Us May 09

LCFD Dance camp this past weekend

Last weekend was the twice-a-year Lavender Country & Folk Dancers dance camp. It was my 41st consecutive time. It is just so much fun - a highlight of the year. And we had absolutely gorgeous weather.

There is lots of Contra Dancing, some English Country Dancing, other activities - dancing and not, lots of shmoozing and hanging out with other dancers - some of who I see regularly and some just at these dance camps. There were 110 of us this time out in Western Mass at a YMCA camp.

We Contra Dance gender free - using Larks and Ravens to refer to the two roles which are traditionally Ladies and Gents so people of any gender can dance either role. In English Country dancing we use placement of the people to identify who does what.

Group picture by Chris Chin:

Among other things we have a variety show and I usually do an act as Doctor Professor, giving a "scientific" report on something important. This time it was from medical science. I explained that bacteria when they get into your bloodstream just wander around and if they happen to encounter a blood cell they invade it. Suppose there was a way to control their movements? With gene editing they can be taught a contradance and then they will be busy doing that and avoid running into blood cells. Although there is no music (they don't have ears so it doesn't matter) there is a beat: hearbeat so they can dance in time. The dance they were taught was The Apothecary Reel. a dance written by Ted Sannella who has written many dances and this one when he graduated from pharmacy school.

The Saturday night event is dress-up and I wore a lovely red dress. We also had a TRex dancing with us - in addition to being gender-free we are species-free.

A video by Doug Heacock, one of our dancers:

I am also one of the organizers and among other things I am the treasurer.


My 9/11 memory

We had flown back from Stockholm on 9/10. We were jet lagged when we got up and turned on the radio as we usually do and heard a report of a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately thought of the time when I was istening to the rado with my parents on July 28, 1945 and heard a report of a plane crashing into the Empire State Building.

The coming weekend was to be the Lavender Country & Folk Dancers dance camp. So the next several days involved figuring out if we could have it. We did and it was so wonderful to be out in a rural setting in Western Massachusetts with about 100 friends and acquaitenances. A couple of people couldn't come because they were flying from far away.


Visit to City Museum in St Louis

The City Museum is a playhouse museum in St Louis, made with repurposed archtectural and industrial objects. It has caves, passages for kids to crawl around in, reconstructed refreshment stands, a litle railroad, and lots and lots of objects to gaze at. It is the brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Bob Cassilly and opened in 1997. It was full of people wndering around and lots of fun to visit.

We were there as part of our trip to Carbondale, Illinois to view the eclipse - all 2 minutes and 40 seconds of it.

Click here to see pictures

(The Humpty Dumpty was in the Art Museum - but seemed appropriate here.)

Us May 09

Dancing during the first half of this year

I went Contra Dancing or English Country Dancing on 59 days in the first half of this year.

Four 3-day weekends - 2 sleepovers, 2 from home: Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs; Queer Dance Camp in Aptos, California; NEFFA; and LCFD Dance camp in Woodstock CT.

Then there was six days of English Country Dancing at Chateau des Briottieres in France. And one Contra Dance in Paris.

Many evenings at JP English, JP Contra, BIDA Contra. A few at the Scout House, Harvard Square English, Village Contra in NYC, Cape Ann Contra, Snowball in Peterborough, Montague, MA.

rsc only did 57 - missed one BIDA and the dance in Montague which was coupled with a LCFD Board meeting.

Wont be much in July in August - although we already did one.


TV watching

TV watching should have more variety.

Sunday night Fox had what appeared to be the coronation of an upper class woman and also a brief astronomy show.
The Golf channel had something about drives.
The Science channel had something about air pressure and balloon inflation,
The Bridge channel had a feature on Passes but left out a whole section on the advantages of bidding No Trump.
The Outdoors channel had something on hiking.
The Audubon channel had features on owls and falcons.
The Carpentry channel had a few lectures on measurement by yards.
The Military channel had several things about formations and also had some videos about defense strategies.
The Fishing channel had something about catches.
The Crime channel had some instances of officials assigning penalties.
The Nature channel had scenes of rushes in a field.
And the Brady Bunch was on.
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Bird Watching

It's almost time for our bird watching expedition. We are about to observe a very special Superb Owl. I think the Owl is from China since it has a Chinese name: LI. I usually have trouble when I go bird watching because it is hard to see the little things up in trees, but I think this one will be easy to see. Its wing is a bit different, though.

And I hear that there is an evil flock of falcons who have been migrating southwest.

Appropriately we will be sipping sherry and having brie during our expedition.


In memory of Martin Luther King, Jr

On the left is Ira Blalock, in the middle is Martin Luther King Jr, on the right is Gordon Gibson shortly after they got out of jail in Selma.

I knew Ira Blalock as the minister in a UU church in Wellesley, MA that I went to for a while. One of my roommates had been in the Appalachian Mountain Club trail crew and another AMC crew member was the organist at that church. A bunch of us used to go every Sunday and then usually gather at our apartment after the service.

For my first marriage in 1966 we couldn't get Ira to officiate because he had moved away but he recommended Gordon Gibson, a minister in a nearby church.

Us May 09

Where I danced in 2016

My count of days I went Contra Dancing or English Country Dancing in 2016 was 92 - only 90 for Robert rsc who didn't come on my 2 reunion trips to NYC.

At Regular Dance Series

17: Gender Free Contra Dance in Jamaica Plain
23: Gender Free English Country Dance in Jamaica Plain
19: BIDA Contra dance in Cambridge
8: Scout House in Concord, MA
4: Harvard Square English
1: Cape Ann Contra dance
1: Brooklyn Contra
1: Village Contra in NYC

At Dance Weekends and other trips
3: in Mérida, Mexico at the Mérida Festival
3: Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY
3: NEFFA - New England Folk Festival in Mansfield, MA
3: SFBQC: Queer Contra Dance Camp in Aptos, CA
3: LCFD Spring Dance Camp in Woodstock, CT
3: LCFD Fall Dance Camp in Becket, MA

As of now in addition to the US, we have danced in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Egypt, Tanzania, (don't remember if we danced in Kenya), Chile, Peru, Myanmar, Australia, and Mexico. (The dance we would have gone to in New Zealand was cancelled as was the trip to Denmark).


Where I slept in 2016

Lots of travel this year. A trip to Mérida, Mexico for among other things 3 evenings of Contra Dancing in the Mérida Festival; Saratoga Springs for the Dance Flurry; New Orleans for the soc.motss Con; Woodstock, CT for LCFD Spring Dance Camp; San Francisco and Monte Toyon for Queer Dance Camp; two trips to NYC for 2 60th High School Reunions; Seattle, Denali Park, and Fairbanks; Budapest and Prague; Becket, MA for LCFD Fall Dance Camp.

At home in Cambridge and Gloucester

La Quinta hotel near airport in Houston
Hotel Doralba in Mérida, Mexico for visiting Brooks, and dancing to the calling of Linda Leslie and the music of Linda Henry and Amy Richardson Larkin - local to here.

Embassy Suites in Saratoga Springs for Dance Flurry (our first one - we're going again in 2017)

Hotel St. Pierre in French Quarter, New Orleans for soc.motss Con - XXIX

Park 55 Hotel in San Francisco
Monte Toyon for Queer Dance Camp
The Dylan near SFO

YMCA Camp Woodstock in Woodstock, CT for LCFD Gender-Free Dance Camp

Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC (two consecutive weekends for Fieldston-Ethical and Dalton reunions)

Executive Hotel Pacific in Seattle
Grand Denali Lodge in Denali Park
Ken McFarland and Dennis Roger's guest house in Fairbanks, AK

Lufthansa LH421 BOS->FRA
Bohem Art Hotel in Budapest
Hotel Sovereign in Prague

YMCA Camp Chimney Corners in Becket, MA for LCFD Gender-Free Dance Camp


A busy two weeks of entertainment and dancing - still in progress

English Country Dancing in JP on Nov 8
Moonlight on Nov 9
Berliner Philharmoniker in Symphony Hall on Nov 11
Harvest Ball (Contra dance and elegant dinner) in JP on Nov 12
Boston Lyric Opera: Greek on Nov 16
Contra Dance at the Scout House ion Concord on Nov 17
B Minor Mass on Nov 18
Emerson String Quartet in Jordan Hall on Nov 20
BIDA Contra Dance in Cambridge on Nov 20
English Country Dancing in JP on Nov 22


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