Dance was a success. Most of Mike Callahan’s Shamrock Squares and others from as far away as Pennsylvania came for both dances.

I did not get one picture of the square dancers in action since I danced every tip myself, and almost all of the rounds. My thanks to Barb and Vicki for dancing with me while Irma was nursing her knee. I do have a picture of Barbara from Pennsylvania…she is at the right in the picture of Bob & Dianne Schlenker.

It was a fun dance and thanks to all of the Copy Cats that helped to make it a success!

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In Memoriam: Kay Georger

The Promenader staff joins the Rochester area dance community in mourning the loss of Kathleen O’Hara Georger, who passed away peacefully on September 28, 2014, at the age of 80.

Kay was the mother of six children, who alongside her husband of 57 years, Kenneth, raised her family in the town of Gates, NY. Survived by her husband Ken; six children: Daniel (Christine), James (Donna), Susan (Michael) Kowalczyk, Kevin (Molly Frank), Edward (Debra), and Gary (Lorena); 14 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; brother David O’Hara brothers-in-law William, Thomas (Donna); many nieces, nephews & cousins.

She was born on August 25, 1934 in Rochester NY, 19th Ward. An eternal optimist with tireless energy, she was an active member of St. Helen’s and most recently at Holy Ghost Parish. Kay was a volunteer who selflessly gave back to her church and community through her involvement in many clubs and organizations, including: Gates Historical Society, GEVA, Rochester Broadway Theater League and JCC usher, Lifespan and Landmark Society.

She enjoyed square dancing for 45 years with the Country Twirlers, bowling, golfing, bicycling and cross-country skiing. She had a strong love of family, faith and life.

Besides serving as presidents of Country Twirlers for many years, Kay and Ken also were active as Federation presidents and were members of the Dance-O-Rama committee from 2000 to 2007. And her cheerful spirit and readiness to help were present at every Promenader Dance. In 1999, Ken and Kay were the recipients of the Daphne Norma Leadership Award.

Donations in her memory may be made to Hope Hall or Notre Dame Learning Center.


In Memoriam: Tom Mallory

I can’t think of anyone within the footprint of the Rochester Area Federation of Round and Square Dancers whose life has not been touched by the life of Tom Mallory. And that includes many members of Rochester’s non-hearing community, and who were part of NTID… where Tom taught square dancing -- using sign language! He was a member of Callerlab and was gaining an ever-increasing following as a professional caller.

Of course, as with all of us, there was much more to “who he was” as a person, than that which is shown in his brief obituary, as posted in the Rochester D&C. One thing that Tom had in common with many of us was a love for scuba diving; however, most of us, like me, are relative amateurs; he was a professional… and until recently, was often called upon for helicopter rescue operations.

Although Tom became a “professional caller,” and as such could be found, as in the attached pictures, calling at Dance-O-Rama and many of the clubs in the area. Tom was also a loyal member of the Copy Cats… one of several large and very active clubs in our area.

Many of you reading this may never have met Tom; however, with what I hope are your daily discussions with your Creator regarding what you are grateful and thankful for… and fondly pray for… you might wish to mention that Tom, in his own way, made a difference… and I am grateful for that, and having known him.

-submitted by Dick Halstead

Walter “Tom” Mallory of Webster, NY, passed away on Tues., Sept. 30, 2014, at age 62. Predeceased by his wife, Eleanor. He leaves his children, Jonathan (Kara), Sarah (Joseph) Camiolo; grandchildren, Mack Mallory and Flora Camiolo; siblings, Kathleen (Joseph) Cometa, Maureen (Joseph) Schoeffel, Pegi (Marvin) Davis, David (Kathleen) Mallory; nieces and nephews; companion, Betty Lamb.

Memorials may be directed to the American Cancer Society.

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In Memoriam: Bob Meagher

Robert P. Meagher was a square dance caller, and a friend.

Irma and I had not been dancing too long when we first met Bob. In those days we did not travel that much to other clubs, and he had agreed to do a “demo” for us, then the Wayne Westerners, at a nursing home in Newark. It was just a great dance that the residents thoroughly enjoyed, as we all did. When we were leaving and I was thanking him, I commented, “That was great, Bob, I think you called every call on the mainstream and the plus lists…” He answered with that wry grin of his and said simply: “I did!”

There was just so much more to “Bob” Meagher than can be said in the facts summarized below. If I were writing his Performance Report for this big transfer, I think I would start out: “Dear God: I am happy to recommend Robert P. Meagher for a new and heavenly body. I expect he will require very little cross-training to fit right in… and just knowing he is there will make me much less reluctant to leave when you call, and P.S.: he is a great square dance caller!”

-submitted by Dick Halstead

Bob Meagher passed away on October 7, 2014, at the age of 85. Predeceased by his brother, David and daughter, Carol; survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Jeannette Meagher; his children, James (Patty), Patrick (Lynn) and Kenneth (Ellen) Meagher; sisters, Ruth (Howard), Tracey, June Kenney; and sister-in-law, Nancy Meagher; 8 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. Robert was an employee at Case-Hoyt, Great Lakes Press and Quality Vision Int. He enjoyed square dancing and was a square dance caller and instructor.

The family would like to express a sincere thank you to the staff at St. Ann’s Nursing Home. Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association.