Harold and Carolyn Myers retired this year after the Ridge Runner dance on August 13th, 2011. They are both Colorado natives and they met at a Rocky Tops demo at Lakeside Shopping Center, where they called and cued together. They married in September of 1994. Harold has been calling for the Ridge Runners since 1983 and Carolyn has been cueing for the Ridge Runners since 2003. Through rain, hail, and snow, they have come to lead our dances, lessons, and demos. The Ridge Runners club has had both good and lean times but knowing we had their support has been instrumental in keeping the club together.
Harold began square dancing in 1960 with the Family Swingers in Englewood. In 1977 friends that Sondra worked with, including Marilyn Millsapps, invited Harold & Sondra to take renewal lessons from Carl Beck. Keith Millsapps was calling and cuing at that time. Harold started calling for the Ridge Runners in 1983. About 25 years ago Harold missed one dance because the snow was so high he couldn’t get out of his driveway. Harold is a great caller! He has called in 11 states for over 50 clubs and for 1256+ dances over the last 28 years. He plays guitar and a little mandolin by ear!!! He has played in several bands, including the Liberty band for eight years, and one in Illinois where there were 50 squares. He lived in Lamar before moving to Denver working for the power company. He is an expert doing scroll saw art work and keeps up with the yard work; they have a large yard in Lakewood with two ponds.
A friend of Carolyn’s suggested that they should take square dancing lessons. They took lessons with the Phoenix B&B’s; from Mainstream thru Plus; their instructor was Dennis Farrer. Carolyn started dancing with the Fiddlesteppers in September of 1990. In 1993 Carolyn took lessons from John Herr and began cueing with him at Rocky Tops. She started giving Round dance lessons at Ridge Runners in 2002 and started cueing Rounds for the club in 2003. She enjoys gardening, makes lovely jewelry and has won awards for her photography. She also worked as an EMT, a travel agent, a medical assistant, and a realtor.
Harold and Carolyn have been dedicated leaders of our club; involved in instructing lessons and donating time to do demonstrations to support the club as well as calling and cuing for our dances. Their efforts are greatly appreciated and they plan to continue dancing with the Ridge Runners for a long time.
Written by Allan & Janet Carlson / Carol Gammill May 9, 2011
Bill and I met on a blind date. Our friend Joanie invited us to a tea at our church. We both had mutual friends and church family. We dated for 6 months; at dinner one evening Bill proposed to me and then took me out to enjoy a ballet. We were married in 1984. Bill was 15 when he lost his father, while living in Taiwan. His father, an army sergeant, suffered a fatal heart attack. I was 9 when I lost my father; when my parents divorced.
Bill had squared danced 6 nights a week with Fiddlesteppers but he was more interested in round dancing. I couldn’t round dance very well so we quit dancing until we finally heard about the Ridge Runners in 2000. We got involved, now we both love to square and round dance. We dance regularly with the Ridge Runners and all over Denver about 3 times a week. We enjoy all of the friends that we have gotten to know. We highly recommend square dancing to our friends.
Most of our married life we have lived in the mountains. We especially enjoy seeing the wild life. Bills work transferred us to Michigan and we lived there for 6 years. There we enjoyed the rivers and boats. We were overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people. But I wanted to get home to our families so we moved back to Colorado.
Bill was a computer programmer at Lockheed Martin. He retired in 1998. He spends most of his time working on computer programs or on his other hobby, wood working. He has published an android maze game through Amazon; you can find out more about it at http://wsmaze.wordpress.com. He is the subscription manager for the Denver Area Square and Round Dance Council.
I was a nurse but I had to find another occupation because it was hard on my back. I became a real estate broker, I had a good time and I sold 6 houses but I didn’t really make any money after all the expenses were paid. When we moved to Michigan neither of my licenses were supported there so I retired from my work, that’s when I got into quilting. The two loves of my life are quilting and square dancing. I am the webmaster for the Ridge Runners. The web site is https://squaredancingconifercolorado.wordpress.com
In 2008 I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease, MCTD (mixed connective tissue disease). I found the path to remission from the websites http://www.rheumatic.org and www.roadback.org. I read the book The Road Back by Thomas McPherson Brown, M.D. Dr. Brown studied rheumatoid arthritis; he discovered the cause and the cure for autoimmune diseases. He died in 1988; hundreds of people have written their testimonies proving that the antibiotic therapy works. An inexpensive antibiotic (minocycline) taken once a day 3 times a week has put my disease in remission! I have a web site at http://autoimmuneremission.wordpress.com
August 28, 2014
Mike and Barbara both grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. They were seventeen when they met on a blind date that Barb’s friend had set up. But as it happened the date was playing the guitar in the band and Mike and Barb were sitting in the audience getting to know each other. They met again at a football game a few months later, dated for two years; then married on Sept 5th, 1969. Their daughter Valerie lives with her husband in IL. Son Brian and his wife live in WI with Mike and Barb’s 2 yr old grand-daughter. They are also very excited to be welcoming a grand-son coming in March.
Mike had a friend at work who was so excited about square dancing that Mike wanted to take lessons right away but Barbara declined because she was seven months pregnant. Both friends were in the Air Force and were stationed in England in 1977; they joined a British American club, Liberty Squares and took square dance lessons from a British caller and round dancing from a Welsh cuer. They have Overseas Dancer Badges. In 1980 they moved to Colorado and joined the Prairie Stars, who danced in Byers and later moved to Bennett. Barb remembers making 2nd and 3rd year Anniversary cakes for the club. In l996 they moved to Conifer and joined the Ridge Runners a few years later. They have held every office for the Ridge Runners except Secretary and are currently our Presidents. Mike recently retired and is learning to call square dancing. They have attended at least five Nationals and many State Festivals. Their daughter learned to dance when she was 8 yrs old and their son learned when he was 13 yrs old. Their son currently enjoys country and western dancing. Barb’s sister & brother-in-law danced for ten years in Ohio.
Mike retired from Lockheed Martin as a Programmer/Analyst. He enjoys wood working and practicing calling. Barb is an RN and works for Cigna from her computer at home. Barbara enjoys sewing, quilting, some crafts, and walking the dogs (Bonnie & Shelby). She is a member of the Bailey Patchworkers quilting group, and she volunteers with the Evergreen Animal Protective League. They travel to Illinois and Wisconsin as often as they can to visit their children and granddaughter.
Mike & Barbara both say that square dancing is a great way to make long lasting friends.
December 8, 2011
Allan was born and raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Janet was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay area. Allan came to Colorado to go to graduate school to be able to be a teacher. He was in the Peace Corps before this and decided he wanted to teach. Janet was going to school at CU to be a teacher and they met in a lovely (ha!) education class.
They have been married to each other for 44 years and still are speaking to each other. They have three sons who are living on each coast and in Texas now. They have five grandchildren ages 26 to two months old. All are doing fine and Allan and Janet love to visit them.
Allan has worked many jobs. He has been a pin setter in a bowling alley, which he did by hand; plasterer’s tender; Western Union messenger; a roofer of homes. He finally became a chemist and later a chemistry teacher. Janet was a teacher and later became a social worker.
Allan has many hobbies since he has retired. He does wood and stone carving, makes spoon figures, loves reading, especially about history. He still works part-time for National Geographic Maps and occasionally as a consultant at his last job at ADA Technologies.
Janet loves to read, does sewing for the grandkids and enjoys cooking. Both love to travel and went to Europe before they were married. They visit their sons and are planning a trip to Copper Canyon in November.
Janet started to square dance in 4-H and school. Allan square danced in the Peace Corps. Both now are on their fifth year of dancing. They were treasurer of our club for two years and now Allan does the publicity for the club.
Profile by Sue Miner October 2008
Let me tell you a little about Don and Gail; they have been the Ridge Runner’s Banner Representatives since 2008; 25 years ago they square danced for a year in Virginia. Gail found out about the Ridge Runners from an ad in the local paper and they decided to take lessons. Coincidently they found out that her sister and husband have square danced.
Both Don & Gail are from Chicago but they met as freshmen in college in Monmouth, Illinois. They have two sons, Eric and Don, and six grandchildren: 3 boys & 3 girls. Eric lives in a suburb of Washington, DC, and Don lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Both Don & Gail are retired. Don worked for the US Geological Survey. Gail taught junior high, worked as a telephone reservationist for US Airways, and then as a realtor for Coldwell Banker in VA and CO.
Don’s hobby is model Lionel trains. The principal interests for both are outdoor activities – hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing. They travel mostly to see family. They are pleased to be able to dance plus with some confidence, and encourage others to square dance because it is a lot of fun!!!
November 26, 2011
Jim and Jane left California to move to Colorado to join their daughter in 2005. Ironically their daughter moved back to California, but they say they are staying here.
A year later they were looking at the Canyon Courier and saw the ad for the Ridge Runner’s lessons. They decided to try it out because they wanted to meet people. They’ve square danced for six years since that day. When they took Round dance lessons they fell in love with Round dancing. They love dancing to the music are particular about dancing with good the callers and cuers.
They were introduced by two friends and married eight months later. Jane had lived in California for her whole life except a year she spent in Chicago working for United Air Lines. Jim lived in California since his early twenties. Jim came from Illinois originally. He was an Elementary school teacher for 40 Years, he loves children. Jane started out as a teacher but decided to go into nursing. She was an OR nurse for 30 years. They have one daughter who has two boys and one girl. The children are five, seven and nine years old. They visit them regularly.
They are volunteers for Jefferson County open space; they hike the trails and are available to people to answer questions and in case of an emergency. They love to ski, hike, snow shoe, and dance. They travel around Colorado and stay in Leadville while they ski. They are planning a trip to Yellowstone. Jane makes beautiful cards and does scrapbooking. She also has a hobby of making baskets out of heavy paper. These baskets are presented to shelters at Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
They both agree that the thing they like most about square dancing is moving to the music and the friendships that they make!
September 8, 2011
Chuck was drafted during the Korean War but for some reason was sent to the other side of the world, Nuernberg, Germany as a Medic. That is where they met and got married. They came to America in 1955. Chuck studied Electronic Engineering at C/U. But railroading was his “love.” He first started with the Rio Grande Railroad and later transferred over to Union Station where he was Yardmaster until he retired. They have two children and two granddaughters.
A fellow yardmaster, Perry Southwell kept prodding Chuck to take square dance lessons so in September of 1977 they finally followed his advice. They took lessons from David Smith, renowned caller, recording artist, and Club Caller for the Ridge Runners, graduating in David’s last Ridge Runners class in 1978. David Smith died in 1978. Irma said, “the graduation party arranged by David and the Club was a most memorable event”. The fun, the friendship, the camaraderie offered by the Club was unforgettable.
They went dancing with their friends, Perry and Liz Southwell who danced at Leroy Shade’s club in Wheatridge, the “Starshooters”. Over the years Chuck and Irmgard danced at almost every Club and to all the callers in the Denver Area. They helped steal and retrieve the Ridge Runners’ banner hundreds of times, sometimes visiting other clubs twice a week. That was when Denver had 65 clubs in the area! They helped arrange our annual, elaborate Sweetheart Dance at the Fairgrounds for 24 years. Chuck and Irmgard were elected Club President in 1979. They thoroughly enjoyed being Council Reps for 10 years, Secretary for 2-1/2 years and Vice President. On behalf of the Denver Area Square Dance Council, they were elected Council Class Visitation Reps. (86 to 88) welcoming new students to our sport at graduation time. They enjoyed dancing at the State and National Conventions when they were able to go.
In 1977 they were angels with Keith & Marilyn Millsapps and Mike & Gloria Tekler. They never missed Ridge Runners Sunday Beginners Lessons when they were in town. Therefore, they are proud to have been ‘angels” for 30 years.
Most foreigners have a hard time adapting to American square dancing, hut once they master it, they are hooked and committed, and so were Irma and Chuck. They square danced with several German Clubs when visiting in Germany. They were honored to be International Hosts during the Nationals held in Denver. They welcomed foreign dancers, making them feel comfortable, and “at home.”
For 20 years, the Grahams owned the dance studio which is now Peak Academy of Dance. Their daughter was Artistic Director, Irma managed the business, and Chuck overlooked electronics, sound, and mechanics of the School. The Studio, now owned by Danielle Heller welcomes the Ridge Runners to hold dances or classes when the Hall is not available to us.
Grahams have seen many highs and lows of the Ridge Runners Square Dance Club over the past 30 years. They are pleased with the growth, the guidance, wonderful friendship, and spirit in our Club now!
By Irmgard Graham October 2, 2007
I got involved in Square Dancing in the fall of 2011. I know someone that was very interested in taking classes, and Iʼd seen on Pinecam.com on the internet, that classes were starting soon in the Aspen Park area. So, I let that person know about the classes. I went to the third class to see what it was all about. I smiled and laughed and had so much fun, that I was hooked.
I’ve lived in Colorado since 1978, and am originally from Iowa. Most of the time I’ve lived in Colorado, has been in the mountains. I lived between Idaho Springs area and Empire for 26 years. I’ve lived in the Bailey area for 11 years, now. I raised both of my sons in Empire. I have two beautiful young grand-daughters, both in Idaho Springs.
I do massage therapy to earn a living, and love what I do very much. I like to go for walks, and hiking. I work out at a gym as much as I possibly can. I love to dance. Living in the mountains is also a big part of where my heart is, as is my best friend and companion – my golden retriever dog, Madison.
Written by Carol V. May 30, 2014