Article Details

Dale Wagner November 14, 1997

BB: Today I'm way up in Milwaukee, WI. Actually, we're in the little town of Waumatosa, and today we're talking to Dale Wagner. The date today is November 14, 1997. So Dale, you've had a long and happy career in square dancing so before we get started on that, tell us a little about your family background and where you were born and brought up and so forth.

 

DW: Well, my life has been a rich and rewarding life. As simple as it possibly could be, I graduated from high school, barely.  I never went to college but left home when I was 17 years old and came to Milwaukee. My home was Two Rivers, WI with 10,000 population, and I came to Milwaukee. Finally I went to school but I don't talk much about it because it never worked out. I flunked out the first year and in the interim, I had gotten a job as a (?) in a restaurant. And I think it's worth knowing that was in 1929 & 30 and I made $7 per week and my meals. And eventually I got into that restaurant business to the point where I got to be a meat carver with a chefs cap and I earned $21 a week. And it was great.  Well, in that period of time I had sort of had a girl friend up in Two Rivers whose brother was my English teacher. He moved to Milwaukee and came to the telephone company to work instead of teaching and he brought his sister along. I was able to get her a job and that was in 1930. Well, to make a story short, in my restaurant business I was contacted by the owner of a big bakery in Milwaukee. He asked me if I was ever needed a job he would hire me. That was delivering bread to Ma & Pa grocery stores which was the way things were done in those days. There were no supermarkets. In 1935 he gave me a job as a driver, sales driver and we was to make $26.50 a week. That was 6 days a week at least 12 hours and it was a, not a bad job.  hat was exciting about it was that I got to meet every ethnic grocer in Milwaukee on the South side, Greeks and Jews and Slovanians and I got to know a lot of the, and it was the best job in the world, dealing with people.  Well, from that point on, life went.  I was a salesman for 34 years. But in the interim, and I can start by saying in 1945, '46, well actually in 1942, there were three subdivisions developing outside of Milwaukee in Eastern Wawkeeshaw County and we had a PTA meeting with these three subdivisions in a one room school. A man got up and told us that he was a square dance caller. It was Colman Newman, Dr. Newman of Denver Colorado.  That began a series of basement recreation room parties that were second to none. Everybody cleaned out their basement and had room for two squares. But it got to the point where Doc said I've got to do something to please these dancers. And it was this rustic dance hall called Calhoun Hall, and I mean rustic. It had a beautiful dance floor that would hold 18 - 20 squares and Doc started classes there and dances there. And in that period we were enthusiastic.  He would give us a chance to call.

And at the same time, the same man bless his heart, he got involved with the Milwaukee Recreation Dept. who had high school programs of sewing and dancing and he started a square dance program in the Milwaukee school system. They had maybe ten or twelve of these social centers active and most of them had square dance programs, and all of those callers learned by doing.  There were no classes. No caller schools. But Doc, bless his heart, gave us a chance to try. And then it happened that was getting so tied up that he gave me his beginners’ class at the Wisconsin Ave. School. And then, it wasn't long after that he didn't want the Wednesday night dance with the live music any more so he gave that to me. And that was the nucleus. And he was at Calhoun Hall for 1 year. He had differences with the management and he decided to leave. And the manager, and by the way we lived in a little subdivision just a block and a half away from the Calhoun Hall, the manager came over to our house one night and said "Dale, how would you like to take over the Friday night dances?" And that was my foot in the door. We took it over and in 1947, February 4, we started or continued Doc's Friday night public square dancing which was something different. It was an open dance. But I think what added to the intrigue was it was out in the country. And the city folks, and there was an interim and a rapid transit that passed right by the hall from Milwaukee and from Waukeeshaw. And it was an immediate success, not only because of the location but because of the kind of joy that they were having. It was right after the World War II and the soldiers had come back and wanted to know about square dancing. People were hungry. There was no TV and no (?) and none of the distractions that we have today.  We were given permission to use that hall. It was, and forgive me for saying this, but it was a tavern dance hall. In Wisconsin that was synonymous to social activities of every kind.  In fact, there was a Catholic church that began right at that same hall. But Calhoun hall became a center, and I could use the hall every night. I had classes three to four nights a week, round dance classes, beginners class which went for ten weeks and then you graduated them and then they went to the, if they came back to the Calhoun to the Friday night dance that was fine.  Many of them joined clubs. But we always had a, we had three beginners classes a year and they were usually packed.  So from that grew a square dance population that was unbelievable. I don't know, the fact that it was an open dance was a great asset and

 

BB: How long did you use live music?

 

DW: We never used live music, never used live music, except with the social centers. And at the public parks, at the State Fair Park we had a big band, and at Washington Park. We had several big parks with pavilions that ran square dances which was a big plus. And that not only happened in Milwaukee but out here where we live now in Wawautosa, they also had a very popular man, in fact he was a Shaw student, Mel Chaufert, Mel & Loretta Chaufert.  Now they ran classes in the various social centers out here, So it grew to the point where, and Calhoun got to be a kind of a mecca for bus trips, That was a big thing, They would bus in from Cheboygan and other places, and it was an experience because they danced in halls in the city and we were out in the country.  In fact, one night, one New Years, we had New Years Eve dances, one New Years Eve and the hall was cold this year, it was one of the early years, we didn't have proper heat, the dancers during the intermission, they would go out to the bus to keep warm, to warm up.  It was a great joy, and it grew not because of any effort on our part. it was something people were hungry for, It seemed to be the reason and in that same vein, Milwaukee is famous to this day. They have a folk, a holiday folk dance every Christmas time. There are 56 nationality dance groups in Milwaukee. They have summer fests. They have a Polish festival, a German fest and an Italian fest at the lake front. Great facilities but, as far as square dancing getting into the holiday folk fare, we were not qualified because we didn't represent, we were just square dancers.  When, until square dancing became recognized as a national, American folk dance, and I think we have Pappy Shaw to thank for that, so that we, after four or five years on the holiday folk festival, and it's been going on for 50 years, we finally go permission to be part of the holiday folk fair. Ever since, we have contributed to it.  It's something that, as I say, grew quite naturally and with all of our clubs and dances throughout the state in 1947 the Square Dance Association of Wisconsin was formed. And that meant that you would have your meetings at different cities throughout the state and sponsor a dance at the same time, and keep the people who weren't around the Milwaukee area, in the local in rural areas they were kept abreast of what was going on in square dancing. And it was getting a little bit more complex I think in that we didn't stick to the basic, we tried to make it more complicated. And, in fact, that's how a lot of clubs became successful because, and this is not a derogatory remark in any way but, one caller he had an advanced class, advanced dance. And somebody was complaining "Why aren't you doing Swing the Girl Behind Me" or something and he says "Well if you want that kind of thing, why don't you go up to Calhoun?" Which was the greatest thing in the world for us, because the people who weren't that involved and dedicated to learning more and more came, always came to Calhoun.  It's no secret that we kept Calhoun going for 34 years. Three different ownerships, including yours truly.  In 1965 it was offered for sale and two of our square dance friends agreed to buy it along with us. We would have nothing to do with the running of the hall, the tavern and the catering, the wedding dances. Then there was an industrial park developed across the street that we had noon lunches. And for ten years we owned Calhoun Hall which was another responsibility. But, in the interim, we remodeled it and gave it a Western front with a porch and a new siding a new painting. It became a pretty comfortable place to dance.  So my National recognition came about quite innocently because in 1947 when I went to Pappy Shaw's first Shaw fellowship I met callers and folk dance leaders and among those were Herby Todd who would establish an Oak Valley dance group in Illinois and did all of the folk dances and the family songs and the children's things. And I learned from him. At the same time, out there that year, and I had my two daughters with us, a caller from Omaha, NE, and I hope I'm right, Orville Smith, Orville and Grace Smith

 

BB: I remember them

 

DW: And he says "Dale, you're gonna be in Colorado for a week after Pappy is over with.  Why don't you come on where I'm working during the summer. I'm on the staff and part owner of Peaceful Valley Lodge here in Lyons, CO. By the grace of God we made it only because we had patience because we got into the Saint (?) Canyon on our way up to the Lodge which was another 18 miles. They were blasting, putting in a new road and they said you'll have to wait until the noon hour if you want to get through. Well fortunately, we waited and got to Peaceful Valley Lodge which was an inconspicuous lodge. He had a beautiful dance floor and a few cabins. No big chalets or anything but it was owned by a man, Carl and Mabel Bohm.  He was an Austrian who came to America and served in the Tenth Mountaineering Division by the way. That's what brought him to Colorado originally. So he bought this lodge with hopes of making it into a, not square dancing but mountaineering, the thing he was great at. Thank goodness the man had enough.  Well, when we went there that summer he wasn't there. He was on duty with the Tenth Mt. Division on maneuvers so we didn't meet him. But he heard about us through the leadership at the Peaceful Valley at the time including Smitty and he took us up to Meeker Lodge where there was a public square dance. I got to call and somebody heard about us and that next summer or that fall, I guess it was, Carl toured the country. He was going to start square dancing at Peaceful Valley Lodge and he had heard about us. Would we consider serving on the staff at Peaceful Valley. That was in 19, I hope I'm right 1952 or 53. He had been exposed to our Calhoun dances and he saw the potential. And that first year we had, I think he had 3 or 4 callers. I don't know. I was one of them.  We filled his facilities which was about 12 couples with a few cabins and he was so excited that this is the way I'm gonna go. And, of course it's history now that Peaceful Valley developed into a square dance Mecca. For at least 12 to 15 weeks every summer with different callers from different parts of the Country. And they weren't all of them of the variety of this little local yokel. They were, and I served on the staff with such greats as Manning Smith, Eddie Gilmore, Pancho Baird, oh it was unbelievable, The attraction that facility had along with the square dancing. Carl introduced horseback programs, he had many horses and after the four wheel drive vehicles became popular he couldn't, he had to turn people away. They came out because we had four-wheel-drive trips through the mountains, four-wheel­ drive trips up into the mountains. Carl was familiar with it and scared the daylights out of most everybody because of the trails that we took, which were old stage coach roads. That developed into a great program.  He developed all kinds of things. He had counselors, he had 30 - ­40 kids on the staff, childrens' counselors so that the children were taken care of.  He had wranglers and we had a horse show over there.  It was called a Gymkahnna, which was another name for a mild rodeo. And he had horseback events because all during the week you got to ride horses on a long trip or a short trip across fording rivers. In the arena that he had for the horse activities, he developed all kinds of pole bending and all kinds of horse activities. It got to be such a family oriented facility. There was no liquor and we had some of the stupidest things. We would have idiot dances at night and get the caller out of bed and all other folksy things that are (?).  But that whole scene, and one of the big highlights was the breakfast on the mountain.  We all packed into wagons or horses and hiked up to the mountain and overlooked the whole continental divide.  Carl, with his mountaineering division experience gave a lecture for about an hour and a half about the history of the area.  Here's a man born and raised in Austria who knew more about America and our Western history. That was a whole, and the things in addition, the things that came up in our lives as square dancers or leaders and in our big years at Calhoun, we developed a big need for a, there was a need for a TV program there one day, There was TV, and two of the stations in Milwaukee, they had a channel 4, they had a live noon show and we did that for several years.  And they invited the Calhoun dancers, and then in '54 or '55 another station, channel 12, they developed a square dance program.  It started out as a fill in for Big 10 basketball.  When the game was over the dancers were there and we filled in the half hour.  Then that got to be rather popular and we did it live the first year, and the next year, in planning the program, they were gonna have it again but we taped it on Monday night and showed it on Saturday or whatever the schedule was. But what we did was invited clubs from the TV channel 12 viewing area which was the biggest asset because, oh man, to get on TV, we noticed that many of the dancers that came from different clubs would always find the best camera spot.

 

BB: They're doing that down in Branson, MO now,

 

DW: Oh really?

 

BB: Yeah

 

DW: That was a big plus.

 

BB: When did you get involved in the Lloyd Shaw summer school?

 

DW: In 1947. Oh, I'm so glad you asked me that because that started the whole ball rolling. Doc Newman had connections and in 1945 or 46 the Cheyenne Mt. Dancers from Colorado Springs were going to appear at the state teachers' convention. Lo and behold, Doc Newman got us tickets and we got to see it. The biggest plus was that after the program we were invited backstage to meet the man. And it was a good reason because he was planning on some summer Shaw schools.  We got to meet him and fortunately the very next year, it was 1947, his first one that we were aware of and we, through the influence of Vic Grape who was a brother of Henry Grape who was a friend of Pappy Shaw's in Colorado, Vic recommended us and we got to go out there. That started our ten summers of Lloyd Shaw and that's a whole story that's far and beyond square dancing. His concept of life and his philosophies were

 

BB: My dad told me that he was there 25 years at Pappy's.

 

DW: No, he didn't have them that long. See Pappy died in '57 or '58.

 

BB: No, he died in '59 I believe.

 

DW: The whole square dance life in Wisconsin and Milwaukee was a success story from day one. I think it is because of the folk heritage of all of our nationalities. They appreciated getting into something that was different.

 

BB: What about, were you associated with CALLERLAB?

 

DW: No. It developed quite late. When was CALLERLAB?

 

BB: Well, don't pin me down.

 

DW: And the fact that we were unique in that we didn't have a club. It was a public dance. It was frowned on to a degree that people got into clubs and they had their own squares. And they go a little bit out of

 

BB: Cliquish.

 

DW: Well, I guess that's a good word but at Calhoun I was the only guy that ever got away with this. I did lots of scats and scoots and take your star to another square, and had mixers and they loved it. And those that went on to clubs, they loved that, (?) as Pappy used to say. That was their answer as far as they went. But we were privileged to introduce them to square dancing. I think, and this shouldn't sound self serving but Florence and I had a relationship that reflected on the dance floor.  We made it a point to stress the folk activity of the (?).  We had a great thing going for us and we did it for many, many years.  We were famous for remembering names.  They would come in, "What's my name”, or with their hand over their name tag and we really, I mean to this day, people come and "you always said hello Joe or hello Barbara." It was a selling point that is not to be denied because they realized that you really made a difference.

 

BB: You cared.

 

DW: It's, and this is not an editorial comment, but today this is 1997, we've lost it.  I'm sad to say that we have reverted to the very thing that Pappy disliked so much. He said "Keep it folk, keep it simple," And now it's gotten a little complex. It's too tedious a job to go to classes and families are (?).  One of the biggest successes we had, we had after my experiences at Peaceful Valley and Kirby Todd and the things that he taught me, we had family square dancing once a month on Sunday afternoon.  And I'm telling you it, we, some Sundays we had to have two sessions; and afternoon and evening, It's 140 kids, you know, that can make a difference in a dance hall.  We taught them the simple games, and I still keep them, when I was with relatives recently they asked whether I still do some of the games. But it was a big selling point. It created an atmosphere in Calhoun that was second to none. 

 

BB: Dale, excuse me, but before we get to the end of this tape and it pops and scares the both of us, I'm just going to take a moment and turn the tape over.  Well that pretty much covers the Calhoun dance hall story, Tell me some of the people who were a major influence beside Pappy Shaw.

 

DW: Oh, yes and Kirby Todd and Pappy Shaw, And Carl Bohn (sp?) at Peaceful Valley. He had a great love for square dancing because he was, he did all the folk dances from Austria.  He was a native of Austria

 

BB: What about associations. What other national traveling callers did you

 

DW: We had an influx of them because Wisconsin, and I don't know whether you can back this up with statically, but Wisconsin was a hotbed of square dancing, There were clubs throughout the state and, as I said, bus loads would come to Calhoun and vice versa.  We would take bus loads, I mean I would call as far north as Iron Mt, MI.  Four or five squares or four or five cars would drive up there and dance and we had some local, I mean statewide callers. Oh boy we had many, many successful ones. Johnny Toth here in Milwaukee and Elmer Hammond and Elmer Elias and all had developed their own following.  We fed on each other.  I mean it was their club and if they wanted to do something different, oh, is there anything in any of the archives about banner stealing? That was a great thing in Milwaukee.

 

BB: Well, not that I have seen but I know it was popular back in Connecticut and it is to this day in Albuquerque.

 

DW: This didn't happen at Calhoun because we had no banner. Throughout the state it would be a big thing to go and steal the banner from Waukeeshaw Allemanders, then they'd have to come back to get it back, It developed a great fellowship and intermingling with the clubs. There was a need for that. Today, with all the distractions of modern TV and everything that goes with it, families are involved with their children so much that they can't just take off and go square dancing.

 

BB: Did you get into contra dancing at all?

 

DW: Yes we did, Not, no, not seriously, We were exposed to it at Pappy's and we were exposed to it at, several callers, they went for it, Elmer Elias and some of those.  I meant to comment on the fact that contra dancing, oh I know what it was, It was when we had the National Convention here in 1979.  We had to have (?) to be honest we had to have help from outside. I mean there weren't many talented contra leaders here, but the national callers would come through, they would usually, Eddie Gilmore was one of them.  Those were the people that had to instill it or know.  A couple of callers started contra clubs, but they weren't successful to the point where people were clamoring to get in.  One of the things that I remember and that should be noted is that in 1979, and this is a tribute to Wisconsin because of our square dance, the popularity of square dancing in 1979 we hosted the National Square Dance Convention. The Executive Secretary tells me that, to this day, we had in the, we still hold the record for a three day event, 23000 dancers, which is a statistic that is worth mentioning because we did have the nucleus for a huge convention, and our state convention, although it's lost its charm along with other losses that are associated with the drop in the popularity of square dancing.  The conventions are poorly attended now, and that's a financial thing too because people can't rent a hotel for 2 nights or 3 nights in Oskosh or whatever to go to a convention.  So it's pretty much club activities now in Milwaukee. I know contra dancing is not part of it.  We fought a battle here and I think it has been allover the country.  Line dancing, you know what that is.

 

BB: Yeah, sure.

 

DW: That became very popular here, You didn't need a partner.  Oh, it was big two or three years ago, but that too has gone away because you can only do so much.

 

BB: Well they did the same thing with Line dancing that we did with square dancing. It got too complicated.

 

DW: Yeah sure, and Round dancing. I was pretty well thanks to Florence, and after Florence died and Ruth took over, well, that's five years of my square dancing, She also is a beautiful dancer. We also taught round dances and they too, got a little bit, you know you didn't do the Varsouvienne any more, which is unfortunate.  Now we've got round dance leaders and we've got round dance clubs, and they too are hurting because of the same, whether it's economics or I don't know what it is but people's lives are so involved now. There are so many other things, especially if you have children.

 

BB: Well, looking back on your career, what did you find was the major appeal to being a caller?

 

DW: That's a good question, because I'm a people person. Both of my, Florence and Ruth are people persons.  We like to mix with everybody, It's a matter of your background whether you like to associate with people and you think you have something that you enjoy. You want to desperately share it with them. The relationship between Florence and me was so obvious.  It was such a deep love and it reflected in our dancing and it reflected in our attitude towards the others I think we passed that on to many, many people, This is what life should be about.  Square dancing had a way of promoting that because you got along with the other seven people in your square, and people learned tolerance for the mistakes of others.  And today that is lost because, boy, if you get into a (?), and I've had this, sometime I go to a club dance with some of my favorite callers and we would get into a square that obviously was a fixed square and we barged in and it was unfortunate.  They didn't appreciate us and at Calhoun and in all of our square dancing we stressed the sociability, and Pappy taught that so well.  His philosophies have been so much a part of my life, just due to the fact that I was exposed to them in a square dance.  When you went up to Phumpf Cory (sp?) to his cabin, h you ever been there?

 

BB: No

 

DW: That was a lifetime experience. It was emotional, I mean

 

BB: Now that overlooked Pike's Peak.

 

DW Yes. That was his cabin and he built it himself.

 

BB: No, I'm sorry, we did go up there.  It was out on a promontory with his back towards Pike's Peak.

 

DW: Yeah, that's right.

 

BB: Well, looking back Dale, do you have any regrets. Anything you would change?

 

DW: Not a one, I think I felt devastated when we went out to Calhoun and there was a new owner had taken over.  We had a Friday night dance and at the end of the evening he said "Dale, that's your last dance".  I still had some club dates to fill, but driving home that night, Ruth and I, we were almost relieved because we could see what was going on the square dance world and we didn't want to be a part of it, and we were going to have a terrible time in some other facility to promote the kind of love and fellowship that we had been dedicated to. So, regrets, not a one. The memories are so great because to this day we can walk down the street or go into a church or go to an event.  All the dancers say those were the happiest days of our lives.  What other tribute can you get than to have somebody say that you enriched their life.  And you did it innocently by teaching the things that you believed in, and Ruth and I are very devout church goers, Christians. And it's just an extension of that philosophy, you do it. Not because you're doing it for Jesus, you're doing it for the love of the human race and the love of people. And the need that you see in the lives of people, today I'm scared. Because of the tensions and the factions and the dissensions, I mean not only on the national scale but on the local scale, we need square dancing and I, one of our leaders that is just retiring from calling ­he said that the only way that square dancing is ever going to come back is we're gonna start allover.  Do you think that is a possibility?

 

 

BB: I imagine. The business is a cyclical type of thing and I think, someone thought the other day, we were talking about it, he said "I believe this is a 100 year cycle." He said it was about that time 100 years ago that Henry Ford and Benjamin Lovett brought the cycle on the upswing and now it's down. Somebody else will probably bring it up again, and that's very, very possible.

 

DW: And Pappy deserves a lot of credit because he picked up where Lovett and Ford, and he delved into the basic square dancing. That was a lot of contras and carryovers from the dignified, and as we moved west, the men danced with men and it got a little bit rough. And Pappy did so much to turn that around. It got to be a general activity again and it wasn't rough and tumble because I'm sure in the west there were lots of square dance brawls. I think Pappy said one time, and I've quoted him many times, Pappy took square dancing from the brawl room to the ballroom. And that is certainly true in his case, and I seriously hope that there's somebody gets a hold of this now. And you've got a good foot in the door with this kind of work that you're doing. Somebody's gotta, and I didn't mention this, but obviously you know Enid.

 

BB: No. I interviewed her on the way out.

 

DW: Did you? And I got a letter from her, she said "Dale, I'm among the old timers and I'm only (?) years old. But where I know her was Pappy's granddaughter. And you know where I learned to love her. She was a waitress at Peaceful Valley. She was also a devotee of Kirby Todd and about ten years ago, at one of Kirby's folk valley festivals, Pappy, it was more than ten years ago, Pappy was still living, and she came to folk valley. She was a beautiful girl, and talented. And we correspond and she has given me recognition in her magazine. I love her. We had a fellowship that was deep rooted. And she said that her only claim to fame was to be related to this activity. But that's not true. She's done wonders. 

 

BB: How about Deana Fresh?

 

DW: Ah, Deana Fresh and Elwin, they were the epitome of round dance class. Ruth and her husband were at Pappy's one summer and they got to meet her and she was, and you mentioned it to Mexican. They're not Mexican.

 

BB Pancho?

 

DW No. No, they were beautiful dancers. We had some of the top people in the activity and we were recognized as being equal in that we were doing what Pappy wanted us to do. And I'll never forget those first lectures of Pappy's.  Dingy little auditorium of his. He planted a seed, and it has enriched my life.  It has changed my attitude about

 

BB: Life in general

 

DW: Life in general and getting along, then, I took a Dale Carnegie course on how to win friends and influence people, but Pappy's got it so much better. Cause he had a,  Dale Carnegie had a great influence. In fact that might be one of the reasons why I took up calling. I learned public speaking in 1945. It was offered to us by our boss. He met Dale Carnegie in Chicago and he said "Any of you salesmen want to go to his class, I'll pay for your tuition at the Milwaukee Auditorium three or four nights." And through that I got into public speaking. I was kind of a shy guy, not shy, yes shy but through the Dale Carnegie, and it was right during the wartime, raising money for the, I spoke at theaters, I spoke at colleges, I spoke at factories selling war bonds, I tell you I had arrived and it really opened the door.  And that's been the story of my life.

It has opened doors.  And I became involved in church because we founded a church. And I'm a 55 year old charter member of our same Lutheran church. And that is a whole new phase that happens to very few people, or at least of people that take advantage of the opportunity.

 

 

BB: Well, you've certainly led a very interesting life, Dale and very rewarding.

 

DW: Yes, in so many aspects.  I've had, this is not recording is it?

 

BB: Yeah, oh yes, we're still recording.

 

DW: I've gone through the throws of losing a partner, and finding a new one through square dancing, who was a square dancer, a fan of ours at one time.  I don't know whether she's listening or not, but then they joined a club because they had all their friends. Oh, Ruth and Art, my current wife, her husband, he and I sponsored a touring group of high school dancers under the leadership of, from Spokane WA, Henderson.

 

BB: Red Henderson

 

DW: Red Henderson, The Silver Spurs, we sponsored them at a big dance here in Milwaukee at a dance at a big high school gymnasium and it was fantastic.

 

BB: I saw them two or three times.

 

DW: Did you, really? Is he still?

 

BB: I have no idea, I can't get in touch with him,

 

DW: Yeah, we got him on television and, oh that's another whole chapter. Because we were privileged to not only see the Cheyenne Mt, Dancers but Red Henderson and he had a great group of dancers. He emulated Pappy Shaw's dancers as well as anybody could without the personal.

 

BB: Well they had a very comprehensive program in Spokane, actually, then the Spurs grew, was the ultimate for kids starting in grade school.  I wish we could do that today.

 

DW: It's gonna be a hard, hard, because kids today are a whole different breed, 

 

 

BB: Well I think we've covered most of the points that I wanted to cover unless you think of something else.

 

DW: Well, I hope I've done it justice because I've been looking forward to this opportunity to talk about something that I dearly love.  And it has influenced my life so richly.  Nobody can understand it.  You don't just walk down the street and meet somebody and "Oh hi Dale, I remember the wonderful times we had with you ‘. God, we did it not because we felt we were doing, we did it because we had something to give that they could accept and be a part of, It's this interview is the ultimate in my goals.

 

BB: Thank you very much, we're looking forward to getting this transcribed and putting it in print and making it available to people who might be interested in the history of the activity at some time in the future.

 

DW And I hope that's going to come to pass because we need that kind of thing in this country today.

 

BB: Well I have a copy of the information that you sent to me which I appreciate.  It embraced a lot of the stuff that we've talked about.  So, I appreciate you're sending me that.

 

DW: Yeah, I think what you have in mind is the history of square dancing, the S D A W (?).  Maybe I should put you in touch with out state association because they're compiling a history of the state.  Would that be of any help to you?

 

BB Well, we're always interested in any information that we can get.

 

DW: I'll talk to these people, I mean this is what I wrote this for. But then I have since heard that Elmer Elias, who was the secretary of the SDAW for years and years kept a great record and he has submitted recorded minutes of.

 

BB: Well I think we're kind of winding down so why don't we terminate this and let me say for the sake of the tape that this concludes our interview with Dale Wagner of Wawautosa WI in November 1997 and once again thank you very much, Dale.

 

DW: Thank you Bob,

 

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Written By: Bob Brundage
Date Posted: 12/16/2007
Number of Views: 1406

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