Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp
Lighted Lantern
Folk Dance Camp

Remember When?

By Dick Oakes


One year, a 4-by-5 1/2-inch booklet was created with 5 1/2-by-6 3/4-inch brown burlap cover. The booklet pages were bound together through two holes with purple yarn. On the front of the booklet, written in purple ink, was the scripted title "Remember when?"

Here are the messages contained within:

Remember "Uncle" Paul Kermiet saying, "I can do "Sauerlander Quadrille" blindfolded," then having to prove it?
When Paul and I came for the first time to the Lighted Lantern we were told to "take it easy" in this high altitude, and then someone asked us the same evening to demonstrate a hambo for them. That struck us as kind of funny! Later Paul worked on the "Fool's Jig" and couldn't manage to get through it without gasping for breath. True to his way of tending toward pessimism he said, "Well, that's it. I am getting too old!" The year was 1953. We went on to the Stockton Camp [in California] that year and Paul tried to do the "Fool's Jig" there--under protest. Lo and behold, he could do it! ~Gretel Dunsing
Remember the jeweled lights of Denver?
Remember, someone said, "I whipped her once, and I'll whip her again." Guess who?
Remember Dru Feree's Black Nags switching their tails while at the feeding trough?
Remember Rudy Ulibarrí and the gang "Alley Cat"-ing at Sam's on into the wee hours of the morning?
Remember the many times our gang went to the Central City Opera dressed in beautiful folk costumes (many of them belonging to Jerry Joris and Dottie Skala) and how the natives and tourists mistook us for the opera cast or some other celebrities? (Which, of course, we were!)
Remember "Flowers by Monya" gracing our dining hall tables?
Remember the year Bruce McClure of Scotland showed up at class one morning completely decked out in cowboy regalia? It's funny because even had he been on a horse, no one would have mistaken him for a cowboy. And Rin Reagen, in Bruce's kilts, still looked like a cowboy! Clothes make the man!
Remember, in the early years, when the Lantern raised turkeys, the gobblers would roost overnight on the ceiling log in the dance hall? It was "Uncle" Fred Enholm's job to go out and turn them around so their tails were over the edge of the dance hall before the dancing could begin in the morning.
Remember Vyts Beliajus with his quiet little shrug and ever-popular Camel Dance?
Many, many thanks to Ernestine for the lovely murals in the Dining Hall, which we have enjoyed year after year.
Remember Christmas in July, 1961, with Doc Lloyd playing Santa?
Remember when "Uncle" Fred Enholm made his "delicious" coffee from sweeping compound? Coffee at the Lantern hasn't been the same since.
Remember the Sunday Mrs. Steinmetz made buckets of orange Jello and Mrs. Pim was wracking her brain all week for various ways to use it?
Remember Sidor Golub requiring his Russian Tea in his own glass? TRADITION!
Remember when Bruce McClure impressed on our minds that we must say "Scottish" and not "Scotch?" Remember one of the campers proceeding to hang up decorations, being careful to conspicuously use "Scottish" tape?
Remember when the "John" smiled back at Rudy Ulibarrí?
Remember when Gabriel Epstein was assigned to a girls' dorm and wouldn't tell us he wasn't a "miss" until he arrived?
Remember when Doris Chapin won a "Friendship Around the World" award for having attended the Lighted Lantern week the most years? And she's still going strong!
Remember when Kathy and Paula Kermiet, as tiny tots, did the Heeia (Hawaiian folk dance) seated on top of a table?
Remember Art & Laura Walz, fresh from a trip to Hawaii, doing "Little Brown Gal?"
Remember way back in one of our early years when Kirby Todd painted a good many of the toilet seats the day before camp opened and they weren't dry when people began to arrive? He was on the staff then and helping us get the camp ready. "Uncle" Paul Kermiet told him to touch up the bathrooms to get rid of some leftover paint, so he did. We never found out how many early arrivals were "framed" by Kirby!
Remember "The Case of the Short Red Shorts?" Why did "Uncle" Fred Enholm prevent Rudy Ulibarrí and "Uncle" Paul Kermiet from fraternizing in the Dining Hall?
Remember the sign in the Dance Hall during a particularly dry summer? It read "Don't throw your butt over the rail!"
Remember the year Rudy Ulibarrí and Gene Aguirre almost massacred Betty Schuh in that exciting Mexican machette dance? They'd only had one rough rehearsal and Betty, being the kind of person who needs the limelight, took all kind of unnecessary chances around those big knives! Thanks to the skill of Rudy and Gene, she came out unscathed.
Remember Esther Golub's beautiful Japanese paper folding -- especially the "Captain's Undershirt" with its accompanying story?

Camper: "What's "Hunter's Stew?"
Dottie Skala: "Whatever the hunter brought home from the hunt."
Jerry Joris: "By the way, I didn't hear the donkey bray this evening!"

Remember when, to while away the time, Pauline Kermiet (née Ritchie) sang folk songs to us as sung by the Singing Ritchie Familly of Kentucky. Precisely at the moment in "Gentle Fair Jenny" where she exclaimed in a loud voice, "Get out of here, you dirty thief," the bewildered photographer came walking into the room! (Pauline assisted her sister, Jean Ritchie, on the concert stage!)

Remember the picnic at the Hawke's cabin in Winter Park?
Remember the excitement generated when Athan Karras invited a genuine Greek belly dancer from a Denver night club to perform for us and to give the girls some special instruction? We never knew so many parts of the body could be used for folk dancing!
Remember Sidor Golub responding to the "come hither" gesture of the belly dancer?
Remember Art Walz as the Ringmaster announcing Kim's tight-rope act?
Who will ever forget Ed Berg of Salt Lake City and how he came to be known as the Bird Man of Lookout Mountain! It happened that the cabin he was assigned to had a nest of flickers inside one of the walls. This being the first week of our summer season, nobody else had attempted to share the cabin with the flickers. Needless to say, Ed's first night at camp was for the birds! Next morning, "Uncle" Paul Kermiet sent for a couple of the boys to roust out the flickers and board up the hole. They did the last part of the assignment well, but not the first part, so Ed had another rough night. This time, however, the racket was worse--the birds, being hungry and thirsty and having no way out! Finally, the bird problem was solved. Ed had a lovely night's sleep but the very next morning, when he was soapy under the shower, someone at the building below turned off the main water line to the cabin by mistake. A few nights later, the public service shut off the electricity to Ed's cabin, having mistaken it for another mountain cabin where the bills were not paid. It's a wonder Ed took his chances with us again but he danced with us for several years.
Camper: "You can tell the teacher by what part of your anatomy hurts most."
C. Stuart Smith: Broken toes and weary brains. ("Up on your toes!" "Be alert!" "On your toes!")
Athan Karras: Bruised shoulders.
Nelda Drury: Broken arches and sore heels.
Remember the artistry of Deanna's murals and sylabus covers?
Remember when we "squashed the grapes" with Jerry Joris all week at Lighted Lantern doing the Israeli dance "Mehol Hagat?" On our annual treck to the Opera House at Central City that Thursday, to our delight and amazement, when the curtain went up on the first act a colorful scene of gay, barefoot Italian peasants were "squashing the grapes." "Out of this World!"

Remember when Athan Karras was our specialized leader and teacher in Greek dancing, foods, etc.? On that first Monday morning, during those brief little minutes preceding his first dance session, this choice little incident occurred: A bright little lady approached Athan in her own delightful way and said, "You know, I just love to folk dance but most of the time it seems all Greek to me." Athan replied, "Yes. I follow what you are saying but, really, what I am doing this morning will be all Greek to me!"

Remember 19 Japanese businessmen "Tanko Bushi"-ing around their senior leader?
Remember the "pyre of frustrations" where Irving Steinberg delivered the eulogy after the whole camp paraded most solemnly in single file, pushing a wheelbarrow full of garbage (our frustrations), while we were following Bernie Marek, who was playing a funeral dirge on his fiddle?
Remember dancing "Nad I Lan" with candles?
Remember when Dottie Meiser was not only short-sheeted, but got a scratchy-bush greeting when she collapsed into bed late one night?
Remember Jerry Joris serving Lucia breakfast to Rudy Ulibarrí and the gang in "Hole in the Wall" at 5:00 a.m.?
Remember the outdoor steak fry in the pouring rain and the Kermiet kids dancing "Mayim, Mayim" (water, water) as they served coffee to the car-bound campers?
Remember Dottie Meiser holding a wood spoon at attention to whack any hand that reached for a second Swedish meatball? (Only one to a customer!)
Remember Stella Gorman floating through the air in the burlap spaceman's costume to be with her lover Paul Gorman when he awoke?
Recollections and memories of Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camp:
  • Inspiring and inspired leadership.
  • Enthusiastic, kind, and loyal campers.
  • The outings, excellent meals, and the lovely surroundings.
All contributing toward a feeling of joy, peace, and relaxation, which made our weeks on Lookout Mountain something special to look forward to and remember well.
  • Remember Bruce McClure roasting in the sun to get "brrrrown," every mother wishing he were her son, all the girls falling in love with him, and the boys copying and admiring him?
Yes, we were then, and I am now, grateful for having had the opportunity to be on the staff of the Lighted Lantern Folk Dance Camps. ~Gretel Dunsing
Remember "Uncle" Paul Kermiet, "with one shut eye, mouth awry, one foot held high, and waving goodbye?"