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Support New Callers, Appreciate the Veterans

Marshall Flippo calls to the music of the Fiddlegrass bluegrass band at Summer Festival 2010 in Pendleton.

Veteran caller Roger Putzler recently announced publicly that he is cutting back his calling schedule. His news is a sad reminder that many of our beloved callers are nearing retirement and will be phasing out of square dancing.

Lee Ashwill alluded to this phenomena in his recent letter to the editor, published in the September “Oregon Federation News.” He wrote, in regard to the many dancers who chose to stay home from the 2010 summer festival: “I feel sorry that you didn’t take this opportunity to dance to Mr. [Marshall] Flippo.

“Like the rest of us, Marshall is not getting any younger, and who knows how long you will have the opportunity to enjoy his calling.”

Yes, the square dance community should relish the opportunity to dance to these expert, seasoned callers. But we should also support the younger, up-and-coming callers. These are the men and women who will be calling the dances of the future.

For example, Chuck Garner will be caller emcee for the Oregon Federation News subscription dance Sept. 22. Garner, along with Mike Kious, Jonny Roberts and David Trout, are some of the newer callers who will eventually replace today’s veterans. Let’s turn out for this dance at Abernethy Grange and other events such as the caller’s co-op the first and third Saturdays at Salem Square Dance Center.

Any maybe some other square dancers with personality, with a good singing voice and with the drive to promote square dancing should think about learning to be a caller, too.


One Response

  1. Sounds like the last paragraph on that story was directed to people like me????

    Good Job with great information

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