My husband’s grandfather played the fiddle at many socials. He called dances and played, and told funny stories, and recited poems. He couldn’t read music, had thick-fingered, farmer paws, but he could play the fiddle with precision. He was an entertainer who lived in eastern Oregon until 1935 when they closed free range grazing and moved his family to Kings Valley, Oregon. My husband and I visited the Baker City, Oregon Natatorium in eastern Oregon, which is the Baker City Museum. The building used to house a huge swimming pool and up stairs is a large room used as meeting hall and dance floor. There is a balcony on the second floor that goes all the way around looking over what used to be the pool, now filled in and used to display the museum items. We looked through the old guest registers and there is was, my husband’s grandfather’s name. He actually preformed and called the dances in that building. The date was around the year 1918 or 1919, smack dab in the middle of a flu pandemic. We have his dance instruction book, along with my husband’s mother’s school reader and several other old books, and a full set of 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. My husband’s grandmother taught school in 1916/17 and lived in an army tent for the first year of her career before she married. If you’ve ever visited eastern Oregon you have to know it get’s buggery cold out there during the winter.
Dancing Instruction and Etiquette 1911