by Keith A. Gehrig
Special to the SGN
It started in 2003 when I attended the 20th anniversary fly-in for Foggy City Dancers in San Francisco. On a table near the entrance to the ballroom was a stack of photo album sleeves. Each with a photo or more of clubs members and their name listed on it. At the time I was still chair of Puddletown and what with our club being about the same age, an idea started to form. What if we got a hold of all the club photos from the various conventions put them all in a book and identified the dancers in the photos. The Puddletown Archive Project was born that evening!
In less than two years, with the help of Karl J., and club members, we got all of the sanctioned club photos and 80-percent of the dancers identified. Special thanks to Bill, Bob, JW, Lyle, Ruby and Ross.
In 2003, when JW went to pin his partners name badge of the memorial panels, he wanted to place it next to others from our club. Imagine his dismay, when he could find none. As it turned out, in 1995, someone from our club attempted to rectify this over-site.
In Phoenix in 2004, we were able to do just that. With funds from the Michael Graham Trust, we were able to have 21 badges made (using the new PT logo), including one for Michael Graham. In a very tearful and solemn ceremony, these 21 badges were added in one large cluster to the traveling panels. The badges were passed around prior to pinning to the members present, each person took one (or two). Some chose loved ones, some chose a friend and, in some cases, a newer dancer placed a badge of a person they had never met.
At the conclusion, we all joined hands for a brief moment of reflection and remembrance. In Santa Clara 2005 and, again, in Anaheim 2006 we joined together again to add name badges to these panels. We will continue this ceremony in future years as is warranted.
Now contained in two notebooks, the project covers many areas of Puddletown history:
- The Puddletown Honor Roll*
- In Memoriam
- 10 & 20 Year Medallion Recipients
- Convention Photos
- Class Graduation Photos
- Newsletters & Mailings
- Past Officers
- Misc. Photos and Info
These notebooks usually show up at club events, monthly dances and fly-ins. However, additional help is still needed in identifying dancers and donation of club memorabilia.
In addition, in fall of 2007, Puddletown will be having its Silver Anniversary. A party is being planned and details will be announced shortly. We are trying to get contact information for everyone who has ever danced with Puddletown, whether they still live in the area or not. If you can help, please email email@example.com with your contact information.
When I started this project, I said, We need to know who we are and where we came from in order to know where we are going. We are in fact the club we are today because of all the people who have been a part of us along the way.