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  • Dance Schedule

    May 11
    Dark. No dance.

    May 25
    Terry Halley, caller
    Ken Prattt, cuer

    The Checkerboard Squares dance at the Rockwood Grange, located at 183rd and Southeast Stark Street between the Taco Time restaurant and the Motel 6 in Gresham, Ore. Admission: $5 for non-members.

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Chinese New Year Dance

Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Feb. 9 dance the Checkerboard Squares club is hosting. Come dressed for the occasion. The caller will be Mike Stout; the cuer will be Ken Pratt.

On Feb. 23, K.C. Curtis will be calling the Checkerboard’s dance. Debbie Combs will cue.

For both dances, intermediate rounds start at 7:30 p.m., and mainstream square dancing starts at 8 p.m. Every third tip is plus.

The Checkerboard Squares dance at the Rockwood Grange, 183rd and Southeast Stark.


Checkerboards Throw Birthday Party Nov. 10

The Checkerboard Squares invite you to circle Nov. 10 on your calendar. Save that date for our 52nd birthday dance.

Now let’s dream about the ideal birthday party. For starters, at ideal birthday parties you mingle and chat with your friends. (That’s the best part.) You can do that at our birthday dance. Ideal birthday parties serve cake. We’ll have cake plus a full buffet of delicious treats at our 10 p.m. break. (The Checkerboards are known for their cooking.) Ideal birthday parties mean dressing up. You’re welcome to wear your square dance finest to our birthday dance.

Ideal birthday parties include games and activities. At our party, you can dance nonstop all evening. (The caller and cuer may even teach some new moves as Craig Abercrombie did at a recent Checkerboard dance.) Ideal birthday parties have gifts. We’ll give away door prizes to some lucky people, plus split the pot. (Yes, at our party, the guests get the gifts.)

Ideal birthday parties have surprises. Sorry, I can’t spill our secrets. (You’ll have to trust me on this one.) OK, I think you get the idea. This dance is going to be fun. You won’t want to miss it. We hope to see you dancing!

Tony Haskins, Aug. 8, 1950 – March 16, 2012

Tony Haskins served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. He was chairman of the Oregon State Grange's veteran's committee.

Tony Haskins, beloved member of the Checkerboard Squares, died of a heart attack on March 16, 2012. He was 61 years old.

 Tony served as president of the Portland Area Council of square and round dancers. He also was first vice president of the Oregon Federation of Square and Round Dancers. He was poised to become state federation president next year, had he lived. His black Ram pickup pulled many a float in the Starlight and Gresham Teddy Bear parades.

The Grange was another of Tony’s interests. He was master (president) of the Rockwood Grange. He served as chairman of the Oregon State Grange’s veteran’s committee.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, Tony bowled on two senior bowling leagues.

He was a member of Greater Grace Lutheran Brethren Church. He was responsible for the church’s Snow Cap donation barrel and enjoyed delivering the collected food to Snow Cap.

Tony was born in Prairie City, Ore., and grew up in Bates, Ore., a lumber mill town. During his high school years, he played the trumpet, often performing taps at military funerals. He enjoyed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to his family’s mountain cabin on a gold mining claim. He was an excellent guitar player with a country-style voice.

Following high school, Tony served twice in the U.S. Army. He was in the infantry and was a chaplain’s assistant. He attended college in Idaho where he studied journalism and restaurant management. Restaurant management became his career. He was restaurant manager for the Sambos chain in California, where he oversaw multiple restaurants as a district manager. He managed many other restaurants until he retired at age 45.

Tony was known for his sense of humor, his wide smile and his big heart. We love you, Tony, and we miss you. We will never forget you.

Celebrate Buffalo Bill’s Birthday With the Checkerboard Squares

The Checkerboards are celebrating Buffalo Bill’s birthday with a western-themed dance on Feb. 25. Rumor has it that our club president-turned-bouncer, Steve Rogers, will be confiscating all caps guns and water pistols at the door (so you may want to leave them at home).

I’ve also heard that Grange master Tony Haskins is a little worried about spurs scratching his pristine wood floor at the Rockwood Grange. Tough luck, Tony. We’re expecting a crowd of cowboys and cowgirls. So pull out the cowboy duds, spurs and all, and come dance with us!

Checkerboard Squares Win Mid-Winter Ribbon

The Checkerboard Squares won a free Mid-Winter ribbon for being the club with the highest percentage of its members registered at the time of  the ribbon presentation. 

The Checkerboard Squares often eat together Saturday night at Pop's Branding Iron Restaurant in Albany.


The colossal salad brings a smile to Checkerboard Lee Putman.

At Mid-Winter, the club members had their annual Saturday dinner at  Pop’s Branding Iron. The restaurant has ample seating for large groups in the banquet room, so the club can sit together at one long table. After seeing the size of the salads, a new member said of Pop’s: “I can see why you guys like to eat here.”

Another Mid-Winter Checkerboard tradition is meeting for an after-after party following the evening square dances to enjoy visiting and munching snacks. 

Cake Walk Awarding Free Cakes to Be Highlight at Next Checkerboard Dance

A cake walk will be part of the entertainment at the Checkeboard Squares’ dance Jan. 14. Cakes will be given away to winners, not sold. This is not a fundraiser. So come prepared to take home a delicious cake. The dance will begin with rounds at 7:30 p.m.; squares will begin at 8 p.m. The usual potluck will begin at 10 p.m. 

Cakes at the cake walk will be lovelier than this flat, messy cake made by the Checkerboards' Web master.

Ken Pratt to Become Checkerboard Squares’ Club Cuer

Ken Pratt will become the Checkerboards’ official club cuer starting in January 2012. Everyone in the square and round dance community knows who Ken Pratt is. He and his lovely wife, Diane, do an exhibition round dance every year at Mid-Winter’s showcase of rounds.