Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dance Rally 2013

It took me three hours to get to Wickenburg, Arizona. I arrived at 10:00 AM at the temporary parking location. Mark and Phil drove to the Wickenburg Community Center and checked out the parking lot. They could not do any layouts because there were too many cars parked.
I drove to McDonalds and did some computer work. When I came back to the motorhome I took a small nap and then walked to Old Town. This guy did not move an inch.

This cowboy was praying for rain.

Wickenburg is a cowboy town and attracts many tourists. There are many stores which sell stuff I do not need.

At the Jail Tree a poor soul is chained to the tree. There was a time when the town had no money for a jail. The tree served the purpose.

When I was at the Visitor Center the volunteer told me that there was a free concert at the Community Center. The Friends of Music were presenting The International Tenors. I walked to the center, got a good seat and fifteen minutes later the concert started with Granada. The three guys were singing their hearts out. Unfortunately I did not get a sharp picture.

They gave a tribute to Mario Lanza, Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti.
After the intermission they sang some Broadway songs and popular Spanish and Italian songs. I enjoy surprises like that.
Our small group had a meeting at 4:00 PM. Tomorrow morning we start working at the Community Center parking lot. So far 86 motorhomes and trailers are coming. I have a feeling it will be near 100. There is no antenna television available, which is fine with me. We will be dancing every night anyway.

This was not an easy day. We started at 10:00 AM laying out the parking sites, at the Wickenburg Community Center parking lot, for the motorhomes. We had a 100 foot measuring tape and a 100 foot line. It was hot today and bending down and coming up again made me dizzy after a while. Karen, our WIN nurse, brought us cold water. When Cathy started getting dizzy too we started taking breaks.

The parking lot is not rectangular, it has an odd shape and we had to work hard to create over 80 spaces. Some motorhomes are 40 feet long and some are 24 feet long. This is going to be fun tomorrow to put the rigs in the correct spaces.
Late afternoon we picked up our motorhomes and trailers and practiced parking. We are ready for the WINs and other people who will attend the dance rally and are arriving tomorrow.
We had a beautiful sunset.

This was a hard, long day. It started to be easy parking the Motorhomes and trailers. But when we had half of the rigs parked it got more tricky to fill the sites. Because of the limited space available we made most sites only fifteen feet wide instead of eighteen feet. A lot of rigs have slide outs on each side and need a lot of room. We have four empty spaces left and we will fill them tomorrow morning. If more people come they have to go the rodeo grounds. We had two mishaps today. While trying to park Chucks big fifth wheel trailer in a very tight spot, he hit Margaret’s slide out on her fifth wheel. It moved her trailer about four inches. There was no damage though. We had to find Chuck another site. It was impossible to for him to use that site. One person was helped to park his motorhome, but decided to move back on his own and hit two posts with electrical boxes on them. He bent the posts. 
The parking crew stopped at 4:00 PM parking vehicles to attend the Welcome and Information Meeting. At 5:00 PM we were back at our posts and worked until 6:00 PM.
At 6:00 PM we had a spaghetti dinner in the big hall. The hall was decorated in a western motive, the people on the decorating committee did a wonderful job, and the food was plentiful and tasty.

For dessert we had three cakes.

Old friends had come to the dance rally. There was Margarete and  Austin.

Rellene and her new husband had come. She displayed proudly her wedding ring. I think we have now three married couples in the group. A WIN who marries another WIN can stay in the organization.
On the same table were Don and Joanne. I had a good time with them last Thanksgiving in Borrego Springs. Joanne had an operation on both knees at the same time last year, because at her age she did not want to waste any time.
She hiked with us up Ghost Mountain. 

Peter and Carolyn had a good time.

The Blue Team cooked breakfast this morning. After Hugs and Mugs we had eggs, bacon, hash brown potatoes, toast, muffins, orange juice and coffee. After breakfast I walked into town. From the elevated highway I took pictures of the Community Center and our motorhomes.

My Coachmen motorhome is in the center of the bunch.

Harlan has a patio on top of his fifth wheel trailer.

There was not much traffic in town and I took some pictures. This is the Gold Nugget Café. 

The old theatre shows only one movie. 

Next to a café are standing a cowboy and a dance girl. 

There are several saloons in town.

I visited the Dessert Caballeros Western Museum. It is supposed to be the best Western Museum in Arizona. 

The museum has a lot of pictures with western motifs. There were paintings of one of my favorite canyons, namely Canyon De Chelly. 

The museum has also displays of furniture and other household items from 150 years ago. There is a kitchen. 

A dining room. 

A living room. 

And a bedroom. 

The General Store was the largest store between Prescott and Phoenix. 

The prices were in pennies. Of course people did not earn much at this time.

My next stop was the Santa Fe Railroad Station which is now the Visitor Center. 

When I came back to the motorhomes Tom was on top of his rig taking pictures. 

While I was gone the group had a big meeting. I missed it because I thought the meeting was only for committee members. I was volunteered for several jobs.
The Line Dance lessons started at 1:30 PM. I am not interested in that.
At 7:00 PM started the Sadie Hawkins Dance. The women asked the men all night to dance. I danced almost every dance. The one man band was very good. He had several hats and wore them to the appropriate music. 

Many members of the group wore hillbilly clothing. 

Arlene is a disabled Army nurse. She is a Vietnam Veteran and very outgoing and funny.

This was a fun evening. The entertainer played two and a half hours without taking a break.

This was a very busy day. Most days will be like this. My team was cooking the breakfast this morning. We cooked pancakes and sausages for ninety hungry WINs. We also served fruit cocktail, apple slices, toast and coffee and juice. The red team was also responsible for cleaning the kitchen and tables in the big hall after the meal was served. For the 4:00 PM meeting and social hour we had to provide snacks.

The dance lessons were from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. After the 4:00 PM meeting were rehearsals for the skids for the Talent No Talent Show. This part I do not like. I enjoy watching people performing, or at least try. I hate to be part of it. It makes me feel uncomfortable. The dance started at 7:00 PM. Today’s theme was Hawaiian. 

That surfer dude with a wig is Chuck. 

Line dancing is very popular. More and more men are dancing it too. 

I am taking beginner lessons again. I did very well in the morning but in the afternoon the instructor got help from some of the advanced dancers. One lady took the wind out of my sails. She corrected me on my posture and the way I turn. This was not an ego boost. During lunch break I went to the satellite library, which is in the same building where we are dancing. I was in a hurry and deleted what I had written about the dance rally and the pictures. It took me some time to put the post back. The regular library in town is closed. There is no funding for it. Lawsuits are going on. In the editorial section of the local newspaper one person wrote, if the library had anything to do with horses money would be available. The satellite library has four computers and about 100 books. It is self service. Sign out and sign in of books has to be done by the person loaning the books.
I have a hard time understanding this. I attended a free, wonderful concert in town. There are people in Wickenburg who donate money for music but no money is available for an important institution like the library.
At the evening dance I had a lot of fun. Bertie had told me that she would dance the next waltz with me. She helped me in Montana with this dance. Since she was busy Frosty danced the waltz with me and with a little help from her I did a good job. It was actually a pleasure and not work. There is still hope for me.

The Green Team served us French Toast and Sausage Patties for breakfast. There is always some fruit and toast and bagels. I do the full two hour morning dancing lessons. The two or three advanced helpers who work with the instructor make a difference. I only stay for one hour in the afternoon for practicing what we learned in the morning. Learning to dance is strenuous work.
In the evening we went to the Elks Lodge for Fish Fry. This lodge also served baked fish. I tried it and it was a lot better than greasy, fried fish. Their coleslaw was very good too. With the meal came also green bean casserole and baked potato or French fries. I had a baked potato. For ten dollar this was a very good meal. The poor waitress was writing single tickets for a while. Then she asked us whether she could put four people on a ticket. Since there was no tax involved it was easy to split the bill. We were 75 WINs. They knew we were coming.
I did not bring my camera. Tom was nice enough to let me use his pictures.

Naturally we came not only for the food. We wanted to dance.  A four piece western band, plus a female singer, provided the music. During the intermission, Bagpipe Bob, wearing his kilt and complete Scottish outfit, entertained us, playing the bagpipe. Most of the group had bought the red Dance Rally T shirts and wore them tonight. We had a little parade on the dance floor, following Bob. 

Bob likes the ladies.

I was able to dance two waltzes with Frosty without any problems. With some women I have problems dancing the two step. I do not attempt to dance the waltz with them. I seem to have no problems dancing with Donna B. She adjusts to my mistakes real easy. I like to dance and would like to get better.  

Today we did not have the building for breakfast and dancing. A license plate collection club had reserved the hall two years ago and we worked around it. We had hugs and mugs in the parking lot and at 9:30 AM ten cars with WINs left for a tour of the Vulture Mine. Forty of us found out about Henry Wickenburg and the founding of the town with the same name. Wickenburg found gold at the site and filed a claim. Later he sold the claim and never received all the money. Since he was not a citizen of the U.S. he got cheated out of the rest of the money owed to him. We had two good guides.

The sign says that Wickenburg came from Austria. I read in books that he came from Germany.

 Nobody knows why somebody dug a deep hole and then stopped.

The quartz vein runs on a 35 degree angle. Large holes were drilled into the vein. When too much ore was removed the mine collapsed. 

The buildings have not been used since 1942 and are ready to fall down. 

We were able to go in one building. It was the mess hall and kitchen.

Rusty equipment is scattered around the area. This was part of a hoist for letting miners down the shaft and for bringing ore up. 

On the property are some old saguaros.   

The rest of the day people went into town where streets were closed for booths and music. In one street an organization had a benefit concert and sold food for saving the old movie theater and in another road the American Legion had a band and was selling food and drinks to benefit wounded soldiers. 

For breakfast we had sausage quiche and hash brown potatoes. At 10:00 AM we had a flea market in the little hall. I was in charge of that. I sold my wrist blood pressure monitor for $ 10.00 and got a 2014 calendar from the free table. After the garage sale I took another stroll through town. It is most fitting for a horse town to have a rider and horse greeting visitors when entering Wickenburg.

There is also a welcome sign across the highway.

The Santa Fe train station is now a Visitor Center. 

Across the street, in front of the American Legion, is the memorial for the fallen soldiers in the wars. 

The locomotive and railroad car are next to the train station. 

A well known cowboy has his statue in front of city hall.

The bust of Henry Wickenburg is nearby. 

In the evening the Talent No Talent Show was a hit. The show started with the kazoo band. Marian, who is a musician, was the conductor. After their performance somebody had the nerve to call for an encore. 

I had a no speaking part in a skit created by Chuck. He sang Summertime and the living is easy.

When we were in Wallace, Idaho, we went to a theater where they had an act called: The farmer and the cow. Carolyn, Peter and Bill recreated this act. They did not have the proper cow and bull costumes, only makeshift outfits, which were funny to begin with. For the cow’s utter they used a blown up rubber glove. Carolyn lib synced the song:  One Enchanted Evening, while making goo-goo eyes at the farmer.

Peter, the bull, did not like that and came charging at the farmer and claiming his cow for himself.

Arlene did a good job announcing the acts. She is a very funny person. 

Lynn was playing the guitar and singing. She was in the talent part of the show. 

One long skit was about a farmer, his daughter, a bad person and an undertaker. 

With the Red Team I was involved in five little skits.
A group was dancing to a calypso type song.

Mary had Mike step inside a big garbage bag. When he was inside he asked her: “what do I do know”? The answer was something like: “ I knew that you do not know what to do in the sack” 

The next vaudeville act was a success. Trish, Margaret and Donna B. were vaudeville dancers using their elbows as breasts.

Stephanie owns a dulcimer but does not know how to play it. Her dialog was very funny. 

Jo Anne and Bill went to Sears to buy a pair of nylon stockings. Sears had only pantyhose. They left and went to Target, it is the same story there. At Walmart they had the same problem. In the next scene we see them at the Bank of America. They had bought pantyhose. 

The last skit got the audience involved. Everybody jumped up and sang and moved their arms to YMCA. 

I went to bed with a headache, because I laughed so much.  

The Red Team served us Biscuits and Gravy and Eggs for breakfast. Normally I would not eat this. The gravy looked more like SOS, but it tasted good.
We started to learn to waltz today. I am getting better.
In the evening we had Dress Up Night with the band: On the Road again. The four piece band was good, but they took too many breaks. Some people looked spiffy. Donna B. and Maynard looked great. 

So did Nancy and Silky.

Tom and Mary Jane are in their Texas finest. 

My table partner was Donna B. I look heavy on this picture. It must be the shirt.

Maniac Mike and his dance partner. 

Larry and Frosty were moving. 

Everybody had a good time dancing. 

The line dancers got their chance to show their moves.

I danced the waltz with Frosty and Bertie, my favorite waltz partners. Frosty was making outside turns on her own which forced me even more to concentrate on my steps.
Everybody stayed to the end. It was really a wonderful evening.

On my way to the kitchen I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise.

The Red team was serving breakfast this morning. Since Tom and Karen had cooked the Egg Casserole with Hash Browns last night, there was not much to do for us cooks. All we had to do was heat up the food in the steam tables.
Ted and I were preparing the grapes for the serving line. 

I was trying to take a picture of the kitchen when Tom suggested to take my picture.

I did not go to the afternoon dancing class. I get tired real fast when dancing with other beginners. It is more enjoyable dancing with women who know how to dance and who correct my mistakes on the dance floor.
I walked into town and got my hair cut.
The evening dance was really, really fun. It was a Pajama Dance. Not many men were brave enough to wear pajamas. The women had no problem. I will wear mine next year.

It was a colorful sight to see the couples glide over the dance floor in night wear. 

It is not easy to take pictures of line dancers. 

On the Road Again was this evening's band again. 

It was an enjoyable evening. I danced every dance, other than the line dances. The waltzes I danced with my three favorite waltz ladies. Bertie started helping me several months ago in Montana, at the Elks Lodge. She counted for me and pushed me in the right direction. Today she gave me a compliment. There is no more counting and stopping in the middle of the dance floor and not knowing the next step. I still have to concentrate though and do not smile while dancing. Some ladies tell me to loosen up.

There were no dance activities during the day. A group went four wheeling and the rest of us worked on the trailers or motorhomes. I cleaned the solar panels and windshield of the motorhome. I also walked to Bashas grocery store and bought vegetables and fruit. I borrowed some of Margaret’s water hose and added it to mine, and filled up the fresh water tank. Harlan added his hose and filled up his fresh water tank too. We had one long water hose trough out the parking lot. I plan on not emptying the holding tanks here at the community center. There will be a long line Friday morning at the dump station. I will do it in Salton City.
A couple of days ago one of our ladies had a stroke and had to be rushed to a hospital in the Phoenix area. A blood clot had to be removed from near her brain. She is doing better now but has to wait until she is in better shape to fly home to Portland, Oregon, to her son. Her friends are looking now for a place to store her motorhome near Wickenburg. Karen, our nurse, gave us a little speech and was telling us to have a piece of paper with all important health information behind our driver's license. So far half of the group did it.
Silky, our DJ, provided the music for the evening dance. Not many people came. I believe some of the group are worn out from all the dancing.

This is the last day of the Dance Rally. We started the day with a Git’er Done Breakfast. The leftovers from the last few days were served. We had a choice of sausage quiche, biscuits with gravy and eggs, and ham, egg casserole with hash browns and eggs. The greeters were two pirates. The little bird on Cathy’s shoulder is hiding.

At 12:14 PM was the Brown Bag Tacky Fashion Show. The audience had to bring their own lunch. There was a lot of laughter. Karen explained where the outfits came from and what they represented.

At 1:30 PM was one more dance lesson for the advanced dancers. At 4:00 PM we had a meeting with snacks. The result of the survey was announced. Most of the WINs did like the location of the rally and we will meet again in Wickenburg in 2014. Bill Frank will be the host. 

After the meeting the leftover food and paper and plastic supplies were auctioned off. The hall was cleaned and we are ready to move on.

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