June 2003
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The SSQQ June 2003 Newsletter
Written and edited monthly by Rick Archer

(to Review Any Stories Referred to in the current issue!)

Special Stories in the June issue: 

Regular Features in the June issue:   The Top

Highlights of the June Dance Schedule 
Triple Swing Night comes to Fridays!
Venus and Mars Bashing Time 
Did You Know there is a Question and Answer Page on the website?
Best New Jokes for June 
June Joke Page 
Vocabulary Word of the Month
SSQQ Slow Dance and Romance

Joke Picture of the Month
Complaint of the Month
Changes to the SSQQ Practice Night
The SSQQ June Logic Puzzle - Trick or Treat

The SSQQ 4th of July Cruise to Cozumel




In this issue of the Newsletter, you can read the amazing story of Kathy Heller, an SSQQ student whose car was towed from the Door Warehouse.  Kathy decided to fight back. You will be fascinated by her compelling story. 

Do not park in any yellow areas. You can park legally on the west side of First Street, but not up above the street. 

Do not park on the east side of First Street. It is designated 'no parking'. No one knows why. You won't be towed, but you could easily get a ticket.

Back to the Top


Classes begin the week of Sunday, June 01.


BALBOA SWING is offered Sundays at 4:30. Taught by Gloria Sanchez, it is an 8-count shuffle danced very close together moving back and forth. Many Balboa dancers do Swing, switch to Balboa periodically, then move back to Swing. Very cool dance. 

BEGINNING WESTERN WALTZ returns to SSQQ on Sunday afternoons. Taught by Judy Archer, this is the famous Western dance of Romance. Graceful but tricky to learn, Western Waltz is an all-time favorite dance here at SSQQ.

CAROLINA SHAG returns for the first time in a year. Taught on Sundays at 7 by Judy Archer, Shag is similar to West Coast Swing. The beloved dance of North & South Carolina, Shag is a Very Kool dance where the man is the star of the show. When we watch WCS tapes & we can't take our eyes off the men, it is often because the man is using the eye-catching Shag footwork. The footwork & syncopations make this a tough course. Recommended for advanced East Coast & West Coast dancers only. 

SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE will be offered on Mondays in June. There are moments in every person's life where the opportunity to dance gracefully to a beautiful slow song becomes the most important skill imaginable. This is your chance to learn how.

BEGINNING TANGO will be offered in June to be followed by a much-requested Intermediate Tango class in July. Apparently there was a recent Robert Duvall movie that sparked people's interest in this wonderful and mysterious dance.

GHOST TOWN 11 will be offered for the first time ever on Fridays in June. Taught by Rick Archer, this class will be tougher than most Ghost Towns, but not quite as tough as Death Valley. Should be challenging!!

We had 100 people in Sharon Crawford's Beg Western Waltz in April, 100 more in Sharon's May Intermediate class, so now in June, Sharon will teach ADVANCED WESTERN WALTZ. Space is limited - register On-Line and get your spot.

INTERMEDIATE NIGHT CLUB TWO STEP is offered Fridays in June. Taught by Anita Williams, Nite Club is the perfect dance to use when the romantic Western ballads are played. In addition, we often dedicate Room 5 for practice afterwards.



Saturday, May 18, 9:15 - Midnight $7


DIRTY DANCING (Cpls Only) - Rachel 
ZYDECO - Ronnie

Music: There are certain things that people like to complain about: Taxes, Government, Politicians, and (you guessed it) DJs. The truth is people love to complain about the music anytime they go dancing. Wrong song, wrong beat, too old, too fast, too slow, not enough this, too much that… you know… you've been there yourself. 

Jukebox Saturday Night is the party where the dancers make the requests. You pick the music!!

The idea behind the party is for our guests to pick the music. No requests, no music. The DJ is like a Genie; he is simply there to serve you! This party has been very popular for the past two years. Everyone is positive they could pick better music than the DJ. Well, here's your chance to prove it!


Saturday, June 14th, 9:15 - Midnight, $7 pm

Room 1 for this party is devoted strictly to Salsa Dancing. Room 4 will feature Tango and requests. Room 6 will have Swing Dancing.


BACHATA - Linda 
RUMBA - The Latin Dance of ROMANCE - Amanda

Saturday, June 28th, 9:15 - 1 am, Cover Charge $10. 

Room 1 for this party is reserved for Swing and Jitterbug Dancing plus all the crazy 50s Line Dances we perform at this party. Room 4 is reserved Whip/WCS dancing to the great Whip music of the 60s and 70s. 



Back to the Top


We are one month away from the exciting 4-day Cruise on Carnival's 'Jubilee'. This is your Perfect July 4th Getaway! 

We have 124 people currently set to go, a number that easily breaks our previous high of 101 set in the summer of 2001. And guess what? We still have limited space available!!
(Who is Going: http://ssqq.com/information/traveljubilee02.htm )

Alright, guys, it is time for me to have a serious GUY TALK with all of you single men. 

At this point there are quite a few more ladies going than men. If you guys have one ounce of sense left, you will climb on board this trip in a hurry. 

Cruise Trips are unbelievable opportunities to find romance. I happen to know exactly what I am talking about. 

If you don't believe me, just to get in the mood go rent 'An Affair to Remember' with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant, the classic love story of a wonderful romance that began aboard a cruise ship. You will see that a trip at sea renders women wild with spirit. 

Then think about the 70s TV hit 'The Love Boat'. This show lasted 9 years!! Yes, 9 years!! 

I never watched it. You never watched it. Someone had to watch it… yes, the ladies watched it. Are you guys catching on yet?? 

The ladies watched it. They loved this show! For nine years this show systematically brainwashed women into believing this mathematical fantasy: Cruise Plus Men = Romance. 

Now it is up to you guys to finish the equation. The ladies are on board. They are waiting for you. We had a dozen women drop off the trip for one simple reason: Not enough men. You think they were originally going for the cruise? Maybe. You think they were originally going for the chance to meet men? Definitely. 

Well, guys, there are plenty of ladies still on this trip. You have just a couple days left to slip yourself into the mythology. 

Assuming you have a little more going for you than the average dork, all you have to do is be in the right place at the right time… well, you aren't going to be in the right place if you don't get on this cruise!

Guys, if you have any sense at all, you will join this trip as fast as you possibly can. 

Cruises are about Romance. Don't be cynical - it's true. But someone has to make the first move… The ladies made their move - 80 women are already on board and only 44 men. 

Answer the siren call to romance - These women want you to join them. 

Don't disappoint them - now is the time to make your move! 

Marla Gorzynski is our travel coordinator ( email questions to marla@ssqq.com ). 

She has a direct phone (713 862 4428) and fax line (713 862 2550) to cut down on the phone tag that has plagued the trips from the previous two years. You can fax your Registration Form directly to her at 713 862 2550. If you don't like Fax, so far several people have EMAILED in the pertinent information and several people have even handed Marla the form at the studio. 

Email or Call Marla today. 

(More information and registration form: 
http://ssqq.com/information/traveljubilee00.htm )



3 Swing Dances, 3 Dance Floors, 3 Dollars. 

Starting in April, every Friday night SSQQ sponsors TRIPLE SWING NIGHT. 
East Coast Swing
West Coast Swing
Gulf Coast Swing (Western Swing!) 

Each dance has its own floor for you to Swing Dance the Friday Night Away!!

Many of our Sunday and Monday Night Swing dancers may not be aware that Room 6 is now available for East Coast Swing dancing all night long. On Friday, May 16, we made a significant shift in Room 6: we started collecting money for the party in Room 5. In addition we asked our guests to depart through Room 5 as well. 

What this means is Room 6 is isolated. People do not walk through your room and stare at you on the way and out. Swing dancers have the room all to themselves. And there are tables to sit at while you are taking a rest. 

Let's face it - there are no Swing clubs in Houston, but there is a lot of interest in Swing dancing. At SSQQ, you have the dancers, the floor, the music, and now you have a room all to yourselves. Please join us in Room 6 for Friday Night East Coast Swing. 

And before you other Swing dancers - Western and West Coast - get bent out of shape, attendance has been terrific for all three dances. On May 16th, we had one couple join us about 10:15 pm. They had been dancing at another club - 4 dancers. Yes, this number is correct: Four. After the couple left to come join us, 2. The couple was astonished to see 100 people dancing in the three different rooms (four rooms if you count the dozen Night Club Twostep dancers in Room 5!). And this was on the same night as the popular Texas Classic which cut into dance attendance all over town.

Now we have more good news - since the studio is closing for a week to take a Memorial Day Break, we will take advantage of the free time to refinish the floors again. In addition we will take up the floor in Room 1 to remove that irritating "Hump" so you all can have smooth sailing again.

Nowhere in Houston will you find more room to dance the Western Swing than at SSQQ every Friday night with Mitch Istre available to take your music requests in Room 1. 

And Room 4 is perfect for a night of dancing to the current West Coast Swing dance music of the Backstreet Boys, In Sync, as well as classic Rhythm and Blues Whip music from the past. 

Tired of Western dancing? Try East Coast Swing. Tired of East Coast Swing? Try West Coast Swing? Want to Waltz? Back down to Room 1. Want to sit and relax? Watch some dance videos on the TV in Room 2 and eat some popcorn. 

Ready to dance again? You have 3 floors and 3 Swing dances to choose from. 

3 Floors, 3 Dances, 3 Dollars.

Join us on Fridays. Let's have a huge party!!


On Mondays in June, Jill Banta will be teaching the popular Slow Dance and Romance class. As I said in the promo earlier in the Newsletter, 

"There are moments in every person's life where the opportunity to dance gracefully to a beautiful slow song becomes the most important skill imaginable. This is your chance to learn how."

The problem is finding a place to Practice!! 

Now thanks to the work of Neal Pellis, we have converted Room 6 into a very nice dance floor. The only problem is that the entire studio enters and leaves Practice Night through Room 6. This means the dancers have zero privacy. So much for Romance. 

Now thanks to a suggestion from the Lovely Patty O, we have decided to ask people to enter and leave Practice Night on Mondays and Fridays through Room 5. This neat trick effectively isolates Room 6 completely. Now our students can practice Slow Dancing in June to their hearts content.

In July, we have a special Monday night Ballroom course called "On the Town". Taught by Judy Archer, this class will cover the moves to three dances: Boxfox (Sinatra music), Waltz (Irish Waltzes), and Rumba (slow Jazz). Since the patterns in all three dances are nearly identical, we can cover a lot of ground in this class plus Room 6 will allow the students a private area to practice. That's when this kind of dancing gets fun!!

In future months, we will be moving Beginning Ballroom over from Tuesdays to Mondays. Including "On the Town" and "Slow Dance and Romance", we will rotate these three classes on Mondays. 

The important thing is to create an environment where Romantic Dance has a place to thrive. This same night can be used for Western Waltzers and Night Club Twosteppers and Western Cha Cha students to practice as well. All these dances fit into the same format. And maybe we can play some It Takes Two to Tangos too! 

I made this move as our first tentative stroke to create social Ballroom Dancing at the studio. Our Beginning Ballroom classes have been pretty large, but then they die on the grapevine because the students have nowhere to dance that is fun.

With this in mind, I think the Monday Swing crowd will be more compatible with the Ballroom students. As I said, by changing the entrance and exit to the studio over to Room 5, the room will have more privacy. And to complete the metamorphosis, we will even put out a couple tables for seating!!

I hope many of our students will help us in our quest to revive the "Lost Art of Formal Dance". It should be a very pleasant experiment! 


SSQQ has made several significant changes in how we handle Practice Night. 

1) Practice Night will begin the moment Room 1 is emptied - this may be 9:05, 9:10. The sooner we start, the better.
2) All Practice Nights will cost $5. 
3) All Practice Nights including Friday will cost $3 to a student taking a dance class during the current month. Current customers get discounts. 
4) If you are in the building when Practice Night begins, we do not need to see your receipt. The Hall Monitor already took care of that earlier in the evening.
5) All Practice Nights except for Friday will end at 10:30 pm (Friday at Midnight)
6) Anyone who comes in off the street after 9 pm will be asked to pay $5. If you have a current month receipt, please show it to us and we will only charge $3. Please bring your receipt or don't ask for the discount. 
7) There will be someone to collect your money until it is time to clean up. 
8) There is a good chance after 10 pm that once you leave, you can't come back in. The front door is locked once clean up begins. 
9) If there is no Music playing in Room 4, you are welcome to request the type of music you wish. 
10) Increasingly, Room 6 will be used as a third dance floor during weeknight Practice Nights. Out of respect to our dancers in this admittedly 'narrow room', many nights we will ask that visitors enter thru Room 5 and that our guests depart thru Room 5. In an emergency, of course you can leave any way you wish, but otherwise out of respect to the dancers in 6, please use the Room 5 Exit.


Rumor has it from a highly reliable source that several ex-ssqq dancers are boycotting ssqq Practice Night on Fridays because we raised our prices. Anybody with an ounce of mathematical ability knows this is nonsense - in reality, we lowered our prices on Friday. 

Friday Night Dancing before April was $5. Now it is $3 if you are currently taking a class. 

Perhaps I misunderstood and the boycott is on another night of the week. This still makes no sense. Why someone has a problem with the concept of giving a discount to a current customer is beyond me. 

Anyone with a sense for business will do some quick math and conclude that SSQQ Practice Nights barely operate at a break-even level using the $3 cover charge. If you wonder why we operate Practice Night at a break-even level, here is the reason: We conduct SSQQ Practice Night simply because it is good business - the more our students practice, the better they get and the more motivated they become to get even better. 

I think the real problem with the Boycotters is they got their feelings hurt. SSQQ was once their home, they decided to take lessons elsewhere, and now they feel like they are being treated like an outsider. 

Maybe it would make the Boycotters feel better if they knew the real reason for the price hike. Please read on.

SSQQ UNDER ATTACK - written by Rick Archer

On the night of Tuesday, April 1, 2003, an SSQQ instructor left the studio about 10 pm while the regular SSQQ Tuesday Salsa Practice Night was in session. The instructor discovered a business card left on the windshield of their car. It was a card from another salsa dance studio. 

The instructor looked around and was stunned to discover the same card was on every car in sight. The instructor took the time to collect each and ever business card and hand them to me a day later. 

This marked the low point of a systematic attack the studio had been under for a period of six months from another studio owned by a man named Eddy Deynes. Over this period of time Mr. Deynes, better known as Salsa Eddy, was either coming to SSQQ himself or sending his friends over to solicit business himself during Salsa Practice Night or both. 

In December 2002, Judy Archer was so fed up by what she saw happening on the dance floor during Practice Night that she took the extraordinary step of confronting Mr. Deynes. Surprised by her candor, Mr. Deynes denied soliciting business and promised that he was just there to dance. He said he would "never solicit business at ssqq, that he respected us too much to do such a thing". So Judy took him at his word. 

However the soliciting seemed to continue. Mr. Deynes was at ssqq practically every Tuesday during January and February. Don't you find it odd for the owner of another dance studio to visit ssqq practically every Tuesday night and go out of his way to dance with every ssqq student in sight? And to bring female friends to dance with the male ssqq students? It is very difficult to monitor conversations on a dance floor, but there were many incidents that looked suspicious. 

Then we discovered people were collecting email addresses during dance class. One night in March we found an email list someone had put down on a chair and forgotten about. There were over a hundred names. I have this list in my possession. Then we found out a former ssqq volunteer who had left the studio without warning only to suddenly appear at Mr. Deynes' dance studio had collected an enormous email list in his role as 'ssqq volunteer'. This attack was starting to feel more and more deadly than I had first realized. Now they had spies to boot. It was during this time that I received circumstantial evidence that suggested our salsa students were being solicited via email for dance lessons elsewhere. Although I have no evidence to prove what was done with these different lists, there was plenty of smoke as they say. 

We felt invaded and we felt attacked. Tired of these questionable business tactics and frustrated that Mr. Deynes did not seem to be honoring his promise to avoid soliciting students on ssqq premises, we decided we had no choice but to take action. 

In order to differentiate between ssqq students and 'outsiders', we came up with a plan to charge two rates at Practice Night… one for current students and one for visitors. Then we decided to have someone present to collect money for the duration of Practice Night. 

The first Tuesday night the changes took effect, we realized there were over a dozen 'outsiders' coming to the ssqq practice night including the young man who had collected the enormous email list. Furthermore that same night came the business card incident. This ridiculous trick brought the problem to a head. 

I will let these seven emails tell the rest of the story:

EMAIL ONE: Claire email to Rick Archer 
Fri 04/04/2003 11:50 AM 

"Rick, I was on my way to SSQQ tonight when Red called and told me that he was not going to dance there any more!!!

I had always wondered why Red was still being charged to practice there. He has taken all the Salsa classes (most of them more than once) for the last few years. He's taken several other classes for different dance styles there too. He went to your parties when all his peers were going to clubs.... He encourages everyone he meets to come to SSQQ. He is a walking advertisement for y'all. 

Having a good dancer like him at your practices helps the atmosphere there and gives guys something to look up to. Women look forward to dancing with him..... I always wondered if you understood what it would do to your environment if guys like him didn't show up.... 

Red is the most loyal (to SSQQ) of the good dancers.... 

Of course (blank) is in that same league and is very well liked by the regulars there.... 

I am guessing that you have more students than any other school (teaching the same kinds of dancing) in the nation. Other instructors in Houston, however, are now offering their studios for practice time and are charging $3 to $5 for four hours and play much more up to date music. They also dance with the students and demonstrate new moves during that practice time....

Other instructors in town are being gracious to the community and are obviously more into the dance than into the money. Red is a house painter who has been more loyal to ssqq than any instructor could possibly hope for. I have been disappointed that the studio was still taking his $3 for practice... and now you want $5?

This policy is hurting SSQQ. I am sad because I go where Red goes, and I will miss SSQQ.


EMAIL TWO: Rick Archer email reply to Claire
Friday, April 04, 2003 12:36 AM 

"Claire, I like Red and I enjoy his participation at the studio. The same goes for you.

SSQQ is currently 'at war' with another Salsa studio that has attacked us. They think unethical behavior such as coming to our studio and recruiting our students during practice night is okay. This has been going on for several months. We asked the owner of their studio not to do this, but after promising not to, his cronies have continued this behavior behind our backs. 

1. Are you aware that last Tuesday (April 1) someone placed business cards for this studio on over 50 cars in our parking lot during practice night? I have all 50 cards in my possession if you don't believe me.

2. Are you aware that we have learned of two huge email lists that have been collected behind our backs (and against our rules)? I have one of them in my possession and evidence of the other in an email sent to me. There is a strong possibility these lists are being used to solicit ssqq students to take lessons elsewhere via email.

3. Are you aware a student has come forward to say he was personally approached on ssqq premises by someone who suggested he take salsa lessons elsewhere? 

When you realize we have uncovered all this evidence without even trying, you begin to wonder how much we missed as well. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg. 

When we asked them politely to stop, they promised to do so, then continued anyway. Now we are forced to take tougher measures such as raise our prices at Practice Night. 

Would you have acted any differently?

While our 'war' clearly does not even begin to amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, some of our former students such as Red must have gotten their feelings hurt by our defensive measures because they did not understand the reasons behind it.

Please explain the problem to Red. Print this email out and bring it with you - the next Practice Night for both of you will be free and I will give him a card which allows him to attend Practice Night for the same price as everyone else. 

As for 'free practice night for life', this is a noble sentiment, but I think $3 is a fair price. It costs real money to furnish the drinks, popcorn, run the air-conditioner, and clean the floors. I assure you our profit margin per person is about 25 cents. 

That said, I hope you will both reconsider and come back.

Rick Archer"

EMAIL THREE: Eddy Deynes email to Rick Archer 
(note: Mr. Deynes, better known as Salsa Eddy, owns a competing salsa dance studio here in Houston. He is the gentleman I have previously discussed. Draw your own conclusions)

Fri 04/04/2003 11:52 AM

"I have been informed that someone put my promotional cards in SSQQ parking lot.

First, I would like to apologize for this act because it wasn't intended to be promoted around other dance studios. I paid a group of kids to go to different clubs around the Houston area and put it on people's cars and hand-outs. You can be sure that this won't happen again.

Second, I wish you would have e-mailed me or call me to clear this mis-understanding. I heard that you blame someone without knowing and sending e-mails to make me to be someone with no ethic. I don't think this is how you handle things in a professional matter. I wish you could have done it differently.

Third, why you feel threaten? My website which is the number one Salsa website in Houston, I promote your Salsa Social and I send my students to practice at your social every Tuesday and Thursday. Is all about making the Salsa Community in Houston bigger. You continue to get a big amount of people taking your monthly classes and my classes tend to grow too.
There is enough people for everyone.

Fourth, I respect your place and your people. I don't talk business with them I just socialize and dance with my students. Also, I dance with your teachers. So, when people ask you about me, give me the same respect I give you.

If you have anything you care to discuss with me in person, e-mail or by phone you have my card.

Sincerely, Eddy Deynes"

EMAIL FOUR: Rick Archer reply to Eddy Deynes

"Mr. Deynes, 

I appreciate your email. Now that I have a way to directly communicate with you, maybe we can clear up some misunderstandings.

A student at our studio who shall remain unnamed said on several occasions you complimented his/her dancing and wondered out loud why he/she didn't come over and join your advanced Salsa class. You have used this approach to him/her on several occasions, but in particular once you made the comment while you were at the ssqq studio.

Since I know for a fact that Judy Archer asked you to refrain from soliciting business at our studio, you have clearly broken a gentleman's agreement with Ms. Archer. This is why we question your ethics.

Now we have the incident where 50 of your business cards have been discovered on the windshields of my customers on Tuesday night, April 1.

This was an underhanded trick to say the least considering we have never done anything to harm you.

As for your students who are directed to our studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I prefer you send them elsewhere. Any element of trust that might have existed previously between our organizations has been broken by the business card incident.

Rick Archer"

EMAIL FIVE: Eddy Deynes reply to Rick Archer

"Mr. Archer, 

First let me thank you as I appreciate that you responded to my e-mail ASAP.

I have many students of yours coming to me to ask me about my classes and I have mention to them that I'm there to socialize and not to do business out of respect toward Mrs. Archer. 

I bet no one ever told you that, huh? 

That person you mention is only have to be one person because he (you can see I said "HE"), is the one that comes to me saying he wants to take my classes.

I told him, you know where I'm located and walk away. Once again they won't tell you that would they... See here are three versions, there's, mines and the truth. Of course, you pick them, because you consider me a threat.

Logical conclusion.

Now, me doing business outside of SSQQ at a club, at my socials, anyplace far from your location no one can refrain me to do so...

Once again, those promotional cards I apologize because that wasn't meant to be put at your place or any other dance studio. That is why, once I heard they were mines I wrote to Ms. Archer to apologize.

Like I mention to her on my previous letter just like you have had people talk negative about me in referring to promote my classes, is a fact that she has talk negative about me period. Even one time in front of me while I was dancing (I do have ears Mr. Archer). Once again, I don't sweat the small stuff because their is a bigger picture here.

I don't have no problem mentioning my students and anyone who reads my e-mail or visit my website that they are refrain to go to your place. 

Hey, I was helping y'all to make more money. I guess my help is not appreciated and is not a problem... I will take your information off of my website.

Thank you for your time...

Eddy Deynes"

EMAIL SIX: Rick Archer reply to Eddy Deynes

"Mr. Deynes, 

Considering all the people you have spoken with at my studio over the last several years, I find it fascinating that I have managed to identify the ONLY person you ever solicited at my studio to take classes.

What an amazing coincidence.

"Hey, I was helping y'all to make more money. I guess my help is not appreciated and is not a problem."

Please leave us alone. As they say, with friends like you, who needs enemies.

Rick Archer"

EMAIL SEVEN: Eddy Deynes reply to Rick Archer
Fri 04/04/2003 3:52 PM

"Mr. Archer,

As you wish!!!
Thank you for your time.
I guess I made my point.
You have a wonderful weekend.
Eddy Deynes"



As I write near the end of May, there has been no further incident between Salsa Eddy and SSQQ. For this I am grateful. 

Now everybody knows the real reason we raised the prices - it was done as a counter-measure to defend against the attack. 

I might add this was the main reason we didn't have a Newsletter last month. I was just too irritated by all the hassles that go into running this studio sometimes to be in the right frame of mind to say anything. 

Let me conclude by saying I hope the boycotters will forgive us and come back. You are always welcome. We would love to have you dance with us again.

Rick Archer

Back to the Top


This was a pretty tough Logic Puzzle. We had 6 winners.

1. Marlies Whitmoyer
2. Mara Rivas
3. Manny Hernandez
4. Lorraine Siegrist
5. Lonnie and Jeff Woodman
6. Samantha Archer - (I helped a little.)

In case you don't remember, I dared Mara Rivas to win again this month because she a serious streak going - she has aced every SSQQ puzzle for the past four months. Lake Wackawakka makes it five straight!! 

Mara is the SSQQ Puzzle Queen. Seriously, what makes me respect Mara more is that I don't think this stuff comes easily to her. She does it strictly through perseverance and determination. Very impressive lady. 

However the pressure was clearly getting to her. During April after solving Lake Wackawakka, she told me she was thinking of retiring from puzzles. It was just too much for her!! Then for some reason she decided to solve the infamous Einstein Puzzle located on the ssqq web site. 

This ordeal put Mara over the edge. The Einstein Puzzle was so hard it fried her brain. This is what she said to me:

Wed 04/02/2003 2:50 PM Mara Rivas to Rick Archer

"I had it !!!!!
No more puzzles for me ever!!!! you hear me....NO MORE my brain can't handle it.
It is all your fault !!!
I went to sleep really late last night, now I feel terrible....crancky, bitchy, etc. all because I was trying to solve the Einstein Puzzle!

Well the FISH belongs to the (blank) house with the (blank) who drinks (blank) and smokes (blank). Is this right??

Wed 04/02/2003 3:51 PM Rick Archer to Mara Rivas
"Yes, Mara, you have successfully solved the Einstein Puzzle. Now you really know once and for all that you are smarter than 98 out of 100 people!!
I will sadly report in the Newsletter next month that the Puzzle Queen has announced she is sending her brain on permanent vacation. Maybe we can find a successor who will carry the tradition for you because you have folded under the pressure.
The world will be sad after I write the story of your retirement in the next Newsletter.
Nice job on Einstein - at least you went out with a crowning achievement!

However, unfortunately for Mara, she was right. She really was affected by the pressure!! Shortly after our conversation, Mara made an incredible mistake! It was unbelievably embarrassing! 

After I pointed out her mistake, I cruelly told her I was going tell the entire incident in the next Newsletter. Here is what she said to me: 

Wed 04/09/2003 12:25 PM

"Rick, You can't do that to me....my life will be ruin...
I'm thinking about going into hiding right now. I told (blank) to use another name on her name tag tonight, I for one will be using RETARDED.
I will doing ANYTHING to keep this story out of the Newsletter… ANYTHING!

So an opportunity for blackmail presented itself to me. I told Mara in no uncertain terms that I was going to print the WHOLE SORDID STORY unless she solved the next puzzle. Which brings us to our next subject. My guess is Mara's puzzle retirement is over. 


Difficulty Level: Hard Enough that Mara May Lose Her Mind Completely

"As you know, SSQQ takes Halloween maybe a little too seriously. A little known fact is once a year the SSQQ Western instructors play a silly Trick or Treat game on each other one night shortly before our infamous Halloween Party. 

In other words, all of us go out of our way to play mean tricks on each other. Such delightful fun!!

Last year was no exception, as three men (Rick, Ben, and Daryl) and four women (Sharon, Linda, Rachel, and Amanda) made sure they made someone's night miserable. Each instructor drew a name out of a hat as their person to terrorize for the evening so no one could escape without being victimized.

The only problem was that afterwards the instructors were unable to figure out who did what to whom so they could 'pay them back' at a later date. For the fun of it, I gave the instructors some clues, but I was embarrassed to find that none of them could figure it out. How sad!! Tsk Tsk. 

I have come to the obvious conclusion that when it comes to hands, feet, dancing, and the ability to BS, my staff is wonderful, but sadly it turns out that I am the only logical person on the entire staff. 

Can you give these poor pitiful logic-impaired Western Swingers a hand??"

First three correct answers get a free crash course for two people. Next seven get a free practice night. 

Will Mara Rivas be able to get this one? Or will she go insane trying? Tune in next month and find out!!


Thu 05/01/2003 11:47 AM Ron Smith email to Rick Archer

"Hi Rick Archer,
A friend at work told me about your dance studio and after talking with my wife; we plan to take lessons in the near future. I looked up SSQQ on the web and in the process found your news letter and the Einstein Puzzle. You are correct it can be solved in less than one hour. The solution is: the (blank) in the (blank) House, who smokes (blank) cigarettes and drinks (blank), has a pet fish. 

I have saved the logic if you would be interested, but as sure as I am it does not hurt to have confirmation that my logic is correct. So if you don't mind, let me know that I am one of the two percenters.

I enjoyed browsing your newsletter, it gives me the impression that you have a business that you enjoy and that you enjoy your many clients. My wife and I plan on seeing you or at least your dance instructors this month,
Regards, Ron Smith"

Email Reply from Rick Archer to Ron Smith

"You are indeed correct, Ron, the (blank) owns the fish. Nice work!

Logic puzzles are a studio specialty. Rumor has it that Logical people have to work much harder to become better dancers because analytical minds are unable to 'feel' dance moves. As a result logical people are forced to take more lessons to overcome their handicap of intelligence.

Naturally here at the studio we pretend to be very sympathetic to this problem, but if truth be told we don't mind a bit. Were it not for this little-known tragedy, some of our dance teachers might have to find real work to make a living. 

To make things even more wonderful, logical people tend to make a lot of money which is great because they need all of it to afford dance lessons. The smarter they are, the more money it takes to learn to dance. It is one of God's wonderful circles of Irony that has helped make my studio successful. 

To identify the people who will need the most dance lessons, we offer these monthly logic puzzles. The faster they are solved, typically the more lessons the individual will need. We adjust our sales pitch accordingly.

And yes, this letter is only written partially in jest. Look forward to meeting you.
Rick Archer"

For those of you readers who are unfamiliar with the Einstein Logic Puzzle, this puzzle has made SSQQ an international WWW destination point for puzzle solvers around the globe. It is also the puzzle that drove Mara nearly insane. 
In the past two months alone, 35 more people from the four corners of the earth emailed me to check to see if their solution was right. 
If you would like to try your hand at the puzzle that drove Mara to madness, go for it!! It's fun! http://ssqq.com/archive/vinlin06.htm


The SSQQ Web Site rotates jokes on a monthly basis. At this point we have a Hall of Fame collection of over 600 jokes, many of them real gems. Nevertheless we get some wonderful new jokes each month which we eventually add to the immortal collection. 

These jokes may not be new to you, but they are new to me. Here are several jokes that made me smile. Please note I did everything I could to offend with racial jokes, political jokes, and religious jokes. If I left any targets out, please forgive the omission. 

Contributed by Leroy Ginzel 

In the cafeteria of a Catholic school, the children were lined up for lunch. At the head of the line was a large pile of apples. 

The nun made a note and she had placed it in front of the apples. The note read: "Take only one, God is watching."

Further down the cafeteria line was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. One of the boys had written a note of his own. 

The note he placed in front of the cookies read: "Take all you want, God is watching the apples."

Contributed by Judith Walsh

My husband, not happy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods.

When I'm in a good mood, it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big fuckin' red mark on his forehead.

Maybe he will buy me a diamond next time.

Contributed by Leroy Ginzel 

I am a black man. I have been black all my life. I've been black long enough to figure out some white men are just plain stupid. 
When I was born, I was born black. When I grew up, I was still black. When I go out in the sun, I am black. When I'm cold, I'm black. When I'm scared, I'm black. When I am sick, I am black. And when I die and hit the ground, I will still be black until I become a skeleton. Black is Black is Black.
Now take the white folk...... When they are born, they're pink. When they grow up, they are white. When they go in the sun, they turn red. When they are cold, they turn blue. When they are scared, they turn yellow. When they are sick, they turn green. When they are bruised, they turn purple. And when they die, they turn gray. 
So what the hell gives them the right to call me colored? Instead of Blacks and Whites, it should be Blacks and Rainbows.
Contributed by Chris Holmes

One time, there was a young teenage girl that was about to finish her first year of college. She considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and her father was a rather staunch Republican.
One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to programs like un-restricted welfare and quota systems. He stopped her for a moment and asked her how she was doing in school. She answered that she had a 4.0 GPA but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party and often went sleepless because of all of the studying she did. She didn't have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of all her studying.
The Dad then asked her how her friend Mary, who was attending the same college, was doing. The Daughter replied that Mary was barely getting by. She had a 2.0 GPA, and she never studied. She was very popular on campus and was at parties all the time. She often wouldn't show up for classes because she was hung over.
So Dad then asked his daughter why she didn't go to the Dean's office and ask why she couldn't take 1.0 off her 4.0 GPA and give it to her friend that only had a 2.0. In that way, they would both have a 3.0 GPA.
The daughter was irate. She fired back and said, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine and my friend has done nothing." 
The father smiled and said: "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Contributed by Tom Huddleston

While a woodcutter was cutting a branch of a tree above a river, his axe fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, "Why are you crying?"
The woodcutter replied that his axe had fallen into water.
The Lord went down into the water and reappeared with a golden axe. "Is this your axe?" the Lord asked.
The woodcutter replied, "No."
The Lord again went down and came up with a silver axe. "Is this your axe?" the Lord asked.
Again, the woodcutter replied, "No."
The Lord went down again and came up with an iron axe. "Is this your axe?" the Lord asked.
The woodcutter replied, "Yes."
The Lord was pleased with the man's honesty and gave him all three axes to keep, and the woodcutter went home happily. One day while he was walking with his wife along the riverbank, the woodcutter's wife fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord in appeared and asked him, "Why are you crying?"
"Oh Lord, my wife has fallen into the water!"
The Lord went down into the water and came up with Jennifer Lopez. "Is this your wife?" the Lord asked.
"Yes," cried the woodcutter.
The Lord was furious. "YOU CHEAT! THAT IS AN UNTRUTH!"
The woodcutter replied, "Oh, forgive me, my Lord. It is merely a misunderstanding. You see, if I said 'no' to Jennifer Lopez, You will come up with Catherine Zeta-Jones. Then if I also say 'no' to her, You will thirdly come up with my wife, and I will say 'yes,' and then all three will be given to me. But Lord, I am a poor man and I will not be able to take care of all three wives, so that's why I said yes this time."
The moral of the story is whenever a man lies it is always for an honorable and useful reason . . .

Contributed by Chris Holmes

A French rugby fan, a German rugby fan and an English rugby fan are all in Saudi Arabia, sharing a smuggled crate of booze, when all of a sudden, Saudi police rush in and arrest them.
The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offence in Saudi Arabia, so for the terrible crime of actually being caught consuming the booze, they are all sentenced to death.
However, after many months and with the help of good lawyers, they are able to successfully appeal their sentences down to life imprisonment.
By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheikh decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip.
As they were preparing for the whipping, the Sheikh announced: "It is my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow you one wish before your whipping."
The Frenchman was first in line, he thought for a while and then said, "Please tie a pillow to my back". This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through. When the punishment was done, he had to be carried away bleeding and crying in pain.
The German was next up. After watching the Frenchman's pain in horror, he said smugly: "Please fix two pillows to my back". But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through and again the German was led away whimpering loudly (as they do)
The Englishman was the last one up, but before he could say anything the Sheikh turned to him and said. " You are from a most beautiful part of the world and your culture is one of the finest in the world. For this you may have two wishes".
"Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful Highness" The Englishman replied. "My first wish is that you give me not 20 lashes, but 100 lashes".
"Not only are you an honorable person, you are also very brave" said the Sheikh with a n admiring look on his face. If a 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish?.
"Tie the Frenchman to my back".

Contributed by Lynn Griffiths

Deep down in the bunker, the Iraqi Minister of Defense and the Iraqi Head Surgeon walk into the room. Their eyes rested upon 10 men who looked remarkably similar to Saddam Hussein. In fact, they were his body double team. 
The Minister of Defense smiled and announced, "Men, I've got some good news and I've got some bad news. The good news is Great One has surfaced. Praise Allah, he is still alive and prepared to lead his people again!! 
The bad news is he has lost an Arm."


Allison Virginia Liles was born to Ben and Diana Liles at 2:22 PM on March 30, 2003.
Weight: 8lbs. 7oz. / Height: 19 Ύ in.
As many of you know, Ben and Diana went through a nightmare when their first child Cole was born three months premature. Any of you who have seen a fat and sassy Cole walking around the studio can understand what a miracle it is that he is so healthy and happy. 

Apparently Allison's birth was much smoother. This is a good thing because I don't think Ben or Diana could take another event like Cole's emergency. 

I am very happy for this terrific family of four!!


CURMUDGEON - an irascible, churlish person. A grouch. Andy Rooney. 

Example - "The old curmudgeon waved his cane threateningly at the boys as he barked orders to them not to walk across his grass on their way home from school."

Contributed by Ted Jones

(Editor's Note: for those of you who don't know who Andy Rooney is, he is an 82 year old US TV commentator with a well-deserved reputation as a curmudgeon).

Here is what Andy Rooney said on 60 minutes a few weeks back:

"I like big cars, big boats, big motorcycles, big houses and big campfires.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some governmental stooge with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to crack addicts for squirting out babies.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING MARTHA BURKE?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America. Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens. Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door. I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off. When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.

I know what sex is, and there are not varying degrees of it. If I received sex from one of my subordinates in my office, it wouldn't be a private matter or my personal business. I would be "FIRED" immediately!

I believe that if you are selling me a milk shake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry self if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.

I feel much safer letting a machine with no political affiliation recount votes when needed. I know what the definition of lying is.

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor. I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them.

I believe a self-righteous liberal or conservative with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building. Ask your buddy that invented the Internet to help you.

It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say "NO!"

"I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me french fries!

I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African-Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

And if you don't like my point of view, tough. DON'T PASS IT ON!!"
Back to the Top


Congratulations to SSQQ Staffers Tracy and Jeff King who are expecting their first child in October. And of course congratulations to Ben and Diana Liles for Allison who was just born. 

And Daryl and Joanne Armstrong are expecting their second child in early June. 

And what do these three wonderful couples have in common?? They all met at SSQQ….
Which leads us to our next News Item, always a popular one…


On Earth Day, April 22, Wayne Brodd and Carol Jones got married. We announced their engagement back in January. And yes, they planted a tree on Earth Day! Congratulations to both!

On Saturday, April 5, Tim and Laura Jean tied the knot in a lovely ceremony held in their beautiful new home in the Woodlands. Quite a few SSQQ dancers were in attendance such as Gary and Betty Richardson, Robert Goins, Paula and Glenn Morris, Gary Lee, Pam and Billy Steward, Donna and Paul Motard, Stevie Wonder Bahnsen, former teachers Michael Stephens and Beth Bowman, Judith Williams, John Hall, Mickey Hammond, and others… but you know how the memory goes. 

This was actually a 'Generation Group' - all of these people became great dancers and great friends in Martian Whip back in 2001. Tim and Laura Jean were a big part of this group indeed. I had to leave early to pick up my daughter, but during the short time I was there I felt a tremendous amount of warmth coming from and to this lovely couple. 
And Laura Jean says to tell everyone it wasn't true that she married Tim simply to get rid of her difficult to pronounce, impossible to spell last name… 

Best wishes to both!!


It's official. SSQQ instructors Ann Bush and Brian White are getting married. They have been a couple at the studio for over two years. They are a very tight couple. I don't know of any two people who support each other better than these two! They work very well together. I think of them as a special team already and they aren't even married yet! 


This time I don't have to say a thing. Not when Rachel Seff is involved. Here is what RACHEL had to say:
"Good news!

After a whirlwind four and one-half month romance, I have accepted a marriage proposal from Mr. Dave Koenig.

Dave and I met through a mutual friend from work, Susan. I had encouraged Susan to join an on-line dating service. She went to dinner with Dave. A few days after the date, I called Susan to see how it went. She said it was ok, but didn't feel there was a 'spark' between her and Dave. She did, however, mention that she thought he and I might be a match and that I might really like him.

"He's from Boston, he likes to dance and he has a boat," Susan remarked to me. (Those that know me know I am also from Boston, love to dance, and love the water and the outdoors).

"Hmmm." She definitely peaked my interest.

So I sent Dave an email. "My friend Susan thinks we might make a good match. Check out my profile and let me know if you're interested." 

Dave replied a few moments later, "Sounds great. How about Saturday night?"

Rachel: "I am teaching a belly dance class at my dance studio, so I can't make it. You can check out the website at www.ssqq.com"

Dave quickly replied to me " See you there…" Of which I did not know, since I had already turned off my computer.

On Saturday, November 9, 2002, I taught my belly dancing class, and then stayed at the studio for the swing dance party. As I started to head home at 10:30 pm, another instructor, Jill Banta, asked me, "Have you met Dave?"

"What are you talking about?" I replied. 

Jill: There's a guy here named Dave that asked me who you were and I pointed you out to him."

Rachel: "Which guy?"

"Him," Jill said as she motioned toward handsome man in a white button-down shirt and red suspenders on a chair in the corner.

"That guy has been watching me all night!" I proclaimed.

So I proceeded to flirt about and walk back in forth in front of Dave a few times. No response. Finally, I waved at him and motioned I was leaving.

Dave stopped me as I was walking out of the studio.

"Hey!" he said. "When were you going to say hello?"

"When were you going to stop stalking me?" I replied with a flirt.
We sat on the sofas and talked for 30 minutes or so. It was a really good first conversation. Covered all of the basics….where are you from….what do you do…etc.

And the romance began! First date to dinner at Argentine Grill. He drove me home and immediately asked me out again. Second date to dinner and theatre downtown…and the moment he picked me up I knew this was one special guy. He was dressed in a handsome sport jacket, big smile, and a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses. 
"This is it!" I told my girlfriends JoAnne and Lisa as I gushed about him after our second date. Both cautioned me that I have kissed a lot of "frogs" in my day and not to get my hopes up that he was my prince.

Turns out, Dave also told his friend Jerry after our second date that he was pretty sure I was "the one." Jerry said no way and told him. So Dave bet him $100 and now he has to pay up! 

We took a trip this past weekend to Boston for one of Dave's friends' weddings. It was also an opportunity for him to meet my grandmother and me to meet his Mom. (He had already met my parents two times before, and I had met his father and step-mom, as well).

We met Grammy for breakfast on Friday morning, March 28, 2003, and had a nice 2-hour visit. Then we drove directly to Dave's mom's house in Framingham and took her to lunch at her favorite restaurant, Legal Seafood. 

After lunch, the three of us went on a walk in Callahan State Park. It was quite breezy and cold, but a beautiful, clear day. As we headed back to the car, Dave starts asking rhetorical questions about ceremonies and marriages. 

"I wonder what you need to get married?" he asked his Mom and me.

She and I look at each other quite puzzled, wondering what he is talking about.

"I guess all you need is a guy and a ring and someone to ask," he said, answering his own question.

At which point, he took a ring box out of his jacket pocket, dropped to one knee and proposed. Right there in the middle of the park, in front of his Mom, because he knew it would make her really happy that he finally met the girl of his dreams.

I screamed and accepted, and then promptly cried all afternoon. 

"I know this is kind of hokey…but will you ask my parents?" I asked after I regained my composure.

"Don't worry, I already did," Dave replied. (He has called them the day before.) 

The ring is beautiful and the man is the guy of my dreams. Dave is the most sincere, patient and kind man I have ever know. We talk and laugh and sing to each other in the car, and have a great time dancing and sailing. He's quite chivalrous and romantic, and very good at picking out jewelry! He's also career driven and very successful. 

When my Dad met Dave, he commented. "This is not only a really good guy, but he's a really good guy for you."

Thanks for sharing in our lives….I'll keep you posted as to possible wedding dates.


(Editor's Note: Rachel is a supremely talented woman. I think she is a special lady and I am very happy for her. I know she has been hoping for this to happen for a long time, but you know what its like to be 'choosy'. I am glad she found the man she has been waiting for!!)


I do not know Mike and Ann very well, but I do know they have been taking classes together here at the studio for over a year. I also know that Mike and Ann will be on the July 4th Cruise with us. Sounds like a romantic trip to me! Hope we get to see some of this attractive couple… Best wishes to both!


Long-time SSQQ students may remember Dennis Taupo who assisted Amanda Keiser on Wednesday Western night here at the studio for several years. I believe Dennis resigned around 2001. At any rate, he is engaged now and ready to tie the knot in October! Heather Blue is a former SSQQ dance student as well. Amanda is busy planning all sorts of events for Dennis, so I know she will keep him busy. Best wishes to both!


I noticed Chuck and Brenda acting pretty snuggly on last year's Rhapsody cruise. In fact I am here to report I saw them smooching a couple times over in the corner while Marla and I danced a Foxtrot in the ship's Atrium. I don't know if they connected on the cruise or before the cruise last year, but my hunch is the cruise made it happen for them. 
At the very least I do know the cruise definitely brought them closer together. 
And good news - they are coming on this year's July 4th cruise as well. And it turns out Chuck proposed to Brenda on Valentines Day! Ahhh, how romantic! Best wishes to both!

(Editor's Note: The extraordinary number of weddings and engagements brings our total to 2 weddings and 9 engagements for 2003. This is a very impressive total indeed. And let me remind you, if you ever want to get married, the easiest way is to simply start teaching at SSQQ. From there, it is inevitable…)


Sat 04/19/2003 9:29 AM
"My father passed away in a peaceful death at home Friday afternoon. His last night was spent in the company his whole family - three sons, two daughters-in-law, two grandchildren, and wife of 37 years.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of your thoughts and prayers. Your support, no matter how big or small, has been greatly appreciated.
(Editor's Note: I can tell that Steve loved his father tremendously. He must have had a terrific relationship with his father. I was very touched by his concern and respect for the man. Mr. Gabino must have been a great guy to receive so much love from his son!!  )

CONDOLENCES - MATT ROGERS PASSES AWAY  (pictures and more story at bottom of page )

The dance community was deeply saddened by news of the sudden and tragic death of Matthew Rogers on Saturday, May 2. A service in his honor was held at the home of Kathleen Rose on Friday, May 8, attended by over 30 people. 
Matt apparently suffered from a terrible case of diabetes his entire life and one day his health problems caught up with him. 

Many people from the Houston World of Dance miss this gentle giant a great deal. Matt apparently was very well-liked and cared for. Sadly, it seems that Matt was closer to his friends in the dance community than his own family from which he was estranged. 

Kathleen Rose was subjected to quite a bit of inappropriate hostility in her attempts to simply be part of the funeral. I myself received a blast of anger for even having the nerve to print her comments on the web site. When they say "Rest in Peace", I got a glimpse of what is meant.

Take care, Matthew, wherever you are.


Contributed by Chris Holmes
"When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. 

He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return." 

It became very quiet in the room."
(Editor's Note: I do not know if this quote is true or not, but I was deeply moved by it. If it is true - and I hope it is - it is yet another indication we have a great man in Mr. Powell representing our country.)


"I started at SSQQ in January 2003. Wanted you to know that I have enjoyed the classes very much. When I was going to start at SSQQ I emailed you because I had prior experience at Exclusive Dance Club many moons ago. The quality of the instruction that I have received at your studio has been awesome, and beats what I had prior. I have had several instructors so far, but the best has been Linda. I could tell that she is comfortable with both sides of a pattern and the men in my class related better to her than to other instructors. My other favorite is Daryl, whose sense of humor and fun factor he brings to class was a great introduction into the studio. I look forward to many more classes and much more fun!
Abbie Barbley"

(Editor's Note: What a nice thing to say, Abbie. Thank you.)


(Editor's Note: There is a jerk who has been around the Houston dance scene for many years. He particularly enjoyed preying upon ssqq women at the Longhorn back in 2001, but I haven't heard much about him lately until our friend Mara met up with him recently. Now that I think about it, maybe it was the encounter with him that drove her insane.
The Longhorn may be dead, but the dance floor answer to Freddy and Michael Myers obviously lives on. This guy is a SERIOUS creep.)

Mon 04/21/2003 12:27 PM
"Hi Rick,

One Friday night I was at Wild West when a guy asked me to dance West coast with him. I explained to him that I was a beginner and he replied "me too". From the start, I could tell that he was not new to this dance. This man tried to lead me into stuff that I have never seen people at SSQQ perform, he tried some sort of neck wrap pattern that I totally rejected because he was hurting my shoulders and he was displeased with my reaction. He said "if you want to stay a beginner, don't try new stuff". At this point, I was already upset with him, but I decided to finish the song, then he proceeded to do nasty sleazy moves, dancing way too close to me and whispering something(?). I thought "GROSS"...and I did not wait for the song to finish, but to walked off the dance floor. He said "come on let's dance", to which I replied, "hell no". I knew this guy was not a SSQQ person because: #1 I had never seen him before, and #2, most of the SSQQ guys are very respectful. After I walked off the dance floor one of the SSQQ dance instructors came to apologize to me for not warning me beforehand and she told me that he was the "Longhorn Jack-ass.
As you know I'm fairly new to the dance scene and have no idea of such elements. Normally, I dance with either my class mates or people I met at SSQQ, therefore I always felt "safe"- not anymore! I went to your web site and read the articles about this subject, and to be honest, even if I had read it beforehand, it would not have helped. The descriptions on your web site, although accurate, are very average. The only thing I can say to all the new lady dancers is that if you feel someone is doing things that you are not comfortable with just walk off the dance floor. 
Mara Rivas"

(Editor's Note: To read more about Mr. LJ, http://ssqq.com/information/jackass.htm )


Sorry, folks, pretty low-level stuff this month. Maybe someone will really give it to me hard next month so we can let the dirt fly and get back to the good stuff. In the meantime, I guess we have to settle for some boring questions about On-Line registration.

I took Intro Salsa Mambo last month. This month I have recommended SSQQ to a friend. We plan to take the Intro Salsa Mambo and Intro Merengue.
I want to register both of us via your online system. I understand repeating and Intro course with someone who has not taken a class at SSQQ is free. Also, by recommending a person an individual gets an $8 break to register for a class.
How will these affect me by registering online?

The online registration system cannot handle referral credits. You will have to use walk-in registration.
Is it possible to register online then be credited in person?
Your suggestion makes no sense. If you register on-line, you will still have stand in line to receive credit.
On-Line registration was never set up to deal with exceptions. Sometimes the old-fashioned way still works the best.


Why can't I use On-Line to register for a Crash Course? 


Because it will cost SSQQ $5,000 to add that feature.


Why can't I register ahead for a July class in May?


Because the system is set up for only one month at a time.


Why can't I register for a class using On-Line in the second week?


Second week registration is very tricky. For one thing, some of our classes are closed. It is difficult to program the registration system to close some classes and leave the others open. 

Other classes have too many men or too many women. It is impossible to program the on-line system to allow one sex into a class but not the other. 

Since the lines are not very long in the second week, it is simpler just to shut down On-Line registration and use Walk-In for everything. 


How do I find out if a course is closed or if there are too many women in it?


Our Registrar has a Bulletin Board on the first screen of the On-Line Registration page which outlines which classes are closed and which classes have serious imbalances. You can check there at any time. 

(Editor's Note: Increasingly, our students much prefer using the SSQQ On-Line Registration system designed by David Schroeder. After nearly two years, we are gratified to note there has not been one instance of card theft. Let's hope this continues!!

The only major problem has been an occasional double charge. This is usually created by someone clicking the "Send" button, then getting impatient when they don't get an instant answer. As a result, they figure they didn't click it properly the first time, so they hit the button again. This simple "user error" has caused a couple headaches, but nothing that couldn't get straightened out. 

If anything, the biggest complaint these days is that On-Line Registration can't handle all the registration duties. Sadly, this is true. We still need humans to handle the exceptions.)

Contributed by Chris Holmes

"You know the world is at tilt when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest basketball player is Chinese, the Swiss win the Americas Cup, the French accuse the Americans of being arrogant and Germany doesn't want to go to war."


I realize that I do a lot of needling in dance class. I have a huge natural advantage over my students in that my feet can move without my having to talk to them. As a result, my brain is free to talk trash while everyone else struggles to talk back and talk to their feet simultaneously. 

In other words, it is rarely a fair fight when I decide to give someone a hard time. On Monday, May 12, during Advanced West Coast Swing, I thought I had the perfect target for my acerbic sense of humor. Bruce Hanka was wearing a tie and his shirt looked ironed. This I decided was too disgusting to allow to stay unnoticed. 

So in front of the entire class I started to tease Bruce about being too clean cut. "Lose the tie," I said. "Rumple the shirt. You're making it tough for all the bums in the class with this clean-cut image. Knock it off."

To Bruce's credit, he played along. He took off the tie and pulled out his shirt. Bruce definitely had the sympathy of the entire class behind him. Then he stared at me. "Well, aren't you going to do the same thing? Now you are dressed better than I am! You aren't a hypocrite, are you?" The class loved it. They cheered loudly for Bruce. 

Well, it was put up or shut up. I pulled out my shirt and unbuttoned several buttons. I was definitely rowdy. Bruce was happy - he had forced a draw on my turf. 

Halfway through class the following Monday, I happened to notice Bruce as he walked past me on his way to his next partner. I had been too busy teaching to pay any attention, but now I couldn't help but notice he was looking even cleaner cut than the previous week. 'This is ridiculous,' I thought to myself. 'He obviously didn't get it. Whip is not a dance where you look like the guy next door. You have to have attitude!' 

So I called Bruce down in front of the class again and told him he obviously hadn't learned his lesson last week. Bruce smiled and said actually he had spent a lot of time thinking about what I said. Suddenly I grew suspicious. 

First Bruce took his tie off and then he began to take his shirt off to reveal a black muscle shirt underneath! Ohmygoodness. Still I wasn't too concerned. Bruce was just having some fun. 

Then he turned the tables on me! Bruce said that not only had he seen the wisdom of my suggestions to loosen up, he thought I would benefit from a little loosening up myself. Uh oh. I gulped. What did he have in store for me??

Judy Foster, an obvious accomplice, instantly produced another black muscle shirt. Bruce handed it to me and said I should put it on. The class agreed with him. 

What choice did I have? I went to the men's room and put the shirt on, then put my regular shirt back on as well. 
That didn't cut it with the class. They demanded I take my formal shirt off. 

So I turned down the lights, put on some Whip Stripper music, and proceeded to do an impromptu male strip tease act. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and was even given a dollar for my efforts. My class was very supportive of my act. I was indeed grateful. 

Still after I finally took my shirt off, I felt practically naked! I couldn't believe how easily Bruce had trapped me. I fell right into it and the class roared with delight at my discomfort. 

I have to hand it to Bruce. Trap well-planned and well-executed. He nailed me to the spot. The class loved watching me get a serious taste of my own medicine. 

Nice work, Bruce. Just remember, life is long. There will be a day…


There are some people who are mean and vicious beyond belief. One person I nominate for the hall of fame is this pathetic man Joel Loshak, the bankrupt owner of the Door Warehouse. Despite the fact that his business is in bankruptcy and his store closed, he continues the cars of innocent SSQQ students towed from his place of business late at night. To my knowledge at least 3 cars have been towed this year.

One SSQQ student, Kathy Heller, had her car towed and - bless her heart - decided to FIGHT BACK. I am so proud of her! Kathy believes the towing was illegal and, you know something, she may just have a point. Unfortunately she is experiencing a horrible NIGHTMARE runaround of bureaucracy that protects evil people like Loshak. Most people - me for example - would throw in the towel and give the guy his filthy money, but Kathy has a lot more determination than most people and continues to struggle. I think she deserves some help so perhaps we can put this predator in his place.


By Michelle Leigh Smith
Reprinted from the Village News and Southwest News
April 18, 2003

"Pediatric nurse Kathy Heller has won her court case for the improper towing of her car in March, but she's yet to see her money.

The Hon. Bill Berryhill has ordered The Door Warehouse, "the party responsible for the towing," to reimburse Kathy Heller $110.06 for improperly towing her car and also that they pay the City of Bellaire the $52 in court costs.

"The Court finds that probable cause did not exist for the removal of Heller's vehicle from the parking lot at 4801 Bissonnet," reads the finding of the fact. Further, the court finds that "the sign placed at the facility from which the vehicle was towed did not properly located and was not properly located and was not properly installed."

Heller was the first victim to request a towing hearing and the hearing was held on Mar. 24, 2003 and continued on Apr. 2, 2003, at which time Cody's Wrecker Service produced and alleged contract authorizing the towing. The date on the contract between Cody's Wrecker Service and the Door Warehouse is Mar. 21, 2000 and the emergency contact number on it has been disconnected.

Heller checked with the state to see what kind of standing Cody's Wrecker was in. "There are five complaints against him since 1997, with the last one filed in February," Heller said. "They owe $100 for putting in insurance notification late in February. I think the person who was towed in February from the same location may have a case because in February, they didn't have current insurance." 

The number, for those other victims malicious towing, to check on a towing company is 1-800-299-1700.

"I also don't think the driver, Mike Negrine, is without blame," Heller said. "The contract does not say he has to phone and get permission, but that's what Loshak told the judge. It's a simple contract."

The judge took his time reviewing the facts, Heller believes, "because he felt like I'd be waiting in a long line if I hoped to get my money since Loshak had told all his creditors he was in bankruptcy." A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was filed by The Door Warehouse, Inc., a Texas corporation as debtor, on Jan. 15, 2003 in the Hon. Karen Brown's U.S. District Court, with W. Steve Smith, P.C. as the trustee and attorney Melissa Haselden of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski, and Zuber, P.C. as the attorney of record. There was a creditors' meeting held Feb. 25. The proof of claims deadline is June 2, according to Susan Fedele, deputy clerk in case management.

Heller plans to send a letter to Loshak's leasing agent for the abandoned Door Warehouse building with a copy of the court order so that the signs can be corrected. "I think they should send someone to that site to correct it. To me, otherwise they are colluding. Why can they keep it posted incorrectly?" she asks.

Heller is aggravated by the entire situation, which has cost her not only her $110 for the improper tow, but hours of time. "People should know they were out of business, there are no customers, it's a vacant parking lot by an abandoned building with an illegally posted sign," she said.

If Loshak won't pay the court-ordered reimbursement and the court costs, she plans to take him to small claims court. Calls to the Loshak residence at 5031 Braesvalley were unreturned. 

After reading Southwest News' story on Joel Loshak's dealing with his costumers at his now bankrupt Door Warehouse and having cars towed from his vacant parking lot, the Meyerland Community Improvement Association noted that they also have a lawsuit with Loshak on an illegal fence.

"We have had a lawsuit on a fence with him and we still have a problem on a separate issue," said Paul Pieri. "He hasn't paid 2003 fees yet. All MCIA dues are due by January 31." As of April 7, almost 90 percent of the Meyerland residents had paid their dues.

The Meyerland Community Improvement Association has a freestanding architectural three-member subcommittee. Jim O'Rourke, assistant general manager with MICA, serves as liaison to MCIA for the committee.

"The wooden fence on the side of the house was illegally placed when the house was built," said O'Rourke. "Loshak was instructed to move it," O'Rourke said. "It's still not in its proper location. He moved it, but he didn't move it all the way. He just did a renovation and that brought more problems." End of Story

April 20, 2003

"It is my hope that if I have a tow hearing I will get my money back.

Via mail I receive official notification that Monday, March 24, is the date for my tow hearing. I also get a phone call from Michelle Smith, a reporter for the Southwest News. She has been researching the Door Warehouse and the business practices of the owner, Joel Loshak. We compared notes. She lets me know that TOW Properties may be a typo for TDW Properties (in other words, Texas Door Warehouse Properties). Ms. Smith sends to me copied pages from the Texas Criminal & Vehicle Handbook.

I also locate the same statutes online (finally!) at http://www.capitol.state.state.tx.us/statutes/tr/tr0068400.html

The law is specific about tow sign placement. Ms. Smith obtains my permission to use parts of my SSQQ newsletter report in her article.

Courts operate during regular business hours. I take another day off from work. I am prepared. I have several copies of the law detailing where and how tow signage is to be posted (5 feet off the ground; facing and conspicuously visible to the driver of a vehicle that enters the facility). The sign in front of the Door Warehouse is definitely posted wrong. I have my photos of the hidden tow sign as well as photos of the "for lease" signs on the building. I am nervous that I will be outnumbered by unfriendly businessmen (Mr. Loshak and the tow truck driver). No one else shows up. The clerk escorts me into the courtroom where Judge Berrryhill enters in his robes. The Judge explains that he is postponing a decision on the hearing to allow time for Cody's Wrecker Service (who is not required to appear; only the owner of the property is required to appear with the contract) to provide a copy of the contract authorizing the towing. His clerk will phone them tomorrow. If there is no contract, then Cody's Wrecker Service is to repay me. If there is a contract, then the judge will have to review requirements of the sign placement, drive by the location himself, and decide if the signage is incorrect. If I was not properly notified, then the entity authorizing the tow (whoever signed the contract) is to repay my fees. The Judge points out that I would be at the bottom of any bankruptcy payments, so he is doing what he can to see my funds are repaid.

Two days later, I phone the clerk. I am told Joel Loshak phoned the court and stated he did not appear in court because he did not have enough time to respond to the court appearance request; he was to be phoned before anyone is towed; he had not given permission for my car to be towed. Cody's Wrecker Service did not send a copy of the contract. Judge Berryhill is now requiring Cody's Wrecker Service owner, Cody Culpepper, to appear in his court with the contract, but not for another week. I still don't have my money back.

The Southwest News runs the article on the front page of the April 1, 2003, edition. Now the clerk does not return my phone calls. April 7, I drop in at the Bellaire Municipal Court building. Judge Berryhill meets with me. Mr.Culpepper did provide a contract. The contract is with the Door Warehouse. The Judge plans to review the statutes and make a ruling. I let Judge Berryhill know that I have been advised to go to small claims court and sue all parties for malicious towing.

I then go to the City of Bellaire offices and try to speak with Mr. Satterwhite, the Bellaire City Manager. I want to know if the sign can be required to be removed or properly placed (or is the city giving the appearance of condoning malicious towing). His secretary suggests I send an email to him. I also phone (1-800-299-1700) to see if Cody's Wrecker Service had a valid license and insurance when they towed my car. Turns out they owe for late posting of their insurance information, but their license and insurance is current.

Two days later, the court clerk phones to tell me the Judge has made a ruling. My car was improperly towed. The Door Warehouse is to reimburse my $110. Victory!

I phone Steve Smith, bankruptcy trustee, and leave a voicemail message. No one has returned my call. 

I still don't have my money back. 

Kathleen Heller"


(Editor's Note: If you wish to read the original story about Kathleen, 

I have been reading with great interest about the travails of my friend Kathleen Heller. I greatly admire her persistence. I can't help however contain my disgust that the tow company got their money despite what amounts to an illegal tow. I wish Kathy could receive some justice for the incredible amount of work and time she has put in to redress her wrongs. 

Our system of justice seems deeply flawed. 

I realize stories about how the American legal system is out of kilter may be a common theme on "Law and Order", but it leaves an even more bitter taste when it happens to me, you, or to Kathy.

By coincidence on Friday, April 29, I was at my printers office on Kirby/Richmond getting the current schedule taken care of. 

He commented immediately on the story he had read in the Southwest News (the one printed above) without realizing how much I knew first-hand. He shook his head in disgust that someone would stoop so low as to have a car towed from a business that was not even open. I think a wide segment of the ssqq circle of friends is in total agreement. 

He mentioned there was a latin club on Richmond across the street from him that dumped cars into his parking lot every night on a regular basis. 

One day a man representing a wrecker service came into his store offering to put up a sign and "tow the bastards away". He was amazed at how ruthless and aggressive the wrecker industry was at soliciting business without any prompting on his part. 

I guess we have bottom feeders in every society. It just isn't much fun to observe some of the practices of this pathetic side of life. I hate wreckers. They are just as much to blame in this story as Joel Loshak.

As you know, it is highly unlikely Kathleen will ever see one dime of her money back. What a racket.

In the meantime, send your comments to me at dance@ssqq.com If you have something to say to Kathy Heller, I will be happy to forward them for you.)

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Phone call to Rick Archer Saturday morning, May 10, 2003

"Hello, I can't make today's beginning salsa Merengue class. When is the makeup??"

"Unfortunately Saturday is the only day this class is offered."

"But it's Mother's Day!! I can't believe you are having classes!"

"I thought tomorrow was mother's day."

"it is Mother's Day in Mexico."

"Interesting. I didn't know that."

"What day can I come in to make up my class?"

"Unfortunately there is no makeup. There is no parallel class. But you should be able to catch up next week. They will review what you missed in the first hour."

"Why isn't there a makeup class?"

"I wish there was, but there isn't."

"Well, I guess I will come to the Intermediate Merengue class on Tuesday instead".

"How would that work for you? That would be like going to Star Wars II before you finished Star Wars I. There would be people one month ahead of you."

"I don't care. I'm a fast learner. I already know a little Merengue anyway. That's what I will do."

"How do you intend to get past the Hall Monitor?"

"Hmm, I forgot about that. I guess I will just have to miss the class. Too bad." 


We have 27 classic jokes ready for you to read on our June Joke Page. There are some great engineer jokes this month. 
June Clean Side Jokes
June CS 01: Mom's Driver's License - Gary Richardson
June CS 02: Sunbathing Nude - Leslie Wagner
June CS 03: Son in College - Reza Taherian
June CS 04: Father and Son - Rick Archer
June CS 05: Understanding Engineers - Jill Banta 
June CS 06: The Blonde and the Highway Patrolman - Hieronymous Anonymous
June CS 07: Engineers Are Smarter Than Lawyers - Jill Banta 
June CS 08: The Beautiful Senorita - Gary Richardson
June CS 09: Wild, Wild West - Sylvia Key
June CS 10: Three Turtles - Patty Jones
June CS 11: The Hero and the Biker Gang - Donna Ruth
June CS 12: Catholic Mothers Bragging about their Sons - Jon Holverson 
June CS 13: Ten Dollars is Ten Dollars - Ann Bush
June CS 14: Sleepless in Seattle - Patty Jones
June CS 15: Better Work on Your Short Game - Joanne Armstrong
June CS 16: Clinton and the Sooey Pigs - Mary Collins
June CS 17: The Mistress - Ralph Volz and Patty Jones
June CS 18: The Dog Who Liked Football - Sharon Russell
June CS 19: The Sailor Finds a Room - Sharon Russell
June CS 20: Signs Seen in Hotels Around the World - Michael Yount
June CS 21: Aggie Funeral Director - Kathleen Parker
June CS 22: The Hearing Aid - Mike Guillory
June CS 23: The Lawn Mower - Mike Guillory
June CS 24: The Fishing Trip - Mike Guillory
June CS 25: Judgment Day - Mike Guillory and Pat Roberts
June CS 26: Cannibal Dinner Plans - Joseph Stuteville
June CS 27: The Pope and the Chauffeur - Joseph Stuteville

In the meantime here is one of my all-time favorite jokes from the June Joke Page to whet your thirst….

June CS 12: Catholic Mothers Bragging about their Sons
Contributed by Jon Holverson

Four Catholic ladies are having coffee together. The first one tells her friends, "My son is a priest. Whenever he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'".

The second Catholic woman chirps, "My son is a Bishop. Whenever he walks into a room, people say, 'Your Grace'".

The third Catholic woman says smugly, "Please, ladies. My son is a Cardinal. Whenever he walks into a room, people say, 'Your Eminence'".

The fourth Catholic woman sips her coffee in silence. The first three women turn their gaze. "Well, Teresa, what about your son?"

She replies, "My son is a gorgeous, 6'2", 210 lbs, hard-bodied Stripper. Whenever he walks into a room, pandemonium breaks out. The women fall to floor, pound on the table, pull at their hair, and scream, 'Oh my God!'"

Back to the Top


(Editor's Note: The Blue Side Jokes are one of the great undiscovered secrets of the SSQQ web site. Anyone who is on the SSQQ Registration List is welcome to have access. All you need to do to get the address is to email me from the email address you use to register for classes and request it. dance@ssqq.com 
We have some seriously wonderful jokes this month on the Blue Side. I love "Helga and the Beer" and the "Female Gorilla" is a good one too. 
June Blue Side Jokes
June BS 01: Martian Whip - Donna Ruth 
June BS 02: What Kind of Tree is Thee? - Michael Rutenberg
June BS 03: The Breast Stroke Competition - Jill Banta
June BS 04: Helga and the Beer - Kerry Pelham
June BS 05: The Explanation - Ralph Volz
June BS 06: The Parrot - Gary Richardson
June BS 07: Jack and Jill - Kerry Pelham
Joke BS 08: Girl's Night Out! - Joanne Armstrong
Joke BS 09: The Stutter - Jon Holverson
Joke BS 10: The Sisters and the Stalker - Mary Collins
Joke BS 11: Bull Story - Debbie Awad
June BS 12: Twenty Four Hours to Live - Kathleen Parker
June BS 13: The Female Gorilla - Jill Banta
June BS 14: The Foul-Mouthed Hooker - Hieronymous Anonymous
June BS 15: The Newlyweds Lose Their Appetite - Judy Walsh
June BS 16: The Voodoo Penis - Judy Walsh
June BS 17: The Priests Take the Test - Pat Roberts
June BS 18: The English Professor - Carole Nelson
June BS 19: Viagra - Lynn Bevis
June BS 20: The Virgin Bride - Red Draper

Here is one of my favorites from Kerry Pelham: 
June BS 04: Helga and the Beer 
Contributed by Kerry Pelham 

It is a hot day in Minnesota. Helga hangs the wash out to dry, puts a roast in the oven, and then goes downstairs and out the door to pick up some dry cleaning. 
As she walks down Main Street on her errand, she muses to herself, "Gootness, it is so hot." She wipes a bead of sweat from her brow. 
A Canadian is walking down the street with a case of beer under his arm. Helga recognizes him and asks, "Hey Bob! Vat do you get the case of bier for?"
"I got it for my wife, eh," answers Bob with a grin. 
"Oh!" exclaims Helga, "Goot trade!" and they both smile. Helga realizes how thirsty she is. 
As she passes by a tavern, Helga thought, "Vy nodt?" So she walks in and takes a seat at the bar. 
The bartender comes up and asks her what she would like to drink. "Ya know," Helga said, "it is so hot I tink I'll have myself zee cold bier." 
The bartender asks, "Anheuser Busch?"
Helga blushes and replies, "Vell fine, tank ya werry much, und how's yer pecker?" 

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Contributed by Bett Sundermeyer

The May picture actually isn't very funny. It is a picture of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle pledging allegiance the flag with his left hand. 

The problem is the picture is likely a fake. It took me - no computer genius - one minute to put the picture back in its original form. If it only took a computer amateur like me one minute to correct the problem, then obviously the lesson that to be drawn is to TRUST NOTHING YOU READ OR SEE ON THE INTERNET. 


Contributed by Marlies Whitmoyer

Too disgusting for words. This horrible picture was actually sent to me by over a dozen people. It is clearly making the rounds.


Back to the Top


by Randy Cassingham 

(Contributed to the ssqq newsletter by Bett Sundermeyer)

Tobacco companies have long been the boogiemen of U.S. industry. It was proven that they manipulated nicotine levels and lied about the safety of their product, leading to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of deaths in the U.S. alone. Long pounded in the courts, "big tobacco" finally lost big time with a multi-billion-dollar "settlement" to be paid to each of the 50 states to compensate the states for caring for indigent tobacco victims and to help educate their citizens as to the dangers of smoking.

No state has been more active in anti-smoking public awareness campaigns than California, which started anti-tobacco advertising long before the settlement in a bold attempt to convince smokers to stop, and non-smokers not to start. The ads are funded by a 25-cent-per-pack tax on
cigarettes voters approved in 1988. In the ads, the state likes to say that it's "America's smoke-free section," and apparently the campaign is working: since the special tax passed, cigarette sales have dropped by half in California.

R.J. Reynolds spokeswoman Ellen Matthews says that the decade-long ad effort in California has "infiltrated every segment of the media in California." That was pretty much the state's goal, but RJR says that result has prejudiced potential jurors in any future anti-tobacco court action in the state against them -- so much so that the tobacco companies are "vilified" by the people who may have to judge them in future lawsuits.

Thus, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard, two of the largest tobacco companies in the U.S., have sued California in federal court in Sacramento, asking the court to order a stop to the state's anti-tobacco advertising.

"Suing to stop the most successful tobacco prevention program in the nation is further proof that they're not serious in saying they don't want kids to smoke," said Bill Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C.

California Gov. Gray Davis is ready for the fight the companies have picked. "I say, Bring it on," Davis said. "They spend infinitely more than we do (on marketing) to get their message out. I don't think anyone should feel too sorry for them."

Tobacco companies "vilified"? The horror! But it's hardly surprising that an industry so often sued would think of using the courts to get what it wants. As in love and war, the tobacco business thinks turnabout is fair play.

1) "Tobacco Companies Sue State, Saying Ads 'Vilify' Industry",
Associated Press, 2 April 2003

(Editor's Note: I asked Bett if this story was on the level. 

Her reply: "Yea, I got it from a e-newsletter that I get periodically called the "Stella Awards". The guy picks out the most ridiculous lawsuits, verifies them and then prints them each month. 

It's named after Stella, who was the woman who won millions from McDonalds for spilling hot coffee in her lap. This website specializes in detailing legal abuses.")


(Editor's Note: Over the past four years, Gary Richardson's TFW Computer Company has sold 63 computers to customers referred to his business through SSQQ. I can honestly say I haven't gotten one kickback. I refer my students to TFW Computers for one simple reason - they make great computers and they give tremendous support to all customers. 

The following is a letter written by Mitch Weigand to Gary thanking him for the new computer he bought in March 2003. Mitch has had plenty of time to practice on the computer because he fell off a ladder and nearly broke his foot!! In the meantime, Nancy Weigand has become quite the Whip dancer in our Monday night Whip/WCS class)

-------Original Message-------

From: Mitch Weigand
Date: Monday, March 31, 2003 12:53:20 AM
To: tfwcomputers@houston.rr.com
Subject: RE: New computer

Dear Gary, Thanks for asking about the new computer. It works wonderfully! Fast, reliable, doesn't crash, starts every time, just what I wanted. Lots of room for video and photos, fast webbing. I'm very satisfied!!

Now here is how I came to know about you: 

I went to a Christmas party 2 years ago and there was a live band, I tried to dance and couldn't. So, I asked my wife if we could sign up for dancing lessons, and guess what she said? You guessed it.... Leasure Learning said SSQQ was the place. So we started with two step at SSQQ and it was great. But you had to get there early, or the line to sign up was very long.

I guess about 6 months later, when we were registering for another class, Nancy and I walked in to SSQQ and ... low and behold.. there was computer registration! What a concept, sign up on line and don't stand in line. What a deal!

So, we signed up and got a receipt by email... down at the bottom was SSQQ.com website. I had no idea that there even was a website. So , I checked it out and it was quite extensive and very well written and presented lots of great dance graphics and stories and good stuff. 

So, as with every good site, I check out the webmaster, which was of course Rick Archer, and e.cats was the web designer, and on the e.cats site at the bottom was Barking dog graphics and TFW Computers. Kind of an odd way to find you, but that was the first. Then I saw you in the business affiliates section of the SSQQ website with glowing reports from there, and on the bottom of the receipt I'd receive by e-mail. So I thought, "When I need a new computer, (which is about every 3 years), I'll check out TFW Computers. 

So, I had a computer crash and pulled up the SSQQ website (on my wife's computer) 
and found you in the affiliate section, got the address and walked in to your store. When I saw you, I had no idea you were the one that I had watched dance many , many times at SSQQ. Never knew who you were, or that you were the one who built the computers for SSQQ. I knew it was TFW; but not this man who I'd seen dancing almost non-stop for the 2 years I'd been at SSQQ ,.. at break, at practice, at the Longhorn, etc. 

Wild huh? 

Well, that's the story. Funny how things work out. Thanks so much for your help and the great computer. You've got my business!! 

Sincerely, Mitchell Weigand"


"Mitch, thank you! I am happy to hear you are happy with your computer...that is exactly what I want and expect to hear. If ever you have a problem, as you know, just call or come by...we will take care of you.

We live on referrals. SSQQ has provided many referrals over the past few years and as Rick said, not one complaint that he or I have ever heard. 

Thanks again, 
Gary Richardson

(Editor's Note: to read more about TFW Computers on the SSQQ web site, 
http://ssqq.com/information/tfwcomputers01.htm )


Intermediate Tango to be taught by YJ Pu and Jenny Shen was scheduled for May, then changed at the last minute to Beginning Tango. We advertised Intermediate Tango again for June, only to change our minds a second time. It is now currently slated to begin in JULY. Wish us luck!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Mona Parikh 
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 3:09 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: Request: Intermediate Tango?

"We have now completed the Beg. Tango class and request that an Intermediate Tango class be scheduled. Thanks- Pam and Mona Parikh"

"I have one scheduled to start next Tuesday, May 6. Details will follow shortly in the newsletter.
Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio"

Wed 05/21/2003 12:41 PM

"Pam and Mona, 
You ladies are certain to be angry with me since I promised you an Intermediate Tango class in May, reneged on that, then scheduled another one in June and reneged on that one too. 
I swear we will have one in July!!
The problem is our business arrangement with an organization called Leisure Learning. They insist on scheduling classes five months in advance. I tried very hard to cancel Beg Tango with Leisure Learning in May. They said they would make a note of the change, but the right person somehow didn't get the message at LLU.
As a result six people from LLU showed up unexpectedly at the first Tuesday of May which forced the Registrar to cancel Intermediate in May and replace it with Beginning. Then I tried again in June, but by this time someone else had finally gotten the message to move the May class to June so now they had 10 people scheduled for beg Tango in June. 
In other words, LLU kept the old class (May) and scheduled the new class (June).
Leisure Learning is a huge business partner to ssqq. I don't particularly like to antagonize them if I can help it even though in this case they made things tough for me by ignoring and heeding my request simultaneously.
If you will print this email out to show to the Registrar, you two of you can attend any Crash Course on June 14th for free as my guest.
Please forgive.
Rick Archer"

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Diane Murrell is not an ordinary Hall Monitor. In fact she is not an ordinary person. Actually I think she might be a genius. There is something about Diane that always makes me wonder what she is thinking now.

Diane actually gave a glimpse into her marvelously creative mind with a clever suggestion the other day. Here is what she had to say:

"Well Rick I hope you're in a good mood because I can't resist jokin' with you.
I thought that it might be a good idea following on the heels of the hall monitor who devised name tags for errant clients and following on the heels of the instructor who video-taped each of his class members dancing so they could have a group critique next week to see what's wrong... that I might help the script for a future TV series along by offering to "frisk" the guests as they come through in case any of them are smuggling in "fliers" from other dance studios.
Having lived in war torn N. Ireland I am well familiar with the frisking procedure. I also have a small toy wand (albeit with a glittery star on the end) that I could wave over people to be sure there is no metal in their dance shoes.
Anyway that's me. Your ever trusty hall monitor :)
Keep your sense of humor and just look at all the writing material you're getting. I always thought we had a TV series in the making at SSQQ I didn't know that you or anyone else had already thought so too. You've got to plan a pilot or you'll always regret you didn't try.
Respectfully, in spite of the teasing

(Editor's Note: If any of you wish to be frisked by Diane, let her know and I am sure she will be happy to oblige!!)


On Wednesday, May 8, a woman tried to enter the studio to confront a man who had jilted her. She was stopped at the door by the Hall Monitor on duty. Unable to produce a class receipt, she asked if she could use the restroom, a favorite ploy that the Hall Monitors have been burned by in the past… but no more. When that didn't work, the woman became angry. She lost her temper and said she had slept with so and so (a student in another room) and asked if that was that good enough to get her in. As the Hall Monitor simply stared at her in shock, the woman threatened to sue the studio for denying her the right to enter, then turned and stomped off in a huff. Here is a report on the incident: 


Susan ask me to write you more about the incident last night but there's not much more to it other than the girl wanted to get through using the bathroom excuse to approach an ex boyfriend and make a scene. 

I was very polite to her and really was in shock at first at what she said when I asked for a receipt, then she stormed out. I really think her threats were directed to the ex-boyfriend instead of the studio. She was just venting. 

Donna was present when this happened so she can verify. Also Horace was there he said he was trying to warn me but I was busy checking receipts so the girl must have been outside too. This was about 10 or 15 minutes till 7 so I was getting very busy. The main thing is she wasn't able to make a scene in the studio. 

(Editor's Note: Let's be sure to remember this story when we write our next episode of "Cheers Goes to the Dance Studio". Actually we are fortunate the presence of the hall monitor prevented a very ugly scene. I am glad she did her job!!)

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The SSQQ Web Site has a question and answer section. 

This area of our web site targets the following questions -
01. Private Lessons
02. Refunds
03. Referring new students
04. Group Discounts 
05. Switching Partners 
06. Guests 
07. Credit for Unfinished classes
08. Same Sex Dancing
09. Making up a Class
10. Volunteering 
11. Clothes/Shoes 
12. Need a Partner? 
13. Watching Classes 
14. Starting classes a week late
15. Repeating a Class 
16. Children 
17. Husbands Who Won't Dance
18. Map
19. What level of class to take
20. General Questions (like why SSQQ doesn't have bottled water and why we don't have other locations).
If you have a question you want to have answered, let us know!! dance@ssqq.com 

Contributed by Marlies Whitmoyer


Ah, marriage...........!!! - A woman's perspective A couple is lying in bed. The man says, "I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world."
The woman replies, "I'll miss you."

"It's just too hot to wear clothes today," Jack says as he stepped out of the shower, "honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?"
"Probably that I married you for your money," she replied.

He said - Since I first laid eyes on you, I've wanted to make love to you really badly.
She said - Well, you succeeded.

He said - Shall we try swapping positions tonight?
She said - That's a good idea...you stand by the ironing board while I sit on the sofa and fart.

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt.
Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"
"It depends," I replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"
He yelled back, "University of Oklahoma."
And they say blondes are dumb....

A man and his wife, now in their 60's, were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.
On their special day a good fairy came to them and said that because they had been such a devoted couple she would grant each of them a very special wish.
The wife wished for a trip around the world with her husband.
Immediately she had airline/cruise tickets in her hands.
The man wished for a female companion 30 years younger.
Immediately he turned ninety!!!
Gotta love that fairy!

She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.


As you can see, the SSQQ Newsletter is mostly written by people just like you who send stuff in. If you have any comments, suggestions, requests, complaints, jokes, pictures or poetry to share, please send it to me, Rick Archer, at ssqq@houston.rr.com

And thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! …. I might add I do have reason to believe some of you simply scroll to the bottom to look for any little surprises I hide down here. ;-)  

Anyhow, thanks to all for making it this far!

One more thing. In case you were wondering, this issue of the SSQQ Newsletter is equivalent in length to 25 pages.

Rick Archer SSQQ Dance Studio 
4803 Bissonnet 
Email: ssqq@houston.rr.com
Web: www.ssqq.com
Phone: 713-861-1906 

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The End


The SSQQ Newsletter started in January 2000 as a way to update our students on upcoming classes and parties.  Once it became obvious that most SSQQ students had email addresses, the idea was to replace written material and save on wasted paper. The idea quickly caught on in ways we didn't anticipate.

We soon discovered how easy it was to publish all sorts of information.  This allowed the SSQQ Newsletter to evolve into a "Do-It-Yourself" Newspaper. Members of the SSQQ Community began to contribute all sorts of articles, jokes, pictures, puzzles, vocabulary words,  and letters to the editor. 

As a result over half of each Newsletter is written by the readers themselves. Our readers are the reporters.  We just edit what you send us and give it back.

Matt Rogers 

Matthew Layne Rogers, age 43, died unexpectedly Saturday 5/2/03.  Although appearing healthy, Matt suffered terribly from diabetes, the probable cause of his sudden death. 

(05-09-03 - At the request of Bill Hardaway, a friend of Matt's father, a paragraph that used to be here deemed offensive by Mr. Hardaway has been moved.  On this same day I received a phone call protesting the 'degrading nature of this tribute page to Matt'. In addition, Kathleen Rose has received so many mean phone calls relating to this paragraph that she was forced to make a police report. Out of respect to Matthew's family, I have removed the paragraph).

Since this Church of Christ family decreed no outsiders and no friends at his viewing OR funeral, several of us are giving him a terrific send off Friday after work. Gary Thorpe, Lindy Triplett, Leroy Ginzel and I are teaming up to have as many people as possible come to my home. Thus far, 20 SSQQ dancers have confirmed.  A LOUD party celebrating Matthew Rogers' life will be at my house, very near the studio on Friday, May 9 for all friends who wish to attend. 
Call for directions, my little street is hard to find. 

Thank you. Kathleen Rose     Phone: 713-664-0759

I am sad to report that ssqq student Matt Rogers passed away Saturday morning from complications arising from his diabetes.

Matt was my best friend.  We met in 1974 at Spring Branch High School and have been very close friends ever since. 

He first brought me to the studio in December of 2001 and even re-took beginning two step polka with me so that I would know somebody in the class. 

I will miss him very much.  

Gary Thorpe

Matthew Rogers, an SSQQ student, passed away over the weekend (May 2, 2003). 

Matt was in my Western classes on Sunday nights. I believe he started about 2 years ago in the same class of Morgan, Sherry, Dane, DeLaine, etc. He took the Western classes up through Ghost Town, then went on to whip and swing. 

He was a terrific dancer with a quick wit. He always liked to jibe me in class with a smart ass comment and a twinkle in his eye. He had a way with the ladies. I found the attached picture of him on the ssqq Halloween site.

I'm sure Matt would want us to celebrate his life. May his memory be a blessing to us all. 

Rachel Seff

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