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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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Club News

Checkerboard to Dance in June 2013 Starlight Parade 

The Checkerboards will be on the first trailer of the square dance float this June 2013 at the Starlight Parade. 

Newport is the Destination for Checkerboards’ Annual Beach Getaway

The club rented two houses in Newport near Nye Beach for the fall getaway. In keeping with tradition, the guys cooked breakfast for the ladies on Saturday morning. The club helped with the SOLV beach cleanup on Saturday.

Checkerboards and Friends to Dance in Gresham’s Teddy Bear Parade in 2011

Mark decorates the float in 2010. Floats line up in the East Hill Church parking lot.

Dancing in the Gresham Teddy Bear Parade has become a tradition for the Checkerboard Squares. The Rockwood Grange will again sponsor the float on Sept. 24. The Checkerboards and Country Capers will dance and wave at onlookers as the trailer rolls through Gresham’s historic downtown. 

Poor Man’s Dance on April 9 Celebrated Tax Filing and the IRS

Second dancers did not pay full price at the Checkerboards’ April 9 dance. Yes, I know–square dancing already is a bargain at $5 a head. But the Checkerboards were offering an even better deal.

The first guest paid the full price: $5. But the second guest spun the wheel for a reduced price. What fun!

Because the planning committee billed this as a poor man’s dance to “celebrate” the upcoming deadline for income tax filing, dancers were welcome to wear “poor man’s attire.” For some, that meant a trip to the local thrift store or a search through boxes in the attic to find a costume. Most dancers showed up in worn clothes, overalls…even red suspenders. Checkerboard Don Harper sacrificed a good shirt by shredding the sleeves and bottom hem.

The potluck dinner at 10 p.m. was a surprise. All evening on the serving table sat a can of tuna and a can of soup. Nothing else. But the Checkerboards have a reputation for great food, and when the break came, the tin cans had been replaced with salads, sandwiches, chips and dip, rhubarb and peach desserts, ginger and chocolate chip cookies and much more.

The event was a poor man’s dance for the truly blessed. I’m thankful to be an American.

New Officers Elected for Club

The Checkerboard Squares met at the Rockwood Grange on March 8 to elect officers for the coming year and discuss callers and cuers. New officers begin their service on May 1. Steve will be the president for 2011; Dixie is treasurer, Ann is secretary. Lee is acting president until May.

Beach Trip

The annual beach trip was Sept. 17, 18. The club headed north to Birch Bay near the Canadian border and stayed in World Mark condos there.


The Checkerboards visited the Sunset Promenaders April 2 for that club’s circus-themed dance. They visited the Buzzin’ Bees Gospel dance and the Country Capers’ Elvis dance in March. Club members have been taking new dancers to various jamborees in the Portland area. Two couples went to the B&B’s new year’s dance, which was targetted at new dancers.

The club visited the Country Cutups at the Boring Barn for their 50th anniversary on Oct. 2. The club had visited the Country  Cutups on Aug. 21. The Checkerboards visited the B and B’s on Feb. 3. On Feb. 25, we joined the Country Capers at the Rockwood Grange for their new dancer’s graduation. Several of our own students were in the class. The Checkerboards visited the Oaky Doaks at the Oak Grove Community Center for their Sadie Hawkins’ Day dance on March 6. Dancers wore hillbilly outfits or square dance attire. We visited the Toedraggers on April 2 at the Kinton Grange. The Checkerboards visited the Oaky Doaks for their anniversary May 1. On our mystery trip, we dropped in on the Sunset Promenaders in Hillsboro. We joined the R Square D’s in Longview on May 21. We’ danced with the Valley River Dancers in Newberg on June 11, 2010.

Mystery Trip Explores 150 Miles of Willamette Valley

The Checkerboards take the Canby Ferry across the Willamette River.

A winding drive through the countryside near Canby, Ore., led the Checkerboards to the six-car Canby ferry. For $2 per vehicle, we floated across the Willamette River, snapping pictures as we leaned over the rails. Country roads led to Wilsonville City Center and I-5. Forty minutes later, we were buying admission tickets ($3 for seniors or for AAA members) to Salem’s historical Bush house. The tour lasted nearly an hour–we asked too many questions. Antique furniture fills the house. We learned that the bathroom with its tub and flush toilet were major attractions to early visitors.

Mark, Bev, Dixie and Tony stand outside the entrance to Salem's historic Bush House.

Tony shared his home-made beef jerky and Fritos before we caravanned to Schreiner’s Iris Gardensnear Brooks, Ore. Iris in purples, blues, pink, yellow, white-–even black–

brightened the display gardens. Allium, peonies, columbine and other flowers accented the flower beds. Club members wandered down the rows of iris, snapping photos. Some Checkerboards sat in the shade at picnic tables or checked out the gift shop. It has an iris theme.

Iris are in full bloom at Schreiner's Iris Gardens.

Shari’s in Newberg was the next destination. On the way, we wandered backroads through wine country, past farmhouses with white picket fences and tumbling-down barns. From Newberg, we headed toward Scholls, past the historic South Store Cafe, wound around the side of Bald Mountain and arrived on Main Street in Hillsboro. Sunset Promenaders who dance at the IOOF Hall in Hillsboro welcomed us. Harold Kleve called as we square danced and round danced until 10 p.m. when the Promenaders served dinner…including birthday cake. Then the Sunset Highway led us home.

The scenery, friendships, laughter, food and attractions made for a day we will savor all summer.

The Checkerboards, like this man, wander through the iris gardens, taking photos and visiting the gift shop.


The Checkerboards run into fellow dancers on the Canby Ferry.

Mardi Gras Dance

Pirates, a riverboat gambler, a masked man, a fortune-teller and a jester were the noteworthy costumes at the Feb. 13 Mardi Gras dance. And beads were hanging from almost every neck. The “fortune-teller” read palms for free between tips.

Pirates photo

Helen and Lee dressed as pirates for the Mardi Gras dance in February.

At 10 p.m., everyone assembled downstairs for the potluck, which featured New Orleans-style food such as jambalaya, red beans and rice, a New Orleans-style yam casserole, and a shrimp stir fry. Helen hid a prize in the  cake. Tony found it–and didn’t break a tooth on the tiny red heart that can hang on a pendant. Bev’s homemade cherry cheesecake disappeared quickly. Door prizes were heart-shaped boxes of cookies.

Nineteen Oaky Doak members turned out for a visitation. So they went home with a Checkerboard banner.

New Officers Elected

Karl is the new president, Wanda is vice president, Ann is continuing as secretary, Dixie is continuing as treasurer, and Steve is PAC delegate with Helen as alternate delegate. Mark, Bev, Lee and Helen are board members.


2 Responses

  1. Nice Job Ann.

  2. We are so sorry to hear of Tony’s passing. I wish we had one more time to say “hey, Tony.”

    The club must be at loose ends with such a loss. We are with you in spirit.

    Our prayers for the Club and Tony’s family.

    Max and Mindy Brown

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