Square Dancing in Columbus – Swinging Our Partners Round and Round Since 1975
The Bucks and Does Singles of Columbus was founded in 1975, as a result of a mandate from The Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs that a “singles only” western square dance club be established. Mr. and Mrs. Harfey Lightfoot volunteered to organize a singles club and solicited the help of Mr. and Mrs. Dick Van Meter. Dick Loos, a new caller in the area, joined forces with the Lightfoots and the Van Meters in establishing Bucks and Does Singles. Dick Loos was aided by his wife, Diana. The founders quickly integrated singles into the early planning and decision making that established much of the philosophy of the club.
The History of Bucks and Does Singles Western Square Dancing Club
Want to hear how this old square dancing club in Columbus Ohio began?
It’s a warm story that we love to share, and Lois tells it best.
The Story of Bucks and Does
A Remembrance by Lois Slaughter Krull
Once upon a time, not so many years ago, there was no square dancing club for singles in Central Ohio.
Two ex-singles, Pat and Dick Van Meter, had experienced the plight of singles with stinging reality. Their dream of a club for singles only, gave them determination to stay involved after they married. This they did until their dream became a reality. Finally, the Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs agreed to support the concept of a club for singles only.
Soon Pat and Dick’s magnetism drew the attention of Harfey and Betty Lightfoot. This couple had been instrumental in organizing the highly successful Shamrock Squares club in Dublin, Ohio only the year before.Harfey and Betty had heard of a very promising new caller just emerging in the Reynoldsburg Groveport area. His name, Dick Loos.
Dick and Diana Loos had recently become Club Caller and Taw for the Tomato Town Steppers club in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Along with their young daughter Julie, they offered a delightful family, fresh and friendly outlook to a club for singles. When Harfey and Betty approached them about becoming the club caller for a singles club, they agreed enthusiastically.
The club dance nights had been carefully chosen in order to avoid conflicts with other, established clubs schedules as much as possible. Harfey had been able to make arrangements for the YWCA on 4th Street for use of the 4th floor Ballroom as the dancing location for the club. The hall rental fee was $25.00.
Harfey had also made the arrangements for the use of the Southview Shelter House for classes. At that time, the City of Columbus did not charge for the use of their recreation facilities. Later a fee was established at $6.00 per hour and classes were moved to the Madison Middle School near the Loos’ home to avoid the expense.
Dick Loos’ fee for teaching the class was only $15.00 per night. The hefty profit from these huge early classes was entirely turned over to the forming club treasury. This caller’s generosity and interest in the club remains the cornerstone on which it stands today! One hopes the club membership will always be made aware of this fact.
Among the members of the first class was a talented lady named Joy Venters. Joy discovered a unique fabric featuring deer and from it she designed and created our original club banner. Later, Joy and her mother designed and made the first dress and shirt using this unique fabric. At the Snow Ball in January of 1976, Joy and her date Cart Webb wore this dress and shirt. The outfit drew so much attention that they were called out of the crowd to model it during the style show.
Soon this fabric was officially designated the club theme fabric to be used by members in any design they desire in keeping with the uniqueness of singles. Bolts were purchased by the club to assure future members of access to the fabric.
By late summer 1974, the Van Meters, Lightfoots and Loos’s decided that the time had come to phase in the singles. They designated two singles to serve until the first election by singles could be held in January, 1975. The two appointed were Lois Slaughter, President and Veda Albrecht, Secretary. The Van Meters continued as Treasurers until the election.
Since that first official club election, many former club members have held office and/or served as committee members. It takes a lot of involvement to keep any club successful. It was my rare privilege and person pleasure to serve as appointed President in 1974 and elected President for club years 1975-76 and again in 1977-78.
A special Bicentennial Dance in July, 1976 featured demos of contra, round, clogging and teen dancing between tips. The club hosted the Tri-State Singles Dance for the first time in April 1977. Bucks and Does has become very influential and well known in this “organization.” An annual general membership meeting Picnic at Blendon Woods’ Hickory Grove area has become a high spot of the year in August. The Halloween Dance in October has really become a popular time for members to display their real personalities and/or talents in costumes or western wear.
The club had its first opportunity to plan an after-party for singles at the Ohio State Convention in June, 1978. Several skits featuring club members were performed and food was provided by club members. This after-party featured the first public performance of Flair Squares, the dream of this writer come true. I spent many hours brain-storming the idea before presenting it for club consideration. Volunteer dancers worked endless hours perfecting the routines.
My remembrances as a single western square dancer ended abruptly on Saturday, October 14, 1978 at 2:45 p.m. when I married Charles Michael Krull (Mike) at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Since Mike’s mother was also a caller, our reception hall was crammed with square dancers as well as family and co-workers. However, the hall was too small for square dancing. A gal named Mona Evans caught the bouquet. As of this date (May, 1980) she’s still waiting!
Following Mike’s resignation as Vice-President and our marriage, the club surprised us by appointing us Special Advisors to the club. We were proud to serve in that capacity until February, 1980. On February 18, 1980 we were blessed with the birth of our son Dana Michael Krull.
A person rarely has the opportunity to be involved from the inception of an idea, throughout its growing years, to work with so many great people, and to rejoice in its success. As the club teeters of the edge of accepting its 100th member, I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity and look forward to the “good years” of dancing with Bucks & Does with myhusband as a PERMANENT partner!
(2013 Update: Mike died young in September, 1999. I currently serve as Hospitality Chair.)