Ace Smith


American squares and rounds
American squares and rounds

Marge and Ace Smith 1991


Adrian C. "Ace" Smith was a teacher and caller of square and round dance. He was born in 1917 on a farm in Osseo, Michigan.

Ace graduated from Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1940 with a degree in Civil engineering. That same year, he and Marguerite (Marge) Walther were married.

His professional career began in Washington, D.C. as a cadet engineer, followed by a wartime shift to the Western Division of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1941 as a topographic and photogrammetric engineer. He joined Pacific Gas and Electric in Stockton, California in 1943 and transferred to Salinas in 1947 as a farm power advisor. He moved up the ranks to become District Manager in San Luis Obispo in 1968. His final assignment was Governmental and Public affairs Coordinator for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, a post he held from 1970 until his retirement in 1983. Although living 140 miles away from Salinas, Ace traveled this distance weekly to teach the Salinas Lariat Swingers folk, square, and round dancing for 43 years.

Ace taught at the California College of the Pacific Folk Dance Camp (now Stockton Folk Dance Camp) from 1948 to 1950. For 48 years, Ace served on the Camp committee with energy and devotion. He also was a photographer for the camp. He sent copy about Camp, together with publicity photos selected from the hundreds he had taken, to folk dance magazines in the United States and Canada. He used his fine photographic abilities to record the history of Campp with both slides and print.

Ace Smith and Chuck Reed were the chairpersons of the 1950 California Statewide Festival held on the Monterey Peninsula. He was a square dance caller for the 1954 California Statewide Festival held in Long Beach and a teacher at the 1964 Stockton Folk Dance Camp.

Ace died in 1995. The Smiths are the parents of three daughters and a son who is a Ph.D.

Dances Ace taught include Betty Black Hawk Waltz and Bossa Nova Mixer.