Newsletter of the

North Alabama Country Dance Society

Established 1982 A Member of the Country Dance & Song Society **************************************************************************

January 1998 Amanda Kay, editor: or 883-7453

NACDS home page:


Vulcan's Britches to Warm & Light Up the New Year, this Saturday, Jan. 3rd!

That acclaimed young band from Birmingham & Huntsville, Vulcan's Britches, will help us with "breaking up Christmas," Saturday night. They played to rave reviews at our most recent "Blue Moon" dance. Caller will be our own Harry Delugach, whose fine calling we've been missing, lately. (In fact, we've been missing dancing locally, period, lately: A month seems far too long between dances, now, don't you think?) {In case you missed 'em, they were indeed really good! The dance was a lot of fun.}

We generally dance the first, third, and fifth Saturdays of each month, in the pleasant, spacious gym of Faith Presbyterian Church, located at the southeast corner of Whitesburg Drive and Airport Road, in southeast Huntsville. Each evening begins with a short workshop at 7:00 p.m. for newcomers and anyone wishing to brush up skills; the actual dance commences at 7:30 and ends around 10:30. A donation is requested, to help pay rent, bands, & callers, but it's quite a bargain for an evening of good clean fun: $5; or $4 if you're an NACDS member (or related to one), or a member of any out-of-town contra-dance group &/or CDSS, the Country Dance & Song Society; or only $3 if you're 12-18 years old; kids under 12 get in for free. Please bring a drinking cup; soft-soled, non-marking shoes which are clean and grit-free for dancing; and a name button, if you have one!

BIG News: Our First Very Own Local DANCE WEEKEND Planned (and SOON)!!!

Yes, you read right: Plans are underway for our very first dance weekend! This has been discussed, sporadically, for years, and now it appears that it will be a reality, the last weekend in May. Believe it or not, this is actually a relatively short lead-time for preparation for such an event, and so it is of UTMOST importance that we have as much participation in preparing for this, and in making it a successful reality, as we possibly can. This means that WE NEED YOU!! A planning meeting is scheduled, this coming Monday night, the 5th, at the Mebanes' house (11314 Mountaincrest S.E.), at 7:00 p.m., and you are strongly encouraged to attend. Also, lots of people are needed to sign up to work in the following areas (and possibly to head some committees): Registration, Housing, Hospitality, Set-up, Clean-up, Decorating, and maybe others.

There will be an announcement concerning the meeting, and sign-up sheets for the above areas, at the dance on Saturday. For more info (and to confirm the meeting &/or get directions), call Carol Mebane at 883-7016.

{The meeting happened, and, while it turned out that I had a schedule conflict and didn't attend, I hear from my source that attendance was good. (Thanks to all who attended!)

The following committees & positions have been formed, more or less: Registrar: Natasha Kunin; Treasurer: Bryan Walls; Production: Harry Delugach, Clint Moore, Steve Nix, Ron Franz, and Mark Mohon; Hospitality: Kimberly Hart, Robin Brown, Nancy Gipson, Mary Lea Palo, Elsie Peterson, Mary Ellen Sandridge, Roger Coupland, Darren Hiebert, and Chuck Weber; and Publicity: Katrina Coupland, Chuck Weber, Daniel Schenker, and your editor here. Contact the first person listed for each committee, or Carol Mebane, for more information, and/or to help out.}

Mid-January Dance to feature Janet Shepherd and the Sofa Cats!

At our 3rd-Saturday dance, on January 17th, we welcome back fun Atlanta caller Janet Shepherd ("that Atlanta cat-woman"!) and wonderful northeast Alabama band the Sofa Cats. Janet's sunny personality and fine calling, and the Cats' great music, will be sure to delight us again, as they always do, so don't miss this one!

"Blue Moon" Dance Offers Another Chance for Aspiring Callers & Musicians

Seems these "Blue Moons" are occurring with more frequency, these days, and I'm not complaining!: Our fifth-Saturday open-mike dances are winning more fans, and deservedly so. Our "stringer" band this time, on the 31st, will be our own Anon (Katrina Coupland, Steve Nix, & Chuck Weber). If you're interested in calling or in playing, please contact Harry (772-0820) or Chuck (536-1397), respectively.

Coming in February: Our Feb. 7th dance will feature Nashville caller John Sharlet and duo Ed & Elsie; Feb. 21 will bring the music of Bob & Cathy White and Curt Lewis back to Faith. Hurrah! These are all fine (and mostly local) talents, so mark your calendars!

Remember: When weather threatens... If we have snow &/or ice storms, listen to WLRH (89.3 FM), or call Harry (772-0820) or Bryan (837-0656) to hear whether a dance will be held or not.

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The Birmingham Country Dance Society (BCDS)'s New Year's Eve dance will feature the Squirrelly Germs and Chrissy Davis-Camp (all marvelous), and will be held at Wald Park Lodge. Beginners' lessons are at 8:30; the music starts at 9:00 and lasts past midnight, of course. Contact Joyce Cauthen ( or Kathy Hinkle (205-591-1730) for more details on either this or their January 10th dance, which, according to their newsletter, will feature "the music of Elke Baker, the 1995 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion and much acclaimed contra dance fiddler, and Larry Unger, one talented guy who was half of the fine band Uncle Gizmo. Calling will be by Beth Molaro, the dynamo who was [their] featured caller at Saddlerock [their annual weekend] this past August. This has all the makings of a great dance." It'll be at South Highland Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of 21st St. S. & Highland Ave., near B'ham's Five Points South.

The Nashville Country Dancers have, alas, suspended their special 4th-Saturday dance series, but now have dances every Friday at Woodbine Community Center (222 Oriel St., south of I-440/ Nolensville). Call newsletter editor Ken Winter at (615) 383-0082 to confirm, or for more details on any Nashville dances, including their English & early American dancing, every Monday night at the Cohn Adult Learning Center Library (4805 Park Ave.) [Bryan tells me that Ginger Pyron will be leading a special Playford workshop on Sat., Jan. 31st, probably in the afternoon, for anyone interested in English country dancing in general and/or Nashville's Playford Ball in particular! If you haven't experienced English country dancing, I highly recommend it: It is a lovely, gracious tradition, as is the Playford Ball, from what I hear. Check with Ken or Bryan for more info.]


The Chattanooga Traditional Dance Society is being revived, to the joy of many, and is planning to have dances on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month (Jan. 10th & 24th), at All Saints Academy, 310 East 8th St., in downtown Chattanooga. Admission is $5 and dances start at 8:00. For more info contact Dee Tison (423/756- 3466) or Roy Harding (423/622-0604;

The 24th Annual Knoxville Dance Weekend is Feb. 13-15, and features Ron Buchanan (of Pittsburgh, PA) and The String Beings (of Asheville, NC). Contact Toby Koosman (423/525-5911 or to register or for more information.

If you happen to be in the Louisville (KY) area on Jan. 17th (the night of our mid-month dance),

Ed Baggott & Elsie Peterson will be playing there, then...! Call Ed (536-6962) for details.


Dance and music opportunities abound! Be sure to check the array of fliers at our dances, especially on events further afield.

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LOST: A small camera in a red velour pouch, last seen by its owner at the Xmas dance. If you found it, or know who did, please contact Natasha Kunin: 880-8740 or

Kudos to Bryan Walls for yet another job well-done: Our new address book is really spiffy! (Speaking of Bryan, be sure to check out our web page, which he maintains very nicely.)

And thanks, as well, to our president, Chuck Weber, who maintains our member database and prints up the mailing labels for the newsletter each month.

Our Xmas dance was a lot of fun. Thanks to Carol Mebane, Elsie Peterson, and all the "elves" who helped with decorations; to all who brought goodies for our refreshment table; to Kimberly Hart, who made the lovely nametags (as well as supervised the greeting table, as always); and to Ron Franz, Steve Nix, and whoever else helped with the sound system. If I've left anyone out (and I probably have), please accept my apologies; I hope someone will let me know.

Congratulations & best wishes to Jane & Terry Ewing, who were married on Thanksgiving Day!

Southern Black-Eyed Peas recipe for New Year's Day (vegetarian version):

It's traditional to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, for good luck, and, while the recipe offered in the BCDS newsletter certainly looks tasty (apparently a nice, cold dish somewhere between a salad and a salsa), I thought some of you might appreciate a more traditional (and warmer) recipe. Hope you like this one:

2 C. cooked black-eyed peas, drained
6 C. water
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 t. sage or sweet basil
Bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat, cover partially and
simmer very gently until just tender,
about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust
seasonings, if you so desire.
Serve hot, with cornbread or rice.
Makes about 8 servings.

Recently renewing members are Bob Higgins, Curtis & Nellie Maulsby, Vince Van Pelt, Andy Dalins, Hope Duve, Stefan Dieters, and Bill & Linda McAllister. Glad you all are still with us!

Directory corrections & additions: Marilee Keim Jane & Terry Ewing Jill McCutcheon

2004 Colice Rd. S.E. P.O. Box 460 971-2781 Huntsville, AL 35801 Grant, AL 35747 (correct ph. #)


LET ME KNOW, please, about anything you'd like to see in this newsletter: events, personal news, corrections, clarifications, additions, or what-have-you. Thanks!

Join us -- or renew your membership (check your mailing label's date) -- by sending $8 (payable to me, please!) to the address below. You'll receive this monthly newsletter, and you and each of your family members will receive a one-dollar discount on admission to each of our regular dances.

Amanda Kay 122 Morris Road Lacey's Spring, AL 35754