Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp
Lighted Lantern
Folk Dance Camp
(Rocky Mountain Square Dance Camp)

A Night of Revelations at Lighted Lantern

VILTIS Magazine, 1974
By Dona Crank

Everyone who attended Lighted Lantern in Colorado this summer had a really rare experience. Rudy Ulibarrí was serious! It is my understanding that the "Revelations" program that Rudy instigated was something he had been trying to do for years – but just try getting all eight Kermiets together at the same time! One year Pauline was gone to a reunion with her family, The Singing Ritchies of Kentucky. Another year Jonny was in Spain, another year Karen was in Ireland, another year Jonny was in Mexico, another year Evelyn was dancing with an exhibition group in Central City, another year Paula was dancing there, another year Kathy was pregnant, another year Paul had a bad back and could hardly walk, etc., etc., etc. So just getting them all together was quite a feat in itself! The "Revelations" part was just a ruse of course – because the program organized and M.C.'d by Rudy was put on by all six Kermiet children and was a complete surprise to Paul and Pauline. Sheer genius Rudy! But let me tell about the program itself.

Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp

Rudy Ulibarrí.

To begin with the Syllabus stated that Tuesday night's after party would be "revealed" by Rudy. He, therefore, started the program off with some startling revelations. Jean Hahn (from Great Britain) cawn't say "can't." Dick Oakes' age is the same as one of the speeds on a record player. It's Mike Martin's birthday! Then Jim Graham with his accordion and Nelda Drury and Rudy ambled through the crowd singing "Las Mananitas" (a Mexican serenade for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) and ended up serenading Paul and Pauline Kermiet who were escorted up front to two chairs in front of the audience. Then all six of their children and their one grandchild came in and were introduced. Gretel Dunsing read a letter of congratulations on their wedding anniversary that had occurred some few days before. (It seems that each Kermiet child gave Rudy a different date for the anniversary.) After Gretel read her letter, Rudy read one that he said Gretel wrote and his Katzenjammer German is almost as funny as his "Rudy Schwartz" Yiddish!

Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp

The Kermiets:
Kathy, Johnny, Evelyn, Chris, Karen, Paula
Pauline, and Paul.

Then the anniversary program by the Kermiet children was presented. What a talented group and what a great family! Interspersed with slides of Paul and Pauline during their courting days – John and Paula portrayed Paul and Pauline with a song and skit. Paul just could not have been as lazy as John depicted. It was funny! Paul led a song that required motions and singing from the audience. He was downright tempramental and if we didn't get the rabbit hopping just right, he'd make us do it over. He just wouldn't sing unless everyone joined in – and we all did finally or we would still be there.

Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp

Paul singing the Rabbit Song.

There were other songs by the whole family – one "Gentle Fair Jenny Fair Rosy Marie" and something else about "Ya whopped me once and iffen you whop me agin I'll tell my kin" by the girls, and Pauline and Paul and the boys sang "I whopped you once and I'll whop you agin, and I don't care if you tell all your kin." We saw slides of their wedding and Mary Enholm (who was their organist) told a funny story about their wedding day.

Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp

Paul doing Sauerlander blindfolded
with one hand tied behind his back!
Dick Oakes and Johnny to his right.

The whole program was truly inspired, but the highlight was Rudy's very sincere and beautiful rendition of "Bless This House." Rudy is obviously very devoted to this family and those of us who were not crying had large lumps in our throats!

Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp

Pauline and Paul and their anniversary cake.

The party ended with another very nice Mexican custom. Two hats were put on chairs in the front of the room and Paul and Pauline started a waltz. We had all brought a small coin (a gift could also be used) and as you dropped this in a hat you were "buying" a cut-in dance with the anniversary couple. The lines were long and everyone got to dance with them. P.S. There was also anniversary cake and punch!

NOTE: The Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp had this past summer one of its most successful years. Intended registrations for a number of campers had to be returned due to overcrowding. There were 18 from California, six of whom were from the Hollywood Peasants. A group came from distant Florida and from many other points. Here, too, the crowd was 90% VILTITE, which includes the children of subscribers. It is most regrettable that Lighted Lantern plans to "close shop" after next year's camp. Vytautas Finadar Beliajus (VFB).