So What's Happening in the SSQQ Jungle These Days ??
Is SSQQ the Romance Capital of
30 SSQQ Couples got Engaged and/or
Married in Year 2000.
Does this make SSQQ the Romance Capital of Houston?
Decide for yourself.
and Romance 2000
(PS - this link is good as of 2006)
Davidson and Dennis Clawsen get Married
Congratulations to SSQQ staff member Karen Davidson!
On Saturday September 29 Karen and Dennis Clawsen were Married. Imagine
my surprise when I found
out about it just three days before the wedding! It wasn't elopin', but
it sure felt like it!
Best wishes to a great lady and a nice guy!!
Baehr and Harsha Mokashi get Married
The former Miss Kelly Baehr met her handsome husband Harsha at SSQQ a couple years ago. Kelly was a first-year middle school art teacher when she moved to Houston from Iowa back in 1994. Kelly was sweet enough to come to help my daughter Samantha with various art projects here at the studio. Naturally I am very happy for her and
Harsha. Here is her note:
"Dear Rick, I thought I would drop a line and let you know that Harsha and I got married in Iowa, August, 18th, 2001. I hope all is well in Texas, we are currently living in New Jersey.
I came across the ssqq homepage, and was amazed to see my name on your list. Well, anyway, if it must be known, Harsha and I officially met at one of Darrell Armstong's parties several years ago, obviously we all had the same social circle friends of SSQQ.
I will never forget all the wonderful times I have spent with your daughter, Sammie, and can't believe she must be in 5th-6th grade (?)now!
Keep in touch and when Harsha and I visit in Houston, we will stop bye, tell everyone who knew us, hello." Kelly
Julien and Ken Adair get Engaged
"My thanks to SSQQ for having practice nights on Tuesdays at the Long Horn! Otherwise, I may not have met the man I am going to marry!
His name is Ken Adair. He is a previous SSQQ student. I met him at dance practice at the Longhorn on Tuesday, July 10th. I had only been to dance practice twice before that (I usually play softball with my work on Tuesdays - two rain outs in June - so I went to dance practice!). Also, I was scheduled to be in Melrose Park,IL on July 10 for a map computer training course for my employer. At the last minute the trip was cancelled. So I decided - go to dance practice! And there he was. I smiled at him, he asked me to dance, and we danced. I didn't give him my number (nor did he ask)!
But I went back to dance practice the next Tuesday and he was there again, and again the following Tuesday! I had a rule though, I was never going to have a relationship of with any man I met in a bar! But, dance practice is not the same, and as you can see, I made an exception!!
Funny thing is, we're both from California. I have been here for two years and Ken has been here for a little over 5 years. He is from Sacramento and I am from Redding (about 200 miles apart). We had to move all the way to Houston, TX (2007 miles) to meet!!!!
And, we've taken a dance class together since we met and plan on taking a few more. Of course, at SSQQ!!" Donna Julien
Biddy and Ken McElvain get Engaged
Ken and Betty met in my very own Western
Swing class on Wednesday nights around May. In a class full of all sorts
of trouble makers such as Tommy Huddleston, Diane Murrell, Sandy
Lenarduzzi, and many more, I am amazed they could concentrate long
enough to connect on the level that they did.
Betty whispered the good news to me on
Sunday, October 1. Best wishes to both!
Mark Billingsley and Cindy Hansen
On Saturday, September 1st, Mark and Cindy
are scheduled to have their wedding. I imagine their first dance will be
something to behold - they have been practicing with Judy Archer for
several months in preparation!
Mark and Cindy met right here at SSQQ in a
Western class. They got engaged a year ago last August. Best wishes for
Saadeh and Jaime Potter
Doug and Jaime wrote in to announce they
are getting married March 23rd. Doug and Jaime took most of our Whip
classes earlier this year and are currently in Martian Whip. Jaime was
sweet enough to surprise Doug with a pre-honeymoon trip on our recent
VeraCruise trip. Best wishes to both! (Click
here for their cruise picture!)
Tina Taupo & Luis Nino De Rivera get Engaged!
Tina Taupo is the beautiful sister of
SSQQ Staffer Dennis Taupo. I met her fiancee Luis in a recent
Twostep class - Tina wrote to tell me Luis is pumped to look great
at their Wedding Dance! Best wishes to both!
Perez and Megan Ann Christenson get Engaged!
Rafael and Megan are
engaged to be married on Wednesday, June 15, 2002. They are the first SSQQ couple that I know
of who met in one of our Salsa classes! I have heard that Latin
dancing is good for the libido and this welcome news reassures me that
Salsa is good for the spirit too! Best wishes to both!
Liles has a Birthday!!
been only a year since Diana and Ben Liles experienced a nightmare and
received a blessing that has changed their lives. Little Cole Liles was
born 3 MONTHS premature. Here is some of the story from last year:
On July 28, 2000 we became the proud
parents of two beautiful baby boys. Unfortunately they were only 27 weeks
along. That is about 3 months early.
William Bennett Liles IV (Will) was
born at 2lbs. 14oz. and Coleman Cooper Liles (Cole) was born at 2lbs.
6oz.. We have been on a roller coaster ever since concerning the
health of the two boys. Cole is SLOWLY but steadily improving and is still
on a machine that breathes for him, but we hope to get off by the end of
Will's lungs just were more fragile and
he lost the battle on Sunday Night about midnight and we handed him over
to the care of his grandfathers in heaven. We will be spending much of the
next many weeks in San Antonio as Cole's cheerleaders. We ask for and
thank you for ALL of your prayers and thoughts. We'll keep you updated as
Thanks from the bottom of our hearts.
Ben & Diana Liles
slowly but surely gained health. After nearly TWO MONTHS in intensive
care, Cole was strong enough to come home in late September 2000. How
times flies!! When I first saw Cole, he wasn't much bigger than your
average grapefruit, but to look at him now he is a happy, strapping boy. I
have never seen a cuter kid in my whole life which is saying something
'cause I have a certain daughter of my own I am pretty fond of (Samantha,
I am proud to say, turned 10 this past Monday!)
Ben and Diana threw Cole a Birthday party at the studio on Friday, July
27th. Cole looked terrific. He had a big grin the whole night long. At
least a dozen different people got to hold him and admire how cute he is.
I was amazed at just how much weight he has gained and how wonderfully
robust he looks!
Cole is no stranger to SSQQ. At least two nights a week he is at the
studio in the company of his Dad Ben who teaches Western and Whip at the
studio. His Mom Diana picks him up on the way home from work. Diana is a
pediatric nurse - I give her a lot of credit for the miracle survival and
recovery of her incredibly premature little boy!
As we celebrated, I asked Ben if a year ago he could even remotely vision
at such an idyllic scene just one short year later. He smiled and nodded
at the miracle turn of events. Ben replied, "I hoped it would turn
out this way, but I had a hard time believing it would
This little boy is a miracle. Congratulations to the parents for a job
pictures of Cole, click here
Romance Magic Continues...
Tony Catalano Marries
Email from Janet Barnes:
Just wanted to
pass along that Tony Catalano and Karen Day were married on July 21,
2001 at the Lancaster Hotel in downtown Houston and left soon after for
their honeymoon in France.
Editors Note: Karen
and Tony are wonderful long-time SSQQ people who go 'way back' here at the
studio. Tony and Karen have long been known as SSQQ's most
Click here for their wedding
picture! Now read below for their engagement story:
Tony Catalano and Karen Day get Engaged!
stopped me at the studio on Friday with a grin so wide it exceeded her
face. She said that Tony Catalano and Karen Day had just told her they
were getting married!
I have known Tony
and Karen for many years. They are two of the nicest people I know and
I must admit I thought they made a terrific couple the moment they
started dating about two years ago.
I of course would
never have told them that, but Susie on the other hand thinks she is
the reincarnation of Cupid. Susie is a huge matchmaker at heart. She
has had her eye on Tony and Karen for a long time. Now that they have
made it official, Susie said she can finally be at peace... except
that now Susie has her eye on another couple! Poor Susie.
In the meantime, I
am extraordinarily pleased for Tony and Karen! What a lovely
Speaking of Wedding Pictures, check out Barbara
Barbara Moore (nee
Herndon) is a gal with a sense of humor. Just back from her honeymoon, I
ran into Barbara and new husband Bill at the Longhorn. After I helped them
up, Barbara smiled and asked me if I noticed any change. Actually I said
she was much prettier than I remembered her. She said the marriage had
helped her appearance considerably and was glad I noticed. First you
should see how much Barbara has improved (Click
here for her wedding picture!)!! Then click
here to figure out what the joke is about.
Barbara wrote me when she sent me her wedding picture, she 'cleans up
pretty good'. That's an understatement in my opinion!
Email from Janet Barnes:
Quick reminder that Sharon Schafer and Don Blakey were
married on Saturday, May 26, 2001!
Jim Bohli, one of our long-time Whip
students from the mid-90s, wed the lovely redheaded former Miss Sharon
Scribner on Saturday, July 14th. Although they didn't meet at the studio,
this doesn't prevent me from claiming partial credit since Jim clearly met
Sharon through dancing (either Whip or Square Dancing, I'm not
Jim was in one of my most famous Whip
classes. He was a classmate of SSQQ Instructors Beth Bowman and Jack
Benard in 1994. I met Sharon this year when she took one of my Whip
classes too - with Jim happily attending the classes with her as well.
Sharon is a lovely, graceful woman indeed!
Best wishes to both!
So far, SSQQ has had 10
new weddings in 6 months. This puts us on track to equal or better our
impressive record from a year ago when we had 18 SSQQ Weddings! Yes,
I still think our studio is the Romance Capital of Houston.
Bezemek Marries Elizabeth Monzingo
Congratulations to Gary Bezemek
and the former Miss Elizabeth
Monzingo! I ran into them at the studio a couple weeks
ago and noticed they were sporting huge smiles. Gary and ElizaI hadn't
seen them lately, so I immediately stopped to ask when the wedding was.
They grinned even wider and said they had gotten married back in April.
Ah, so that was the big secret!! Congratulations to both. I hope
they will send me a wedding picture!
Carlton Marries Brenda Evett
Last summer 2000 a beautiful lady named Brenda Evetts was clearly one of the
stars of my Whip class. In addition to her good looks and big smile, Brenda was also a
natural dancer. She looked great when she did the Whip!! However I
wasn't the only one to notice. Almost immediately Larry Carlton took note
and asked Brenda out. And now look what happened!! Larry proposed to
Brenda in September and I just now found out they tied the knot this past
March. Congratulations to a great couple!
Larry Carlton is a holder of one of SSQQ's
Lifetime Contribution Card holders. Larry is a carpenter-extraordinaire.
Not only will you see his work on display in a week or two when Dracula's
coffin re-emerges, but he designed and made the big "S-S-Q-Q"
letters you see in Room 3 as well as the signs on the doors for the men's
and women's restrooms. In addition Larry was instrumental in helping
remodel the studio on many different occasions. However the thing I like
Larry for the most is his wonderful annual Christmas hayride to look at
Christmas lights each December. I look forward to it all year
I am very
happy for both!!
Herndon Marries Bill Moore!!
An excerpt from an email sent to me by
Barbara and Bill's friend Mary du Plessis. They were married in Las Vegas
on June 10. Apparently the hardest part was getting out of Water World
that weekend to make their flight to Vegas!
At 5:00 Bill's best man, Gerald and his girlfriend, Roseanna (she's all for marriage, as long as it's someone else's), meet us in Bill and Barbara's room. Barbara is breathtakingly beautiful in her simple lace bodice and satin skirt. Bill is completely dashing in his smart western cut leather jacket and trademark black hat. The limo arrives at 5:15. First stop is the Clark County courthouse for the marriage license, then onto the Candlelight Wedding Chapel. On the way, Roseanna explains her aversion to marriage. In their eyes, she and Gerald have a wonderful relationship (spanning 21 years) and she doesn't want to ruin it by signing a piece of paper. They really seem perfect for each other. I tell my version of Barbara and Bill's story: how they dated without knowing so, how she initiated their first 'real date', then never went home again. On the surface, it's good for a laugh, but there's no denying why we're here. They fit.
The ceremony starts promptly at 6:30, even though one carload of guests is still MIA. There's another wedding right after so we must start without them.
The simple, lovely ceremony goes off without a hitch. No one even notices that Bill places Barbara's 'fing on her ringer', since Gerald and I manage to contain our laughter. They kiss - we work out a group picture of everyone in the chapel - The Group is then dismissed - wedding party pictures are taken - the wedding party is then banished for Bride and Groom shots. After twenty minutes of hugging, kissing, and refrains of 'you look beautiful', the limo takes us back to the hotel. We speak with Felicia briefly and she tells us the 3-D simulator at Caesar's Palace is a must do. Mental note taken. We won't see Felicia and Cary for the rest of the trip. Too bad, they seem like fun.
The Group then sets up at Gilley's in the Frontier Hotel for BBQ and dancing. Barbara's off to change. We find out later that Sunday is Karaoke night at the club. Barbara and Bill's wedding dance has good background music. That's all that matters. David and I are exhausted and I didn't bring boots for dancing, so we opt out. A quiet dinner at Ballista's Hole in the Wall Italian Restaurant (one of the few places NOT inside a hotel), a carafe of house wine, and an hour of working out who all the celebrities are in the photos on the wall are enough to end our day.
Bill Moore Announce Engagement!
Email sent to me by Mary du Plessis:
Thought you'd like to know that Barbara Herndon and Bill Moore got 'officially' engaged last month. They met in the Beginning Two Step class in
August 1999. After circling each other for a month or so (I was about to push her into him in the parking lot so they'd just get on with it) and
dating without even knowing it, they decided on a 'real' date and have been
inseparable ever since.
The wedding is June 10 in Vegas. I'll report when we get back!
(Editor's Note: Barbara is a tall, striking blonde
lady and Bill is extremely handsome in the Tom Selleck mode. I imagine
their wedding picture will be wonderful! In the meantime, however, I
have to report it is likely that Barbara cast a spell over Bill. Small
wonder that he finds her so irresistible! Click
here for a quick look at our engaging couple!
Did you see the picture? Good, 'cause here's
A daughter comes home from
the Peace Corps in Africa and surprises her mother. The mother is so
thrilled she can't stop hugging and kissing her daughter. Finally she
says, "Sit down, darling. Tell me all about what you were
Her daughter says, "Mom, I got married!"
"How could you do that without telling me!? What's he
like? What does he do? Where is he?"
"He's waiting outside on the porch while I tell you."
"What are you talking about? Bring him in. I want to meet my
The daughter brings him in. The mother's jaw drops in astonishment. To her
consternation the mother sees a huge black man standing before her. He is
practically naked except for a bone in his nose, hoop earrings, a
feathered cod piece, an enormous head dress, and animal tooth beads. He is
holding a very tall spear in an upright position. Her new son-in-law is
straight out of National Geographic.
The mother grabs her daughter, pinches both of her daughter's cheeks, then
gets right in her face and screams, "Daughter, I love you, but I
always warned you to listen more closely. You Dummy, ... I said a RICH
PS- if I am
found face down with a spear in my back, please ask HPD to interview Ms.
Herndon. However it will likely go down as "justifiable
On Friday, June 8, the Heavens opened up and poured down heavy
rains upon Houston for nearly 10 straight hours. Most of Houston
was completely flooded. More than 20 people lost their lives and the water
caused over three billion dollars worth of damage. Many SSQQ
students sent in stories from this evening. In particular, you can read
about Steve Bahnsen's narrow escape from a flooding vehicle whose doors
couldn't be opened! Another very interesting story is Dan Green's
fascinating minute-by-minute account of being trapped in the Truck
Graveyard at TC Jester and the Katy Bayou... oops, Katy Freeway. His very
funny story brings great wisdom as well: Don't curse
people out in a storm ...because you just might end up spending the night
with them at a gas station.
(2006 note: You can see
three pages of pictures and read the stories sent in by
members of the SSQQ community at
Flood June 2001)
Bret Nelson and Laura
Haslam Announce Engagement!
Email sent to me by Bret Nelson:
I just returned from Paris where I proposed to my girlfriend Laura
Haslam - now my fiancee - whom I met almost 2 years ago at SSQQ Practice
Congratulations to both!! Bret is
a Swing dancer who was very active in the Swing community about the
time he met Laura.
Donna Tillery Wins her
Email sent by Donna Tillery:
Thank you again for the congratulations last night. I'm still kinda in a state of shock from it all. What blows me away is my scores. I received 4 golds (east coast
swing, polka, cha-cha, and waltz) and 2 gold with honors in both 2-step and west coast swing in the open newcomer division against 7 other
pro-am couples. Anyway, talk to you later. Donna T.
(Editor's Note: Donna
Tillery is an SSQQ Staffer who takes care of Registration. She is
definitely one of the world's genuinely sweet people, so it is fun to see
her do so well at her hobby/passion)
Dave and Alison have a
(Editor's Note: Dave Mammone and his
wife Alison, the former Miss Terzakis, met here at SSQQ and were
married last year. And here is some good news!)
Email from Dave, 05-01-01
Dad, and Baby are all doing fine.
Ali and I are going to venture to Longhorn tonight for the
first time in 8 months to celebrate our first child and our first
Anniversary (May 2nd).
I hope all is well with you and your family.
Email from Allison, 05-17-01
I saw the note that Dave sent you, and thought I'd fill in the details. We had a boy, Nicholas Anthony Mammone, on April 9, 2001. He
weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. ( although he's well over 9 pounds now!) We never made it to Longhorn that Tuesday night, but are aiming for
another Tuesday soon! I'm REALLY ready to get dancing again! Maybe we'll make it to a Saturday night party at the studio before too
For a picture of the proud parents with
Nicholas, click here
Watson Marries Sherle Frost Morrison
Congratulations to Eric Watson and the former Miss
Sherle Frost Morrison!! For those of you who do not know Eric, he is
quite a character. You might enjoy reading his amusing tale about his
engagement in another part of this page. Click here.
And you definitely want to see a picture of the bride and groom. Click
here. Now here is Eric's latest letter.
I apologize for not letting you know before the May newsletter. Sherle Frost Morrison and Eric Watson were married April 14, 2001. In spite of her liberated attitudes, higher degree, high powered job, obscene salary and general "inchargeness", Sherle insisted on changing her name to Sherle Watson. Sherle and Eric Watson will be back soon for more lessons.
Henderson Marries Carlos Da Silva
SSQQ Ballroom and Swing instructor Paula Henderson
got married to Carlos da Silva recently. Although I am unsure of the date,
I believe it was April 14th. I would love to claim this lovely couple as
another SSQQ Romance, but they met at their church. Phooey!! Here is
their wedding picture... click here
And here is the story Paula sent me about the
Here is the wedding photo you asked for. Being a new bride I would publish the entire album if left to me.
Many guests came from out of town. Carlos' sister came from Brazil. My mom, brother, two sisters and their families came from Kansas. Some of Carlos' friends came from Denton and Austin.
We had our rehearsal dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. I strongly recommend it. We had a lot of fun!
The wedding was bit of an untraditional American one. Instead of bride's maids and groom's men, we went with the Brazilian tradition of having witnesses. Their job was to enter like usual but then to sit in the front row and simply witness.
Since we have such great looking kids, we had them standing with us.
These are my four flower girls. Three are nieces and the fourth is our friend from church. Unfortunately the fifth, Cali, could not make it because she got sick. This is one of my favorite parts of our wedding having these little girls following me around. Their big question: "Aunt Paula, can we see what is under your dress?"
Our wonderful reception was at our Church. We served BBQ with a great wait staff thanks to those SSQQ friends. We had a little dancing, great D.J and fabulous dancers from SSQQ as well! Talk to me about doing this in your Baptist Church! Our iced tea toast given by Carlos's son, Guto. Then we were whisked way by our private driver to spend our first night at Red Lion viewing the Galleria. We then spent a few days in Santo Antonio on the river walk. If anyone needs a tip a place to stay I can recommend our bed and breakfast. You just have to agree not to book during our anniversary week next year or any future year either!
We plan to take our extended honeymoon later to Brazil, so I can meet the rest of his family and enjoy my new husband's home country.
Thanks to all my replacements in April for allowing me the time to adjust in my new surroundings. I will back in the "swing" of things in May.
See you soon, Mrs. Paula Da Silva.
Former Couch Potatoes Learn the Mashed Potato!!
(Editor's Note: This sweet story was sent
in by SSQQ Staff Member Susan Schroeder. Susan designs Newsletters for
Corporations while her husband David designs Web Sites. I might add David
designed the SSQQ Web Site. They clearly had to fight dearly to overcome
the dreaded dance handicap of intelligence. I applaud this disadvantaged
couple for their accomplishments! I might add before they learned to
dance they were so bored they did "Bonnie and Clyde"
reenactments by robbing local convenience stores just for the thrill of
it. SSQQ is proud to rescue yet another couple from a deviant lifestyle
and return to them their pride).
Every Friday night and
Saturdays (when there isn't anything going on at the studio), David
and I go to dance at City Streets on Richmond. We've been
"regulars" there about a year and a half now. Most of the
music there is TwoStep, Polka, ChaCha, and some Disco/Whip, so we've
pretty much got all of the bases covered. We have become friends with
the DJ and he will play some really fast Swing music for us. Except
for an occasional Shaggie jitterbugger, the fast music usually clears
the floor for us and we become the floorshow. I don't mean to brag,
but we usually get applause. (It does embarrass me. You see, I have
this anxiety that if I ever saw myself on tape I'd probably throw up
and/or give up dancing!) David, however, has become quite the ham.
(Gee, can you imagine that?) He'll wave back at the cheering, clapping
crowd (which embarrasses me even more). People then actually will come
over to our table to shake our hands and compliment us. They are so
amazed when we tell them we have been taking lessons for just a few
years. They especially get a kick when we tell them our first class
was called "Two Left Feet." One lady come to us Friday
night. All of her friends had already left but she stayed at the club
just to watch us dance. She said she had been watching for quite some
time and was so entertained by us that she finally had to meet us and
shake our hands. Of course, they inevitably ask us where we learned to
dance, which is why the cards would come in handy -- nobody ever has a
pen and I can't trust them to rely on their memory for this important
information. So, if you have no objection, could you print some cards
The hundreds of hours spent at the studio have been a very gratifying
experience and you have trained us well. Plus you taught us the Mashed
Potato! We went to studio after studio trying to learn this
difficult dance we were unable to master as dance-phobic teenagers,
but you showed us the way! No other studio could ever have
helped us make a breakthrough of this magnitude. We're proud to be
SSQQ goodwill ambassadors -- spreading inspiration and hope to the
Thank you for rescuing these two former couch potatoes! Susan
(Editor's Note: Okay, I
admit it, I threw in the line about the "Mashed Potato". I
feel a little ashamed of myself, but I couldn't help it. Many of our
readers will be stunned to know I periodically "channel" the
ghost of Ogden Nash ("candy is dandy, but liquor is
quicker")... my fingers begin to fly across the keyboard and I am
powerless to stop it. I tried to erase the line above, but piercing
waves of pain penetrated my skull. I have no choice but to leave
Susan's lovely letter marred with this inaccuracy "or else".
Susan, please accept my regrets.)
Steve Ulrich and
Cynthia Tuma Announce Engagement!
Last night Monday, April 16, Cynthia Tuma came up
to me during Whip Practice Night and hinted that the SSQQ Magic had worked
again. She had a very big smile on her face so I had a feeling I knew what
was coming next. Sure enough, Cynthia told me she and Steve Ulrich, a
gentleman she had met recently in dance class, had decided to get engaged.
Later on I spotted them both on the couch sitting kinda
"snuggly" together. This brought a smile to my face so I went
over to shake Steve's hand. The twosome looked pretty happy together...
My Congratulations to both!!
Mike Fagan and Trisha
Bradford Get Married!!
On Saturday afternoon, April 7, Mike Fagan and Trisha Bradord got married. I was fortunate to be
one of grooms, so I got a first-hand view of the ceremony along
with my daughter Samantha at the Sunset United Methodist Church. It was a
wonderful wedding, but unfortunately I have to go to return the tuxedo I
rented right now or it will be late!!
Ah, I am back from returning the Tux.
Mike Fagan is my best friend. He is a computer
professor at Rice (oops... he is now head of the "Applied
Mathematics" Department) who is also a former State Whip Champion.
His style of dance has always been so unusual that Mike was the guy
"Martian Whip" was named for. A very talented man, he is not
only a genius Computer Science researcher at Rice, but a State Whip
Champion, a State Bridge Champion, and a champion at Foosball (although I
am not sure what level). His only weakness is he has a great deal of
trouble working a VCR remote. I believe it is this tragic flaw that allows
me to like him because otherwise he would be too perfect for me.
One thing that aggravates me is that Mike is able
to get by on about 4 hours of sleep a night. As a result he frequently
comes over to my house and watches Rockets and Comets basketball with me
on videotape till the wee hours of the morning. Due to my odd lifestyle,
it is no big deal for me to get up at 8 or 9 am the next day, but Mike can
still get to the office at 7 or 8 am if he has to. I sure wish I had his
ability to get by on so little sleep! He teases me because unless
the game is very exciting, I start to doze sometime around the 3rd
quarter, waking up periodically to check the score. If the game is close,
I struggle to reawaken so I can cheer my team to victory even though deep
down inside I realize the game was over 4 hours ago. It is during these
dozes that I hand the remote to Mike. The other night I awoke because Mike
was cursing - he couldn't get the new VCR to fast forward through the
commercial!! I regained consciousness long enough to show him how to
gently nudge the edge of the rotary dial as opposed to sticking his thumb
through the middle of the device. Then I dozed back off to the most
peaceful sleep in weeks - I was better than Mike at something.
I have known Tricia Bradford for about 10 years.
She is the youngest of 4 sisters - Jan, Elizabeth, and Louise - who have
all taken classes here at the studio over the years. When she came to the
big city to join her sisters, they immediately dragged her over to SSQQ.
Tricia learned to Whip very fast and is now one of the best dancers in the
city as far as I am concerned. My guess is Trish had her eye on Mike for a
long time. When Mike became "available" in the late 90s, Trish
made a beeline right for him. Mike had the good sense to reciprocate.
Trish is good for Mike in that she matches his brain power pretty closely
and she teases him back just as much as he teases her. Since Mike beats me
regularly in the quick wit department, I applaud anyone who can dish it
The wedding was sweet and simple. I was flattered
to be included in the ceremony as one of the groomsmen. This allowed me a
close vantage point of the proceedings all day long. The Bradford sisters
and Mike's other groomsmen all kept me in stitches with their constant
banter. So much teasing!!
As an example, sister Jan's daughter Melissa was
one of the Bridesmaids. Melissa is a recent "summa cum laude"
graduate of Texas A&M. In addition to her brains, Melissa is also
quite a beauty. All day long Trisha kept talking about putting a bag over
niece Melissa's head because at her wedding no one is allowed to be
prettier than the bride. It was a great running joke.
During the ceremony, Trisha's eyes welled up with
tears during the vows. Mike smiled and held her steady as she regained her
composure. It was a very touching moment. The groomsmen were so proud of
him, we nearly knocked him down slapping him in the back too hard as he
escorted Trisha past us! This couple was very easy to love and
If you would like to read some of the anecdotes
about Mike Fagan, there is an entire page devoted to the guy who gave
SSQQ's Martian Whip its name. Enjoy! http://ssqq.com/information/advent12.htm
Clive Good Passes Away
case you aren't sure who Clive is, here is his Halloween picture http://ssqq.com/information/hall9906.htm
From Beth Griffin,
The SSQQ student who collapsed at
Longhorn Tuesday, March 20, 2001 never regained consciousness. His
family removed life support last Friday, and he passed away on Thursday,
March 29. He was 68 years
Good was a sweet, gentle man who was much liked by his friends at the
studio. I did not know him very well since he had the sense not to take
any of my classes, but many people have told me what a nice man he was.
Clive never had a mean thing to say about anyone and always walked
around with the biggest smile on his face.
a way, it is good that his last conscious moment on earth was spent with
friends as he pursued his favorite hobby, dancing. I guess it is a
fitting epitaph that he sort of died with his dance shoes on.
heart attack was very painful for people to see. There were a lot of
people moved to deep remorse at the sight of this once energetic,
vibrant man struck down in what seemed to be the prime of his life by a
silent killer inside his body. It is of course a shame that the best
efforts of medically-trained fellow dancers at the club combined with
the paramedics could not undo the savage effects of a major heart
was also very careful about his language. While you and I might call a
well-curved backside a "butt", Mr. Good was indeed Good -
correcting someone's language in a nice way, he asked to call it a
"bum". With this shyness in mind,
I am not sure how Clive feels about the only picture we have to remember
him by. On
our web site we have a picture of him dressed in his underwear (his
Halloween costume), but I am told he always had a twinkle in his eye.
Clive, wherever you are, it may be an odd way to remember you by, but we
will always look at your photo and sense that you were having fun. Rest
Email from Candi Angulo:
Last night at the
Longhorn (03-20-01), one of current SSQQ patrons by the name of Clive Good
had a heart attack. It was very unsettling for those of us that have
gotten to know him and had the opportunity to go around the dance floor
with him. He is currently in ICU at Northwest Memorial (610 and
Please keep Clive in your thoughts and your prayers through this difficult
time for him and his family.
And this from Gary
A gentleman by the name of Clive (I think that is the way it may be
spelled) had a traumatic episode at the Longhorn Tuesday evening.
Around 7:00 we were eating and he was sitting two tables to our left
when he started shaking and then fell out of his chair to the floor
(food and all). Several people tried to help him (administering
CPR, mouth to mouth, etc.). They worked on him until paramedics
(about six of them arrived and gave him about eight electrical shocks
(whatever they are called), oxygen, shots, etc. He never
regained consciousness. He finally got a pulse and they took
him away in the ambulance to Northwest Hospital (if they didn't have to
Rachel said that he is a very nice man in her Sunday Ghost town class.
He is around 72 years old. I heard his wife passed away a
couple of years ago. It was really tense for about half an
hour as they stopped all music and turned on the lights.
do not know his status after he left. It didn't look
(Editor's Note: Apparently Clive
did survive the heart attack, but just barely. It was a massive heart
attack that left many people frightened and deeply distressed. Although
listed in "critical but stable condition" as of Wednesday
morning, witnesses gave him limited chance of success based on his
continued failure to respond to treatment at the scene. On the bright
side, many trained medical people from the dance community including Diane
McCumber made sure his heart continued to work using CPR until the
paramedics could arrive. Without them, he would have had no chance at
Good News - Rachel
gets her PHD!!
Rachel Seff, aka the Seff Group for her multiple
personalities, informs us via email:
I am proud to announce that
I successfully defended my dissertation this afternoon, March 21.
My degree is a doctorate in
educational leadership, with a focus in research and quantitative
statistics within higher education from the University of Houston.
Graduation ceremonies are
scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2001, at 9:00 am for all who are
interested. Details to follow.
(Editor's Note: Rachel requests that we change her nickname from the
"Seff Group" to "Dr. Rachel" after her idol, Dr. Ruth,
the noted sex consultant. All teasing aside, Rachel is to be commended for
her wonderful accomplishment. She is a very talented lady indeed!)
Bruce Boulanger and
Margaret Williams Get Married!!
On Saturday afternoon, March 10, Bruce Boulanger and Margaret Williams
got married. I was fortunate to be invited to watch the ceremony along
with my daughter Samantha. It was held in a lovely chapel that is part of
Second Baptist Church. The ceremony was simple and sweet. I especially
enjoyed watching Margaret's father walking down the aisle with Margaret
since obviously I look forward to a similar experience someday. Margaret
of course looked lovely and Bruce was as tall and handsome as ever.
The only other two members of the SSQQ community I noticed were Katrina
Burger and Jeannie Franklin. If there were more, please forgive me as I
just barely got there in time.
It seems that Sam and I parked our car ten minutes early, but Second
Baptist is so huge it took us the entire ten minutes to find our way
around the place. It didn't help that just as we walked in the door we
spotted another wedding congregation. I assumed this was Bruce and
Margaret's wedding, so I just stood there trying to recognize someone
until finally it dawned on me this was not the right one. Then to confuse
matters more, I saw yet another wedding starting to form in yet another
area. Second Baptist apparently has four different churches. Goodness
Bruce and Margaret indeed met at SSQQ. My fondest memory is watching
them sit on the couch during the Break and sometimes during Friday night
Practice Night quietly holding hands together. I almost never saw them
talking. They just held hands and smiled a lot!
That image will never fade. This is a very special couple!
I Nearly Burn My House
This is a true story. I live in an old house in the
Heights. Although I love my house, I could live without the water heater
in the kitchen. It is so ugly, I have always hidden it with a decorative
screen. Little did I know how much danger I was in...
Two weeks ago I stood in my kitchen chatting with the lady who cleans my house. As I spoke with her, I smelled smoke. Turning around, I saw flames down at my feet beginning to burn their way up
the decorative Chinese/Japanese-style screen that I use to hide the water heater.
I could have just put the fire out, but thought the screen was ruined anyway and putting it out would make a big
mess on the floor with the ashes and water. I asked my friend to open the back door. However I was amazed at how fast the fire spread up the screen. The lady opened the door just
an instant before I would have had to let go of the screen to avoid being burned. Instead I was able to toss it out the back door where it burned itself out harmlessly on the concrete.
I looked under the water heater for an explanation. I immediately
suspected the source of the problem was a 5-year old build-up of cat hair, dog hair, human hair, and lint from the nearby dryer that had collected under the water heater. I also saw a
"burn pattern" that led straight from the water heater to the screen. My guess is some of the lint managed to build
up under the water heater to the level of the pilot light, which ignited the debris.
The flames then followed the lint to jump the 5-inch gap between the water
heater and the Japanese screen.
If I hadn't caught the problem when I did, the screen would likely have fallen in the only direction possible on top of a kitchen rug. Quite likely, the burning rug would have provided sufficient heat for the wooden kitchen table or chairs
on top of it to catch on fire. From there a wooden staircase next to the
table was a good candidate for catching on fire.
If I had been in another room, there could have been major damage since
the fire was spreading so fast. Even more frightening, if I hadn't been home, I honestly believe the house would have burned down. An entire lifetime of books, artwork, computer files, videotapes, writings, clothes, furniture…. Everything….would have gone up in smoke. I was definitely lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
Can you believe how easy it is for danger to lurk right beside you and yet
you would never even guess it is there? Rest assured we cleaned thoroughly under the water heater afterwards. And no screen will
ever replace the one I lost. I look at that water heater carefully every
time I pass as a silent reminder of my near-miss at disaster.
Jennifer and Andy
Erich Get Married!!
Email sent by Jennifer:
I just thought I'd turn ourselves in for the
SSQQ grapevine. Andy and I just got back from our honeymoon in Hawaii.
By the way- we wore those same honeymoon outfits in Hawaii as on page 8
of your Halloween 2000 pics. We fit right in! We also did a few dance
steps on the beach for some very impressed beach bums. I don't think
anyone in Hawaii knows how to whip. Maybe you should open a branch of
classes out there!
Anyway- we got married on November 11 in Iowa.
We danced our first dance to Lonestar's "Amazed" (the one you
helped us with a little). We did wonderfully! Everyone at the reception
was so impressed. Then the DJ played a few swing and whip songs for us
to show off our moves. While everyone danced free style around us, we
got to cut a rug with our slick moves! Our videographer took footage of
the whole thing. He told us that he has taped 100's of weddings, but he
has never seen great dancing like what we did! I can't wait to see how
we did on the finished video.
Thanks again for being such a great instructor.
If you recall we started with you back in beginning swing and followed
you all the way through to Lunar Whip last month. Thanks for all your
help. Don't take any crap from loud mouthed, unappreciative students.
You have really given us a valuable skill and a strong common interest
that we will share our entire lives. We'll be back in the studio to
start either Zoot Suit or Martian in January.
See you soon, have a great holiday!
Jennifer and Andy Erich
(Rick's Note: Can you imagine a sweeter
letter? I am sure my heart would have pounded with pride as I
watched this lovely couple sail across the dance floor at the wedding.
Would you like to see Andy and Jennifer on their honeymoon? click
here. How about their matching Halloween picture? It is
Kathleen Alexander and
Kenneth Parker get Married!
On Saturday, February 10th, SSQQ teacher
Kathleen Alexander married the wonderful gentleman she met here at SSQQ
back in 1999, Mr. Kenneth Parker. They were married in a small chapel in
Galveston where I believe Kenneth's father was found as an orphan (I
will fill in the details as I understand them better).
Kathleen and Kenneth got engaged last year on
Valentine's Day. They married almost one year to the day later.
I am very fond of Kathleen. She has been
helping me teach my Wednesday Country-Western classes for over a year
and a half. I can easily say that Kathleen is a marvelous person. Not
only is Kathleen very beautiful, she is extremely smart, and she is one
of the warmest, most graceful people I have ever met. Although I do not
know Kenneth as well, Kathleen says he is even nicer than she is. What a
Kathleen has three grown daughters. One is up
at A&M, one I believe is a high senior, and the third is a sophomore
in HS. When the preacher asked who was giving Kathleen away, in perfect
harmony all three girls enthusiastically said, "We do!!"
Apparently the three young ladies like Kenneth just as much as their Mom
does, although Kathleen did point out the girls were getting a better TV
in the deal so she was a little concerned about their sincerity.
I would like to add that this is a very happy
moment for me as well just to see the smile on Kathleen's face when she
told me about the wedding. Congratulations to both!
To take a look at two lovely wedding pictures, click
Rachel Seff gets
Rachel Seff, known to insiders as "The Seff
Group" for her multiple personalities, gave me a complimentary copy
of her brand-new book last Fall. I was of course immediately jealous
because I would like to write a book too. However writing a book is the
easy part; getting it published is even more amazing. Well, Rachel has
accomplished both! Here is an email she sent to me last week.
Hi Rick, guess what! The book I co-authored, "60 Minutes to
Success: The Ultimate Guide to Power Lunching" is actually selling
So much so that I have been asked to participate in a few business
etiquette/career consulting programs around the Houston area.
All book signings are free and open to the public. Each will consist
of a 20 minute program on business etiquette followed by book signings
by yours truly. (That means they want you to buy the book, too. It
retails for an easy $9.95).
Saturday, March 10, 2001. 2:00 pm - The West Alabama Bookstop located
at 2922 S. Shepherd
Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 2:00 pm - The Barnes & Noble Superstore
located at Highway 6.
Hope you can make it! - Rachel
Actually my daughter Sam and I visit the Book
Stop store on West Alabama and Shepherd all the time. I think I might
just drop in and harass Rachel to help deal with my bitterness.
;-) It doesn't help that Rachel tries to soothe my feelings by
promising to tell of her days as a starving dance instructor whenever
she is on "Rosie" or "Oprah" or "Debra"...
John Kenyon and Jeanne
Anne Chapman Get Engaged!
An email sent to me from John Kenyon recently:
You may remember my fiancée Jeanne
Anne Chapman and myself. We're both redheads, I'm English
and we have been to a couple of classes at your studio in Salsa with
Maureen. In fact that is how we met and now we are getting married on
March 10th! We have of course booked a Latin band for the
So What Terrible
Thing Happened to Rick on his Ski Trip?
I went skiing the final week in January.
It was the first time I had been skiing since 1996. There were about 40
people on the trip. It turned out 25 of them had taken lessons at SSQQ at
some point in their lives. People kept saying "hi" to me
throughout the first day and I kept saying "hi" right back, then
I would turn to someone and ask who that person was! How
My friend Tom Easley had called to
invite me along as his roommate. He had taken his family skiing over
Christmas. Since Tom had done the "Daddy" thing by helping his two
small children Tommie and Ashley improve their skiing, now he wanted to
ski hard and ski fast. He also wanted to look better than somebody on the
slopes, so he had me in mind.
Tom and I go way back. He and his
long-time friend Carol Gafford used to teach at SSQQ. In fact Tom met his
wife Margaret here at the studio around 1986. Tom used to organize Beach
Trips every Spring and met Margaret during a private lesson she was taking with
me. Tom invited her down to visit the Beach Trip. One thing led to another
and now they've been married for nearly 15 years! My, how time
Also along on the trip were Ted Jones
and Margie Saibara who teach the Twilight Zone Whip class here at the
studio. They have been close friends with Tom just as long as I have. The
four of us hung out together a lot on the trip.
In fact this trip was a homecoming of
sorts for me. I ran into a lot of old friends I had simply not seen for a
long time. You see, I used to organize ski trips for the studio back in the 80s. Many of
the people on this year's trip went on my trips and got to know each other. Then
when I got tired of organizing them, a dance student here at the studio
named Burt Eschenfelder took over and ran the annual trip for about 5
years. Then he too got tired of it - organizing ski trips is a lot of hard
work! Charlie and Beverly Roberts, who also met here
at the studio and later got married, decided to take over for Burt. They
have been running the annual trip for about 10 years. Their experience shows. This
trip was extremely well-organized!
Tom and Charlie weren't the only guys on
the trip who met their wives at SSQQ. Also along on the trip was Gary
Kryzwicki who met his wife Linda here. Doug and Sharon Hollingsworth were
on the trip along with their close friends Irving and Sharon Carter. Take
a guess where these four people all met...
Other old friends I ran into included
Ken Schmetter, Michele Collins, Dan Taft, Tom Edens, and Jim Ponder. All
five of these people were a big part of the studio back in the mid-80s. In
fact this whole week was sort of an SSQQ version of the "Big
Chill". About half the people on the trip all met each other through
the studio back in the mid 80s. They danced together, partied together,
went on Beach trips together, and went skiing together. Now 15 years later
they still keep in close touch. During the year the group does things together
like visit each other's birthday parties.
Groups of close friends develop at SSQQ
all the time. Today the studio is so big we have Western groups, Whip
groups, Swing groups, and Salsa groups. But this particular group was the
only "group" we had back in the mid-80s. They were my
second generation "In-Crowd". These were the people I called my
friends back in the 80s. We all did many things together. However as they
tired of the single life and started to pair off, one by one they all left
the studio. It broke my heart to see them go. They were my pals!!
However, dancing for most people is just a phase in their lives and I had to
learn to accept that. Eventually I too got married, had a daughter, and
drifted away. Nevertheless you can imagine how nice it was to reminisce
during the week about all the good times we had together.
I also enjoyed my skiing. As I was fond
of saying on the trip, I am not a bad skier for a Texan. Considering this
was my first ski trip in five years, I thought I skied pretty well. I was
able to keep up with the group and not hold too many people back. That
made me feel good.
One thing that didn't feel good was my
first day of the trip. Back in the 1995, I bought myself a brand new pair
of expensive skis. I used them for one week, then stored them in a ski bag in my
closet, and didn't see them again for five years. So naturally I brought
them along with me for my trip this year, lugging them all the way to Lake
Tahoe, California, from Houston. A boy and his skis. Ah, how touching!
So here it is the first day of the trip, everyone
is strapping on their skis and getting in the lift line.
They all called for me to hurry up and join them. I clicked one ski onto
my ski boots just fine, but the second ski refused to snap. Finally I
leaned over to see what was the problem and realized the binding was
broken. Thank you very much, United Airlines.
So I rented some skis that day and took
my broken ski to be repaired that night at a ski shop. The young man (17?
18?) tried to fix them, but finally gave up and said I needed new
bindings. Fine, how much is a binding? Well, $100 for two bindings.
But I only needed one... Uh oh, they don't sell single bindings. You don't
sell one shoe and bindings work the same way. Then I asked how much the
skis were worth...Oh, $30 maybe. I was so disgusted. I told the guy to
euthanize my skis and to rent me another pair for the week. This really pissed
me off! Brand new skis...
Tom Easley was along with me. Over in
the corner I see him laughing pretty hard at my irritation over the broken skis after using
them just one time in my life. Thanks, Tom. I am not in a very good mood at this
So the young man says he needs to get
some information from me to outfit these skis. First of all, how old am
This irritates me. Actually I am so
grumpy just about anything would irritate me, but this really irks me.
What does the ski care whether I am 30 or 50? Or do they do have AARP
settings for older people? This reminds me that I haven't thought jokes
about aging have been funny for some time. Hmmph.
So I lie about my age and Tom tells the
guy the right answer, adding some stupid wisecrack. Thanks, Tom.
Now the young man asks me my height.
Apparently believing he can no longer trust me, he actually makes me stand
against the wall to measure me. He says it is for my own protection. These
statistics are computerized and all settings are based on a precise
logarithmic ratio determined by the sophisticated software the ski shop
uses. I can't believe the level of California-speak BS this kid is
rattling off. Before he was a young man, but now that he is pushing me
around, I have decided he is really just a smart-ass kid, probably a snow
boarder. Now the Kid asks for my weight. I tell him 208. I worked hard to
lose weight before the trip and actually knocked off 6 pounds ahead of
time. I was quite proud of myself for this accomplishment. But the Kid
doesn't buy it. Up on the scales, Mr. Archer.
I am aghast that the first reading pegs
me at 225. The Kid looks at me in disgust. Can't trust anyone over 40, he
concludes. I start to complain bitterly. I am NOT 225 lbs, I insist
irately! Finally the Kid rolls his eyes and decides to give me a
second chance. He comes over and carefully re-calibrates the scale until
he is convinced it is balanced. He tells me to get on again. Now I have
ballooned to 235 lbs!!
I am crimson with frustration. I am
exasperated! First my skis break while my friends tell me to hurry
up, then they can't be fixed because they are nearly worthless, and now I
am standing on the worst scale I have ever seen! I am
fit to be tied. With great precision the Kid types 235 lbs into the
computer, then has the gall to stop what he is doing and look me in the
eye. With the serious expression doctors reserve for explaining a deadly disease, the Kid says, "Mr. Archer, you need to take the measurements
seriously. If we don't measure you precisely, you could get hurt if we
give you the wrong skis or the wrong settings. Furthermore I believe your weight gain is the likely reason for the binding failure on
I am apoplectic. I start coughing
violently. I don't even know where to begin putting this kid in his place.
Doesn't he realize I haven't even skied on these stupid skis since my
weight gain? And furthermore, I haven't gained one damn pound!! In
fact, I lost six pounds. All these angry thoughts race through my head
when out of the corner of my eye I notice Tom rolling on the floor laughing his head off. He
thinks this is the funniest damn thing he has ever seen.
Now I suddenly grow suspicious. Tom is
having way too much fun. So I ask him, "Tom, why do you think this is
so damn funny?"
Tom tells me to get back on the scale.
It immediately stabilizes at 210... that is until Tom puts his foot on the
scale behind me and sends me up to 240. He cannot stop laughing. Showing how easy it
was to fool me makes him laugh even harder.
Now I see the Kid is having a difficult
time suppressing a huge grin. When he sees me looking at him, his
expression quickly changes as his guilt catches up with him. He apologizes for what he said to me about the bindings. He said
that as I had my back turned to fiddle with the scales, Tom whispered what
to say to him. At the Kid's
confession, Tom nearly busts a gut. He is laughing so hard he has to sit
down because a convulsion or a seizure is clearly a real possibility.
Enormous apple-sized tears roll out of his eyes...
Tom doesn't know it, but I strongly
considered murdering him in his sleep that night. ;-)
Other than this sordid moment, it was a fun
(PS - Don't feel sorry for me. I had it coming.
are Hell and I clearly deserved one for what I did to Tom 15 years ago. Tom
was the victim of the best practical joke I ever pulled, the infamous Tom
Easley Look-a-Like night back in 1986. If you would like to read about
this great trick and other anecdotes about this one-of-a-kind guy, please
visit our web site area known as "Adventures of a Dance
Teacher". I think you will be very amused! Click
Here to read more about Tom Easley.
I also wrote at great length about the
"Big Chill" group in my story titled "Where the Creatures
Meet". If you would like to read more about the movers and shakers of
early SSQQ, Click
Marty Macy and
Franki Fowler get Married!
An email sent to me from Marty Macy
Just wanted to give you an update on a couple of your
students. Franki (Fowler)
and I were married on December 30th at Faith Lutheran Church
in Bellaire. We look
forward to seeing you next month at SSQQ.
Have a great day..............Marty & Franki Macy
An here is another email sent to me
from the Lovely Bride!
After about 10 years of dancing in the arms of many a wonderful
gentleman at SSQQ, I finally got caught by one of them. Marty Macy and I
tied the knot 1-30-2000 at Faith Lutheran Church in Bellaire. It was a
family affair, with 3 flower girls, my neice who was adopted from China
5 years ago, my new neice who is half Taiwanese (sp?) and my 12 year old
neice, and my nephew served as ring bearer. Nobody cried (not the girls
anyway). My long-time buddy and dance partner Steven Pirsch stood up for
me as groomsman (I was very honored), and brought a few dancing friends,
and several more attended as guests. Then off to the Westin for dining
and dancing. I can truly say it was one of the most joyous days of my
life, although I hardly remember it (and it was a sober wedding!!!
Franki Fowler Macy
(Editor's note: I have known Franki for
a long time. In fact, I have known her so long I used to call her
"Frankie Goes to Hollywood". That song came out in, what,
1985? She's a sweetie! I am very happy for her as well as for
Marty. To take a look at this lovely couple at their wedding, click
and Sherle Frost Morrison Announce Engagement!
Recently Eric Watson, aka Mr. Name Tag, wrote to
proudly announce his engagement to Sherle Frost Morrison. For those of you
who may not know Eric by name, he is the gentleman who is known for the
very interesting name tags he wears to dance class.
I have to say I have always been mesmerized by
these tags. Here is one of Eric's favorites:
"Unlike other males, I don't only want one
Do you also have a washer, dryer and a computer?"
Once in a while, when I am teaching a class that
Eric is in, I will suddenly notice his name tag. Consumed with curiosity,
I am unable to continue to teach until I have read Eric's current message.
Some of the messages are very funny!
Despite my personal enjoyment of Eric's name tag
messages, I was still pretty shocked to find out that the name tags
actually played a part in Eric's courtship of the lovely Ms. Morrison. I
will let Eric tell the story...
Email from Eric Watson to Rick Archer:
Engagement Announcement : Eric
Watson and Sherle Frost Morrison
Guess what? My name tags
Wedding sometime next year
because of the IRS marriage penalty and depending on completion of the
Chevron - Texaco merger. Aren’t
those romantic reasons to pick a wedding date??
After some prodding from me, Eric agreed to share
the inside scoop on the Romance. Here is the Name Tag story as written by
I had been using the name tags for years to the
tune of about one new one per week. I devised several dozen name tags,
some funny, some anecdotal. Some bombed, but most were well received. It
eventually got to the point that people would get upset if I didn't have
on a name tag.
I first met Sherle at SSQQ when I went to the
Sunday, 8/6/00, practice dance and asked her to dance and made a mental
note that she was pretty and very intelligent. My tag that night
"PRACTICE SAFE SEX!!
If you want to practice, I'm safe."
(Sherle has told me since then that she thought
I was sort of goofy for wearing the name tag, but since she was new to
SSQQ she wasn't making value judgments yet about the people she was
The next Friday, her daughter, Gwen, was
visiting from college and they came together for a lesson. I guess it
was sort of a Mother/daughter bonding thing. At break I reintroduced
myself. Gwen took one look at my name tag (I drive a small car because I
have nothing to prove) and said "Look, Mom, he has a sense of
humor. That's more than I can say about you." I took that as a
positive comment - for me.
They were chatting about going to Longhorn the
next night, Saturday. I offered to meet them there and asked Sherle to
call me if they definitely decided to go. (It has always been a mystery
to me if women prefer a man to be assertive and ask for their phone
numbers, or if they would rather take the guy's number and call if they
are interested. I have generally opted to not put the woman on the spot
and accordingly gave Sherle my business card.) My impression was that
she would call, but I became less cocky as Saturday wore on and there
was no message. Finally, after 6 PM, Sherle did call and left a message
saying they would be at the Longhorn. The rest is history. I found out
later that Gwen had "bugged" her mother all day about calling.
Apparently, Gwen was convinced that someone with a sense of humor would
be good for her mother. She was right, of course.
(Editor's note: I have to
hand it to Eric. Like Sherle's first impression, I thought the names tags
were a little goofy, but at the same time I admit I always enjoyed them. I
am glad to see his cleverness paid off. His sense of humor was always very
amusing. After reading what it said, I would roll my eyes and move on, but
I always had to grin too.
Eric has reminded me that a
sense of humor is still one of nature's great turn-ons. Nice work,
Eric! And Congratulations to both of you!)
Alan Hall and
Christine Braunger get Married!
Here is an interesting story.
SSQQ Staffer Melanie Jones sent me to a
web site announcing Christine Braunger's upcoming marriage to Alan Hall.
Melanie knows Alan through acting (they have been in plays
Apparently Alan and Christine got engaged in August of 2000 and tied the knot on New
Year's Eve. I thought it was a great picture (see
for yourself), but I wondered why Melanie had sent me on this wild
goose chase. Then suddenly I saw those 4 magic letters: SSQQ. Hmm. Now I
decided to read a little more!
The article said that
Christine alternated between
despair and curiosity until one evening Alan asked her to attend the Alley Theater's production of
"Travesties." They been together ever since.
What made this story especially interesting to me is that it backed up my
theory from the "Slow Dance and Romance"
article that the numbers of people who get engaged and married through
SSQQ is probably higher
SSQQ is quite frankly the
easiest place in Houston to have fun and simultaneously meet a wide
variety of very attractive, very intelligent people in an unguarded way.
For example, were Alan and Christine to see one another at the Renaissance
Festival where he worked, one of them would have had to make a very
aggressive move to get the other's interest and phone number in a very
short period of time. My guess is that at SSQQ, both Alan and Christine
were able to get to know each other over a period of time and let things
develop naturally over a period of time.
Yet at the same time, their
interest in each other precluded getting much further into their dance
career, so I never heard about the romance till Melanie was gracious
enough to share their story with me.
Congratulations to both!
I must say they are a very attractive couple in their Renaissance attire!
Steve Dent and Sharon
Roth get Married/ SSQQ hits 30!
An Email sent in by Sharon Roth at New
I always enjoy your newsletter. Thanks.
We are a little late in our announcement, but your message about
'dance and romance' reminded me to tell you that Steve Dent and I
(Sharon Roth) also became engaged last year. We met at SSQQ in 1998
and plan to be married in April this year. So you can
change the 29 to an even 30 for the Y2K stats!
Thanks for running such a great place. I keep recommending it to
everyone I meet.
Happy New Year!
Americans love round numbers. Thanks to Sharon's note, we do indeed
hit an even 30 for the year 2000. As I have many times, I find this
number amazing. Thank you, Sharon, for relaying this happy news!)
Jim and Jane Malik
Davidson and Dennis Clawsen
Harsha Mokashi and Kelly Baehr
Mark Billingsley and Cindy Hansen
Tony Catalano and Karen Day
Bill Moore and Barbara Herndon
Sharon Schafer and Don Blakey
|| May 26,
Gary Bezemek and Elizabeth
Eric Watson and Sherle Frost Morrison
Paula Henderson and Carlos da Silva
Mike Fagan and Trisha Bradford
Larry Carlton and Brenda Evetts
Bruce Boulanger and Margaret Williams
Jennifer and Andy Erich
Kathleen Alexander and Kenneth Parker
Alan Hall and Christine Braunger
Year's Eve, 2000
Marty Macy and Frankie Fowler
Biddy and Ken McElvain
Perez and Megan Ann Christenson
Julien and Ken Adair
Saadeh and Jaime Potter
Steve Ulrich and Cynthia Tuma
John Kenyon and Jeanne Anne Chapman
01. Clive Good
Not Everything you Read on the
Internet or hear about in your Email is True !
I have heard that the Internet is riddled
with lies and inaccuracies. For example, the truth is I tell all sorts of fibs in this
Grapevine Column. So I lie a lot !! Big deal. It is okay if I lie, but I hate it
when someone pulls one over on me. Since I have a bad habit of saving everything, I
occasionally have a chance to go back and compare notes. You might be amused to see what I
have learned ! Click here
Einstein's Puzzle : Donna submits a
Brain Teaser !
Donna Ruth submitted a brain teaser that
claims to have been created by none other than Albert Einstein himself. Oh sure. And it
carries the caption that Albert felt that 98% of all humanity didn't have the smarts to
lick this problem. Well, that's the kind of challenge that gets my blood boiling !
Anything that proves I am smarter than the next guy is right up my
alley. Well, five hours later and about half a dead tree in paper, yes, I got the correct
answer, but I was humbled to the point where I doubt I am as smart of I
hoped I was.
Shaken that I barely
managed to stumble
into the elite 2%, I must say the logic test is a worthy one. If you too desire to see if
you belong in the upper 2% of the world's brain jocks, then go for it !
Click Here for Albert Einstein's Puzzle !
Riddle of the Sphinx or Why I hate
Amanda Keiser submits this brain teaser :
What is greater than God, more evil than the Devil, poor people have it, rich people
need it...... and if you eat it you will die. What is it ??
(Amanda adds that 80% of a class of Stanford students got this wrong, and 80% of
4th graders got it right. I think she just added this to make me feel more stupid. It
worked. I am so stupid that not only did I not have a clue what the answer was, I assumed
I was as smart as a Stanford student because I got it wrong just like they did. Amanda
then pointed out that just because I got it wrong doesn't mean I am as smart as a Stanford
student because their wrong answers were smarter than my wrong answers. Anyhow, if you
want the answer, see at the bottom of the page)
Now I bet you were hoping the answer to Amanda's stupid brain teaser was down here. Nope.
You obviously don't know how I operate ! I ain't telling you nothing until you email
me with some gossip if you want the answer. No gossip, no answer, no nothing. You don't
have any gossip ? Well, for crying out loud, don't let that stop you ! Just make some up !
That's how I do it...
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