NO STANDING IN LINE – REGISTER FOR CLASSES ON-LINE
|WARNING – IN FEBRUARY AT LEAST TWO MORE CARS OF SSQQ STUDENTS WERE TOWED FROM THE
DOOR WAREHOUSE EVEN THOUGH IT IS OUT OF BUSINESS.
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.
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MARCH SCHEDULE OF SSQQ DANCE CLASSES.
Classes begin the week of Sunday, March 02.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MARCH 2003 SCHEDULE
March marks the return of the legendary LATIN HUSTLE, the famous Disco partner dance from Saturday Night Fever. Taught on Sundays at 4:30 pm by Jack Benard, this special course assumes that you have already had Intermediate Swing dance or Beginning West Coast Swing since the pace of the class is swift. The Hustle footwork & timing is very similar to West Coast Swing & its patterns are very similar to East Coast Swing, yet the dance has a separate feel and patterns that are quite unique. Learn the timing, the styling, all the clever footwork, and discover why Latin Hustle is so much fun! This class is offered once a year, so go for it!
Advanced Lindy Hop will be offered on Sundays at 4:30 with Gloria Sanchez.
Beginning Western Cha Cha. On Sunday evenings at 7 pm Judy Archer will teach Beg Western Cha Cha. This is a very popular course which shows you how to dance the infamous Cha Cha to slow, romantic Western Polka music. Cha Cha is a popular dance that can be used to a wide variety. Not only is it frequently used to Polka-rhythm C&W music, but come SSQQ Sock Hop time in June you will get plenty of opportunities to dance the Cha Cha to "Johnny Angel", "Under the Boardwalk", and "See You in September". Flirtatious and easy to learn, Western Cha Cha is fun to learn, cute to watch, and sexy to dance.
The Beg Whip/West Coast Swing Superclass returns in March on Mondays and Thursdays. Whip & WCS are highly technical, impressive partner dances used to Disco, Blues, & Rock music. Flashy footwork, sexy hip motion, intricate patterns, and eye-catching turns make Whip/WCS a popular option for advanced dancers. Let us add that SSQQ is the only place in town that allows you to take the course on 2 different nights for the price of one. Since these dances are so tricky to learn, it definitely helps to have the chance to come twice a week for extra practice!! Starting Whip/WCS in March will prepare you the infamous Sleazy Bar Whip Party in April!
Anita Williams will offer Advanced Night Club Twostep on Wednesdays. Starting in March, during Practice Night on Wednesdays, Room 6 will feature Night Club Twostep music while Western Waltz & Western Cha Cha music will continue to be played in Room 4. Combined with Twostep and Polka music in Room 1, this is the perfect opportunity to practice Western dancing to your heart's content!!
Clogging comes to SSQQ for the first time on Fridays at 6 pm for one month only. Taught by Betsy Peterson, Clogging is a foot-stomping, high stepping dance which originated in the Appalachia Mountains. It is heavily influenced by Irish dancing (many people have related it to "River Dance"). Clogging music has its roots in bluegrass but over the years it has grown to include all types of music including up-tempo C&W music. The song has to have a fairly fast beat and energetic dancers. This class is for the beginner --- comfortable shoes are all that is necessary to learn. We will introduce some basic steps needed to get your feet tapping. With these steps, we will teach a simple but fun line dance. (Please note that metal taps will not be permitted in this class.)
Prom Dancing for Teenagers will be taught on Saturdays by Diane Murrell. Offered at the studio for the first time, this class is aimed at teaching social dance to high school students. Most kids this age have had little or no training in social dance at all. With that in mind, each week this class will cover different material such as Swing, Twostep, Freestyle, Salsa, & Slow Dance in preparation for the Prom!!
International Latin is coming to SSQQ. On Tuesdays in March YJ Pu and Jenny Shen will offer SSQQ’s first-ever International Latin dance class. Their 4-week program will cover the Beginning steps to International Rumba, Samba, Cha Cha, and Jive.
In particular, International style emphasizes on the frames, power, and positions. The straightness of the legs is extremely important in International Latin dance. American style is more casual. Experienced Latin dancers frequently prefer International style because they believe it is a great foundation for all dances. International style is difficult at the start. Holding the correct frame is difficult, not mention all the steps, patterns, and holding the correct frames for the whole dance. But, once you have a good beginning and learn the correct frame, you will carry the grace to any dance, and learning other styles will be easier.
For more information about INTERNATIONAL LATIN:
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SSQQ DANCE PARTIES IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH
BACK IN THE SADDLE WESTERN PARTY
Saturday, February 22, 9pm - Midnight, $7
CRASH COURSES 7 - 9 pm
BEG TEXAS TWOSTEP - Kathleen
BEG WESTERN SWING - Ann
BEG WESTERN CHA CHA - Brian
ANITA'S FAVORITE HIJACK PTNS - Anita
LINDA’S FAV GHOST TOWN PTNS - Linda
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Jorge
Music: Western and Waltz in Room 1, Whip/WCS in Room 4, Swing music in Room 6
This year we are adding a new feature: Every Friday Night and for the Western Saturday parties (4th Saturday of each month) Room 6 will have non-stop Swing music.
SSQQ DANCE PARTIES IN MARCH
THE SSQQ SAINT PATRICK’S DAY SWING PARTY
Saturday, March 8, 9:15-Midnight
Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
CROWDED FLOOR SWING MOVES - Bryan
BLAME IT ON THE BOSSA NOVA - Judy
BEG LINDY HOP - Gloria
SINATRA BOX FOX - Jill
INT SALSA MERENGUE - Jim
BEG WEST COAST SWING - Jack
Wear some Green and Make the Scene!!
Music Swing in Room 1 plus requests, Salsa in Room 4 plus requests.
THE SSQQ RED AND BLACK WESTERN PARTY
Saturday, March 22, 9:15-Midnight
Cover charge $7
CRASH COURSES 7-9 pm
BEG C&W : TEXAS TWOSTEP - MG
INT TWOSTEP CIRCLE TURNS - Mo
BEG NIGHT CLUB - Jill
SYNCHRONIZED POLKA - Linda
PROM DANCING FOR TEENS - Diane
BEG WEST COAST SWING- Jack
Music: Western, Waltz in Room 1, Whip, WCS in Room 4, and whatever is asked for in Room 6.
THE SSQQ 4TH OF JULY CRUISE TO COZUMEL (JULY 3 – JULY 7)
(More information and registration form:
Travel Agent: Marla Gorzynski
(Warning: The deadline to put down a $200 deposit is March 5th
This Cruise Will Sell Out. Some levels on the ship are already sold out. If you wait too long, you will not go.
Put your deposit down now. Today. You have till May 2nd to get it all back if you decide to change your mind.)
SSQQ Travel has scheduled an exciting 4-day Cruise on Carnival's 'Jubilee'. This is your Perfect July 4th Getaway! As I write, we already have 17 people on board and the information has only been out for 10 days. The buzz at the studio has a LOT MORE people thinking about going. This trip could turn out to be Very Big.
(Who is Going: http://ssqq.com/information/traveljubilee02.htm
This trip is a sprint. Hold nothing back! Party hard for four solid nights with your friends from the studio. Celebrate the 4th of July in grand style. What better way to take advantage of the long July 4th holiday weekend??? And we will be back early enough Monday that you can even work that day... (oh sure, ha ha).
SSQQ Cruise Trips have taken 186 people sailing over the past two summers. This year we might even beat our 2001 record of 101! Why? How?
Well, for one thing, this trip includes the biggest party weekend of the year. Can you imagine the party the Jubilee will hold on board the ship that night???
Another good reason the trip will be special is Carnival has gone out of their way to make up for the Vera Cruz fiasco of 2001. Our ship was headed straight into a hurricane in 2001 trip and was diverted to Vera Cruz. We were very disappointed by missing out on Cancun and Cozumel. We told Carnival about our frustration, but despite our efforts we couldn't connect, so they lost our business in 2002. This year Carnival wants us back. They have gone 'overboard' trying to make our group feel welcome again.
Laurie Mason, Carnival's Houston Business Development Coordinator, went way out of her way to make two special offers to our group. Her offer includes a huge party with unlimited free drinks on our first night of the trip. (to read more about what she offered:
Another good reason the trip will be special is our Snorkel Adventure in Cozumel.
Snorkeling is one of the easiest sports imaginable. If you can swim, you should be able to snorkel. Since Cozumel is an island, they are able to protect their waters from any mainland pollution. The water right below our ship is so clear you can almost see the bottom. Just 100 yards from where our ship docks there is water we can actually snorkel in for free if we wish.
More likely as a group we will taxi to one of Cozumel's many crystal-clear water spots and snorkel the afternoon away. One spot is so close we could probably simply snorkel our way back to the ship. All you need to do to participate is purchase your gear in advance at a Houston sporting goods store. This alone will save you a $70 guide fee.
And that night if you are still standing, maybe we can hook up the SSQQ Jukebox and have our own dance party.
Now let's review why this trip will be great:
- The SSQQ Welcome Back Party
- The Captain’s Big Band Reception Dance
- The huge July 4th Bash
- Snorkeling at Cozumel
- Dancing and poolside fun on the trip back
The timing is right and the ship is right. We should have the time of our lives, so hop on board and join us before the ship sells out!!!
We need your first deposit of $200 by March 5th. Carnival will sell every one of their
1486 available spaces on this highly traveled July 4th weekend time period in short order. YOU CANNOT WAIT!
Carnival is so confident that this trip will sell out that they will only hold our reservations till early March This puts SSQQ in a definite "put up or shut up" position. This means we have to start getting some people to commit to the trip right away or our reserved space will be taken away from us.
If everyone waits for someone else to make the first move, you have missed the point. If you want to go, there is no risk to sign up now and relax while you see how the trip fills up. You can receive a full refund all the way to MAY 2. Carnival's refund policy allows anyone to reserve a cabin by credit card for $200. REPEAT: This money is completely refundable as late as May 2.
In other words you can put down a deposit to hold your cabin for over TWO MONTHS at no charge. There is no risk of losing your money, but there is a risk that we can lose our reservations if everyone waits till the last minute to make their move. Let us say this one more time: If you sign up now and something unexpected comes up, you have till May 2nd to get your entire deposit back.
The sooner people climb on board, the sooner the snowball effect we saw last year will begin. And who knows? If everyone who is interested shows their hand quickly, maybe the snowball effect will turn into an avalanche. Or should I say tidal wave? Maybe not the best marketing slogan. Let's try this one instead: Get out of the closet and make a deposit.
Marla Gorzynski will be our travel coordinator this year ( email questions to
email@example.com ). She has a direct phone (713 862 4428) and fax line 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 one person even handed Marla the form at the studio.
Email or Call Marla today.
COMPLAINT OF THE MONTH
You are not going to believe this, but in the month of February 2003 I received not one complaint.
SSQQ FEBRUARY TELEPHONE CALL LOGIC PUZZLE RESULTS
In February, only two people were sharp enough to solve the Telephone Logic Puzzle – Carla Finch and Mara Rivas. I
am sure hundreds of people tried and failed to tell me about it.
Only these two brilliant women had the brains and the perseverance
to prevail against all odds! Congratulations are in order for
Carla and Mara!! Ta Da!
It is good that Mara solved the puzzle because she has a serious streak going – she has aced every SSQQ puzzle for the past four months. Let’s see how she does on the March puzzle. My bet is this one will be too tough for her.
SSQQ MARCH LOGIC PUZZLE – THE ART FESTIVAL
First three correct answers get a free crash course for two people. Next seven get a free practice night. Warning – this is a tough logic puzzle. Don’t go in with any weak stuff.
Will Mara Rivas be able to get this one? Tune in next month and find out!!
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SSQQ SLOW DANCE AND ROMANCE
Nobody admitted to getting engaged in February. Valentine’s Day was a big flop.
No complaints and no new Romance. What is the world coming to?
Uh oh... this just in... one day after I wrote the discouraging
Romance News above I heard a big RUMOR that an attractive couple who
grew Very Close on last year's SSQQ summer cruise got engaged on
Valentine's Day. This is unconfirmed, but from a Reliable Source
named Deep Quad. More to come later. I wasn't disappointed after
THE FEBRUARY JOKE PICTURE OF THE MONTH – WHAT KIND OF WOMAN DO MEN PREFER?
This month’s picture demonstrates two women with radically different body structures. It is designed to help men get in touch with their inner feelings of exactly what kind of features they prefer in a woman. Sorry, guys, both women kept their bathing suits on.
LINDA COOK’S SKY DIVING ADVENTURE (NEXT JUMP: MARCH 9th)
if you want to go, email Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org
On January 8, 2003, I received the following note from Linda Cook:
I was wondering if I could put this announcement about skydiving up on the bathroom mirrors and front bulletin board. So far there is a group of 15 who are going to do this. I don't want to miss any of my friends that I don't have emails for and of course to give anyone else a chance who might find this exciting. You are more than welcome to join us.
I'm finding out this is on everybody's new year's resolution list or something they always wanted to do. Me? I'm terrified of heights, I'm going to need this many people to push me out of the plane. Don't worry we'll take plenty of photos. We will be jumping the last weekend in January.”
And here is what Linda had to say after it was all over:
“It all started when Vaughn Jones asked me to go skydiving with him. My prompt reply was, “It will take more than you to push me out of a plane!”
But the idea was planted! I thought about it and decided it would be a fantastic experience “If” I did it. So, I thought, if I were surrounded by friends maybe I’d be brave enough. So, I told Vaughn, “I’ll do if I can get a group together”. What was the likelihood of this?
Apparently this was at the top of everyone’s New Year’s Resolution List! Everyone wanted to jump but needed someone to start it. I am very good at that! I had about 30 people call me and at the last minute some just couldn’t do it, but altogether 23 brave dancers jumped! I called them “ Linda’s Lemmings”!
Half of us were terrified of heights and roller-coasters and we were sure we would be the ones that chickened out! On the other hand the roller coaster nuts in the group couldn’t wait! When the day arrived, the ones who had the obstacle of fear to overcome proved what they were made of!
Here’s a list of these brave “fools” as some called us:
Vaughn Jones, Gonzalo Manuel, Timm Chavez, Allen Bullock, America
Amador, Ximena Gonzalez, Simon Chan, April Brossard, Tim Christ, Hong Vu, Marlies
Whitmayor, Misty Mansker, Nohenmy Vasquez, Ricki Trevino, Alex
Retrepo, Mark Salinas, Alicia Garcia, Jose Garcia, Miquel Sanchez, Theresa
Aubochon, Raymond Valencia and me.
Jason Osborne was our Video Man plus we had Mercy and Doris come along for the ride to cheer us. We also brought an assortment of kids who proved to be as excited as the adults the whole day. We almost got Mercy up there!
My landing was like stepping off a curb although Misty, Ximena and Timm went the
'land on your butt' route.
This was a great group. We shared an experience that few can describe and give it justice. We are all going again on March 9th. We hope to bring even more plus the ones that chickened out because they can do it! Thanks everyone for joining me and hope to see lots of 1st jumpers join us for Round Number Two! Dancers Can Jump!”
And now Linda is organizing another group to jump. Here is the information:
“Ok, Gang, we're doing it again! Those of you who weren't able to join us on the first trip, come have fun with us this next one! Everyone is invited, bring a friend We had a blast!
We are jumping March 9th, that's a Sunday. It's $139.00 for first time jumpers. 2nd time jumpers if you didn't buy your discount jump it'll be $129.00. I need everyone's email and $50 deposit.
Everyone should jump at least once from a plane, these will be tandem jumps. That means someone else is in charge of that cord pulling.
If your interested or know someone who is email me, Linda Cook at email@example.com
and I'll be happy to add them to our list of jumpers. We are jumping with Skydive
All fun jumpers and friends are welcome to come along!”
Pictures from the first trip can be viewed in the web site
newsletter Friday afternoon, feb 21..
AN ODE TO CALVIN AND HOBBES
Bill Watterson, creator of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, is a creative genius. The day he retired was one of the saddest moments of my life. Click
here to visit
I have long speculated that he retired to
regain or retain his sanity. You will soon see why.
You can view 12 of his classic cartoons demonstrating the twisted imagination of Calvin, the poster boy for any parent’s worst nightmare.
If you have a twisted mind like I do, you will quickly appreciate
what an amazing talent Mr. Watterson possesses. I promise you will not regret visiting this
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THE SSQQ MARCH JOKE PAGE IS READY!
We have several classic jokes ready for you to read on our March Joke Page.
Since this is the month when the famous Masters Golf Tournament is played, here is one of my favorite stories of all time. I believe it is a true story.
Father and Son Play Golf
Submitted by Rick Archer
Sam Snead is a famous golf player. His heyday was in the 50s when he dominated the Professional Golf Tour much as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and now Tiger Woods have done since. One of Sam's sons, Chip, was good enough to become a professional golfer in his own right later on. I have heard a rumor that Sam's other sons were named Putt and Drive, but find this a little hard to believe.
One day Sam and his son Chip were playing at the famous Masters Golf Course just for the fun of it. No tournament, no hoopla, no fans - just Father and Son playing a round of golf like millions of other ordinary human beings.
Apparently there is one particular hole on the Masters Course that makes almost a 90 degree turn. Although I am not a golfer, I have heard that a hole with this design is called a "Dogleg".
As Chip was preparing to drive off the tee, Sam asked him to stop for a moment. Pointing to an impressive wall of pine trees, Sam said, "You know, Chip, back when I played the Masters I used take a gamble and loft my drive over those trees. I always shaved one or two strokes off my score and not once did I get burned."
For those of you unfamiliar with golf, this meant despite the fact that Snead could barely see the hole through cracks in the trees, he shot the ball over the trees but directly at the green as the crow would fly rather than down the fairway, turn left, and then hit again.
This idea had not even occurred to Chip. He stopped and surveyed the pine trees. They were tall and majestic. They formed a barrier that in Chip's mind must have seemed just as daunting as the mighty Himalayas themselves. However Chip was not one to recoil from his father's challenge. He was too good a golfer in his own right to back down from a nudge like this.
So he turned his stance and aimed his drive right at the trees. Boom! The ball didn't even come close to clearing the trees. In fact it hit only about halfway up. Frowning, Chip tried again. No better luck. Chip drove for a third time, putting every ounce of strength into the swing. Although this was his best drive of the three, the golf ball hit only about
2/3rds of the way up, knocked a branch loose, then disappeared into a clump of bushes.
To think a golfer would try a shot like this in a tournament would be akin to professional suicide.
Disgusted, Chip threw down his driver and turned to Sam Snead who had been watching in silence as his son tried to match his father's feat. "Dad, gee whiz, I know you are in the Hall of Fame, but how in hell did you ever get a drive over those damn trees!!!"
Sam stared at the trees for a while, permitted himself a small smile, then turned to face his son. "You know, Chip, now that I look at those trees, I bet they weren't quite as tall back when I was playing."
And this ended the story of how yet once more age, weakness and
guile somehow managed to befuddle youth, power and innocence.
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THE SSQQ MARCH BLUE SIDE JOKES ARE READY!
(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 subscribe is email me from the email address you use to register for classes and request it.
Here is a cute one:
Submitted by Sylvia Tucker
A man and a woman were having dinner in a fine restaurant. Their waitress, taking another order at a table a few paces away, noticed that the man was slowly sliding down his chair and under the table, with the woman acting unconcerned. The waitress watched as the man slid all the way down his chair and out of sight under the table. Still, the woman dining across from him appeared calm and unruffled, apparently unaware that her dining companion had disappeared.
After the waitress finished taking the order, she came over to the table and said to the woman, “Pardon me, ma’am, but I think your husband just slid under the table.”
The woman calmly looked up at her and replied firmly, “No he didn’t. He just walked in the door.”
VOCABULARY WORD OF THE MONTH WITH JANE DOWNS - CALLIPGYIAN
CALLIPGYIAN adj. Having well-formed buttocks, having a beautiful bottom
Example: The beauty queen with the callipygian hips was more voluptuous than Aphrodite herself.
THE FORBIDDEN WORD JITTERBUG DANCE REVISITED.
Most people have no idea that back in 2000 SSQQ was nearly sued by Texas A&M University over a dance known as the “forbidden word” Jitterbug. Hint: the Forbidden Word rhymes with Shaggie. Now three years later it seems a distant memory.
Still too frightened to say the word myself, a nice email from a graduate of A&M prompted me to offer an upcoming Crash Course in the Forbidden Dance on April 26.
February 17, 2003 Email letter to Rick Archer
I’m confused about what dance steps people are using whenever ‘jitterbug’ music is played at Wild West, Midnight Rodeo, Big Texas.
People are not doing jitterbug. And it does not look like East Coast Swing either.
Gloria Sanchez told me that many people do what is called the ‘Aggie jitterbug’ in the country bars. She mentioned that there was a Crash Course in this.
East Coast Swing does not seem to work well for me in the Country bars.
It’s probably me. Can you offer advice???
Thanks, Lester Byrd”
Lester, the Forbidden Word Jitterbug is a sore topic at my studio. A few years back I was nearly sued for teaching a course in this dance. As a result we now refer to it as Shaggie Jitterbug.
It was then and still remains one of the most bizarre stories in SSQQ history.
Read the description of the dance at:
“Your descriptions are EXACT. Thanks!!!
I don’t feel so bad about not knowing what they were doing...because it doesn’t sound like they really know what they are
I danced with a lady who was doing this Aggie Jitterbug (a graduate of A&M has the right to call it what it is) and got lost very quickly but...I remembered everything I have been told in my dance classes and was a complete gentleman...It was awful...I stayed out there and ‘toughed it out’ until the song was over (Charlie Daniel’s - Devil Goes Down To Georgia) and then did not dance with her again.
By the way, I just now read your first link listing all the threatening letters.
I’m an ‘Forbidden Word’ Class of ’79 graduate. I apologize for that nonsense.
For what it’s worth, I really enjoy SSQQ and have tried to recruit people ever since I started coming.
You and your staff do a great job!”
"Thanks, Lester. I am very clear the entire fiasco was orchestrated by two people with an overzealous attitude. No harm was done and I like A&M graduates a lot.
Thanks to your email, Rachel Seff is scheduled to teach a Shaggie Jitterbug Crash Course on Saturday, April 26. Hope you can make it!"
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THE AMAZING SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LAWSUIT
“Eenie Meenie Minie Mo, Take a Seat, We Gotta Go!”
These immortal words have landed SW Airlines in court. They are being sued by two irate passengers. You don’t believe me?
Please read on.
Sometimes in dance class, I need a lady student to demonstrate a move. For lack of a better method, for the past twenty years or so I have used the classic picking rhyme “eenie meenie minie mo”.
I will point to the woman I need for the demonstration and point to each individual as I go down the line, “eenie meenie minie mo, catch a lady by the toe. If she hollers make her say I’ll take lessons every day.”
Stupid? Of course. Offensive? I hope not. No one has complained yet. Effective?
Absolutely. Someone always gets picked. Invariably they feel paranoid about the entire process. When asked, they figured I was going after them anyway and just used the stupid rhyme to cover my evil plans to harass them. The process is silly and soon over.
Did I say I have been doing it this way for twenty years? Yes I did. Is there any malice or hidden agenda? I swear on a stack of Bibles I never gave any of this a second thought. I needed someone at random one day and the rhyme came to my head.
End of Story??
Not quite. You must read this article from the Chronicle:
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Rhyme with a past leads to racial suit against Southwest Airlines
Kansas City, Kansas
A judge has set a trial date in a discrimination lawsuit filed against Southwest Airlines by two black passengers who were upset when a flight attendant recited a version of a rhyme with a racist history.
Grace Fuller, 48, and her sister, Louise Sawyer, 46, were returning from Las Vegas two years ago when flight attendant Jennifer Cundiff, trying to get passengers – who are not assigned seats – to sit down, said over the intercom, “Eenie, meenie, minie, mo; pick a seat, we gotta go.”
The sisters say the rhyme was directed at them and was a reference to its racist version that predates the Civil Rights era.
“It was like I was too dumb to find a seat,” Fuller said. Sawyer said fellow passengers snickered at the rhyme, which made her feel alienated.
The sisters are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
US District Judge Kathryn Vratil last week dismissed the claims of physical and emotional distress but set a trial for March 4.
“The court agrees with plaintiffs that because of its history, the phrase ‘eenie meenie minie mo could reasonably be viewed as objectively racist and offensive,” Vratil wrote.
In the modern version of the rhyme, the second line goes, “Catch a tiger by the toe.”
Airline attorney John Cowden said there was no intent to discriminate against any passenger.
Cundiff, who is white and was 22 at the time of the incident, said she had never heard the offensive version of the rhyme. She said she learned the Southwest Airline version from co-workers and used it as a funny way of getting fliers to sit down.
Plaintiffs attorney Scott Wissel said the sisters also want Dallas-based SW Airlines to stop using the rhyme and provide employee training to prevent such incidents.
After reading this article in astonishment, it took me several minutes before I remembered there was indeed a racist version of the rhyme. To be absolutely honest, that ‘version’ had not crossed my mind in over 40 years. I had completely forgotten about it.
If my rhyme has ever offended any reader who heard it in class, I am sorry but please understand nothing disrespectful is meant. It is the only picking rhyme I know besides ‘she loves me, she loves me not’. I suppose I could get a supply of flowers to keep on hand…
I wonder why the incident on the plane could not have been defused with a simple explanation from the bewildered attendant who had no idea what the problem was. After all, the announcement was made blindly over the intercom by a woman who had never heard the nasty version in her life. Why did these women take it so personally?? And was the affront so horrible it needed to be taken to court?? These women did not deserve to be disrespected, but based on what the article said it doesn’t seem the attendant meant to hurt them in the first place. I certainly hope there is more to the story than was reported.
Thinking about this story reminded me of an experience from my youth.
When I was 13, my mother worked in the Houston Medical Center. She made friends with a young black man named Marion Ford who was in dental school. When he graduated, he offered to do a crown on a chipped tooth that I needed. My mother didn’t have a lot of money and Dr. Ford offered to do the work at a discount since he was just getting his practice established. It was a kind offer that benefited all three of us.
One Saturday morning I got on the bus and went all the way to an area known as Kashmere Gardens. I was pretty terrified since I was the only white person on the bus.
During the hour ride I received many hostile stares. Race relations in Houston 1963 were very tense. Then as I walked to his office at 5109 Lockwood Street, I remember a man stopped me to ask what I was doing in his neighborhood. Yes, in case you were wondering I was very afraid. I said I was going to Dr. Ford’s office. He finally stepped aside to let me pass.
I spent nearly the whole day at Dr. Ford’s office. He worked on me whenever there was a break in his schedule. As Dr. Ford attended to his other patients, I grew tired of studying my eighth grade Latin book. That was the day I was supposed to memorize the Lord’s Prayer in Latin. “Pater Noster qui es in caelis, santificuter nomen tuum…”.
So I went outside his office to get some fresh air. For lack of anything better to do, I started throwing rocks against a tree in the front yard of his office. I threw towards the street with my back to his office. I wasn’t a very accurate thrower to begin with, but the street was fifty yards away. My errant tosses were no threat to persons or property.
To my surprise, a teenager came up to me from the sidewalk. He looked pretty angry. He told me he was going to fight me and that I better put up my fists. I started to put up my fists, but first I wanted to know what we fighting about.
This young man was not happy about my question. He insisted again that I fight him. I repeated that I would fight him if he would just explain what we were fighting about.
Finally with a sigh of exasperation he said he wanted to fight me because I had thrown a rock at him.
Now I understood. I patiently explained that I was merely throwing rocks against the tree. I pointed to a pile of rocks that had successfully struck the tree. He said that wasn’t good enough. He said that was my pathetic excuse because I was afraid to fight him. I said that was not true. I said I had never meant to throw a rock at him and apologized if I had hit him.
He said I had not hit him.
Well, how close did I come? Twenty feet. That’s when I realized this kid was looking for an excuse to beat me up. I have little doubt this teenage tough from the wrong side of the tracks had a lot more experience with fighting than a soft, over-protected white kid like me did. I just didn’t feel like getting beat up for something as stupid as this.
I said again I did not want to fight him. I promised that I meant no harm. I apologized that he got that impression. Then I offered him my hand. He reluctantly accepted my handshake and left. He seemed very disappointed.
I might add that I stayed in Dr. Ford’s office the remainder of the afternoon. With nothing else to do I studied the Lord’s Prayer which to this day I can still recite in totum.
Amazing the things that stick in your mind.
From my own experience and the SW Airlines incident I can only conclude that old wounds take a long long time to heal. I suppose we cannot expected the pain created by two hundred years of slavery and one hundred years of racist evils after that to be healed in one generation.
Be that as it may, it is my hope that anyone who attends my studio be they Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jew, straight, gay, from another planet or from Dallas will experience that they are very welcome here just as long as they treat everyone with the same kindness and respect that they themselves deserve.
All human beings need to see past our differences and realize we are one people. That said, hatred is a powerful emotion. Like radioactivity, once hatred is activated it seems to take eons to dissipate. Hatred is blinding, maddening, and all-consuming.
Today we have the power to eliminate our species from the Earth completely. Be it another Holocaust, a nuclear war, or a lethal plague, there is a huge chance someone’s hatred will spin so badly out of control it will mean the end of the human race. Without some sort of forgiveness and understanding, our world is in terrible trouble.
It is the responsibility of each individual to find a way to get along before it is too late.
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VOLUNTEERS NEED TO HAVE A CARD
SSQQ is blessed to have many students who give of their time and energy to come to the studio on a regular basis and volunteer for classes.
The only problem is that our studio has become so large that we need to keep better track of everyone.
Starting in March all volunteers will be given a card on their first night and will be expected to present it to gain entry to the studio.
AND THAT’S A WRAP FOR THIS ISSUE (AND DON’T FORGET TO GO TO THE WEB SITE FOR THE COMPLETE NEWSLETTER!!)
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
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!
Rick Archer SSQQ Dance Studio
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