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This article appears in the May issue of Central Ohio's CUES & TIPS magazine.

Okay, I’m at it again – the weather. Listening to the news the other day, I liked the reference to the fact that we are having SPRINTER. And yes, I believe that the roller coaster of weather events has made this winter and spring one for the books. But, the thing that most got my attention was the tornado that hit Grove City on April 3rd. When I heard the sirens and all the warnings, I did my usual thing – shut my blinds and got away from windows, completely ignoring my basement. I had watched the hail earlier and thought what an inconvenience it would be to fix my car. Little did I know that many of my friends were going to be stretched to the max with the inconvenience this storm caused to their lives. Snapped power line poles, roofs missing tiles and worse, mangled trees, and outside furniture destroyed or delivered to homes far away.


Our church was unharmed, but unavailable as many of those broken poles were on Orders Road. Our parking lot became home to many electric company trucks from here, other parts of Ohio, and other states. So, we had our church in J. C. Sommers Elementary. Many people hunted for generators and still lost much of their food supplies. The Red Cross established shelters for those without power – many until the Monday and Tuesday after the storm. Some people really never left home because of the closures of Orders and Hoover Roads.


So, what positives come out of a situation like this? First off, the blessing of no deaths. Next, the way people connected helping with the physical needs of their friends and neighbors. Even in our heavy information era, we still called to keep people informed of services – in the community and in our church. Same with other churches. It is beautiful the way people will come to the aid of others. But then again, we do that in the square dance community, too. And as for me? I will think harder and more seriously about heading for the basement when I hear the sirens.


Even with all the weather mess, we still had a great time in April. I will mention that our March 31st dance was fantastic with Jack Pladdys and Tom Strickland along with cuer Linda Bishop. We had a big crowd [14+ squares] and kept two halls going most of the evening. Pretty impressive for the night before Easter – particularly those who had sunrise services to go to. We want to thank our April callers Dan Austen and Jason Raleigh along with cuers Mark Johnson and Chuck Berry. Everyone did a great job in making our dances fun. And these were the last Hi-lo dances as all the clubs graduated in April.


In May, we have one dance on the 12th. It is the 50’s Dance with Jack Pladdys and Phyllis Burdette. Feel free to dig out those 50’s clothes and hair styles – or dance as you normally do for square dances. Just come to have fun since that is what it is all about. Now, the reason we only have the one dance is the Memorial Day Weekend. In June, we will make up for this by hosting three dances: June 9th the Relay for Life Charity Dance with Jason Raleigh, Tom Davis, John Ramsey, and Mark Johnson; June 23rd Tom Strickland and Phyllis Burdette; and June 30th with Mark Patterson, Travis Cook, and Phyllis Burdette. Remember that in the months of June, July, and August we have casual dress at our dances.


We want to welcome our new dancers who graduated at the end of April. They are Patti Alexander, Judy Beckmam, Pat Cavinee, Candie Gutierrez, and Nancy Gutierrez. Our graduation night is a cross between the seriousness of responsibility as a dancer and the fun of just enjoying the joy set to music and the dance. Thanks again to Bob and Nancy Daye [who just celebrated 60 years of marriage – Congratulations] for all their expertise and support. We love them for all they have done for our activity. We have enjoyed having some of these new dancers going with us to banner activities at Orbiting Square earlies this month and Gem City Squares at Michael Solomon Pavilion in Dayton later this month.


Now, we want to pay our respects to Mel and Pat Jones on the passing her father – Cliff Cahill. This is a loss to all in Pat’s family – but also to the square dance community in the past years. One may have to drop out of the activity due to health, but hearts are still connected in the shared experiences. At the visitation, there was talk of many memories of some of the festivals, trips, and local dances. Thanks for all the memories. May yours grow as Mel and Pat’s have over the years as they learned from square dancing parents.


Take care of yourselves. Welcome back snowbirds [and think of all the fun they missed outside]. See you in a square.


Barb Lovingshimer, Club Secretary.