Remembering “Curlique” Pauline Plummer

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Pauline Jeanette Plummer, Thursday, August 23 at 10:45pm, after a valiant fight against cancer. Our condolences to her family and friends.

She was a long time member of Times Squares, since 1988, and was responsible for the P.O.R. Boutique (Peel Off and Recycle) fundraiser for our Peel the Pumpkin fly-in for many years. She will be greatly missed, not only for her warmth and personality, but her divine outfits which she made herself. “Curlique”, dance up a storm, and rest in peace.

Funeral details:

Wake: Fri Sep 7 4-8pm
Funeral: Sat Sep 8 9am viewing ; 10 am funeral
Repast to follow.

Location: First United Methodist Church 227 E Lincoln Ave, Mount Vernon, New York 10552

Mass Transit Directions: Board a New Haven bound train, stopping at Mount Vernon East. From there it is an 11 minute walk (0.6 mile) : walk along Elm Ave, turn left onto Rich Ave for five blocks, then right onto E Lincoln Ave. Check Google Maps for more directions.


Remembrances from our members:

“For all of those who cared about Pauline and cared for Pauline. For those who danced with Pauline and paid attention to Pauline. For all those who made a fuss over Pauline and told her she was beautiful (and she was). For all of those who understood the high standards that Pauline had for dress and style. For all of those who stood behind her while she performed. God bless you all because you gave her what she needed and what she earned. Love. Respect. Friendship. Community. A special shout out to Gabriel Rivas-Brito, who always brought out the best in Pauline.” — David Kampel

“Pauline loved a party. Invite her, and she was there — always looking glam with beautifully coiffed hair, perfectly made-up, dressed to the nines. She had a standard that she always kept to.

Some years ago I hosted a party for friends of mine who were visiting from Australia. The food came from Zabars. Pauline approved. The food was served on disposable plates along with disposable glasses and eating utensils. Pauline did not approve.

With a look of disappointment at my faux pas, Pauline went into the kitchen and helped herself to a china plate, a crystal glass, and a silver fork. She helped herself to some of the food, poured herself a glass of champagne (Veuve Cliquot, which she brought to the party already chilled) then took herself over to the most comfortable seat.

Pauline was back where she belonged. Her standards were met. The party could now begin!” — Edward Sherman

“As Honky Tonk Queen Mum, I knew Pauline for many years. She was always available for absolutely anything. She was big, brash and impossible to embarrass. I’ve noticed some people reminiscing about her performance of Push De Button, which was a song I recommended to her after her magnificent Let’s Get This Party Started. She loved it and I loved watching her perform it. It is hard to believe that all of that love, energy and enthusiasm is gone … and way too soon.” — Bob Young

“She was always fun to be with and could put a smile on my face without any effort (and often lipstick, too).” — Bob Fitterman

“Pauline’s smiling face and warm hello made every event she attended always MORE enjoyable. As you all might remember, my mother, Emily, joined Times Squares dancing for several years. You all embraced her so lovingly into the TS family. But as you can imagine, sometimes it was intimidating for her, and not just because of the speed at which we used to dance. The year the convention was in Las Vegas, my mother was considering joining us. Even I was concerned about her being comfortable. Who knows, she might accidentally wander into the moonshine tip! Pauline overheard me expressing my concern, and she assured me that she would not only share a room with my mother, but that she would also keep my mother safe. And true to her word, she took my mother under her wing, and they both had a fantastic time, throughout the convention. This might have been one of the last really fun activities my mother enjoyed, before her Alzheimer’s started to affect her. Whenever I told my mother about TS events, she always asked about Pauline. I know we will all miss Pauline very much. ” — Mark Doyaga

“Leslie and I remember Pauline for her friendship, generosity and enthusiasm in everything she did, she was a wonderful ambassador for the Times Squares. We will greatly miss her at the square dance conventions, her pride in leading us in the grand march, our early morning gatherings for early bird convention registration, participating in her fabulous convention performances and costume preparations for Peel the Pumpkin. “Get the party started” was truly her theme song.” — Daniel Savitt

“As a veteran square dancer, I wish to express the loss I feel for the passing of Pauline Plummer. She was loved by many, many square dance club members. Words that come to mind that I feel would accurately describe her would be: warm, loving, abundant and cheerful amongst other traits. She always greeted everyone with a cheerful smile and hugs. A warm greeting for all was just so natural for Pauline. We will all miss her very much.” — Mario Pecunia


Some remembrances from Facebook:

“She was a wonderful kind person. May she dance for eternity with the angels.” — Heidi Auerbacher

“My heart goes out to her family, both by birth and by IAGSDC, Bob Young especially. Curlique will never be forgotten. She was loved by all, was always a pleasure to have in a square and on the Fun Badge Tour, and was a never ending source of enthusiasm and love. We will miss her terribly. Pauline: give ‘em hell in Heaven!” — Ett McAtee

“She had such a bubbly personality everytime I had the pleasure of seeing her & dancing with her in a square. I’m going to miss that!” — Ann Balint Rothfuss

“She was my inspiration when helping Erick Blakely (Mz Freeda) & directed Gary Dougan & I to coordinate a local charity for her fundraising number in PS. Such a joy to work with and dance with. She taught me all the other stuff during a Convention was meaningless…just have fun…let it go. Thank you Mz Curlicue for all of your joy & inspiration. See you on the dance floor in another realm.” — Jim Francis

“Oh no. This so sad to hear. Pauline brightened every room she came in and brightened the day of everyone she talked to. We share in the heartbreak of Times Squares members.” — Steve Johnson

“Pauline was such a lady of grace AND camp! She befriended me on the Atlanta FBT and I always looked forward to her smile and rolling laugh. Let us carry the best of her with us each day, each dance.” — Rahn Anderson


Pauline, you VIBRANT woman : poem by Jennifer Cherry

Dearest Pauline, you VIBRANT woman,
you lift us up.
With your contagious smile and joyful soul,
you lift us up.
Your effervescent laughter that fills the room,
you lift us up.
Through your free-spirited dance, ‘Curlicue’,
you lift us up.
Inspired by your impeccable style and artistic flair,
you lift us up.
Always offering a helping hand because you care,
you lift us up.
And when we’re faced with challenge, sadness, or pain,
you lift us up.
With these seven verses we’ve only just begun,
but the Lord recognized his masterpiece was done.
So as heaven’s gates open to welcome you in,
And their caller shouts “Square up”, we’ll see you grin.
We rejoice in the memories that we will treasure,
and the lesson to live each moment, for good measure.
Know that you have forever changed our lives,
touched our hearts, enhanced our minds,
your youthful energy turned back time.
With acts of kindness, selflessness, imparting wisdom along the way,
exuding confidence and resilience through your strong faith.
Pauline, you VIBRANT woman, the bells do chime,
Now let US lift YOU up this final time.

Times Squares Board Minutes for July 2018 available

Plans are underway for Times Squares to participate in the Stonewall 50/World Pride celebrations. Read the minutes here to find out about our proposed participation in the Pride Parade 2019 and our World Pride Square Dance as part of the Chain Down the Coast activities leading up to the IAGSDC Convention, Belle’s Run, in Philadelphia. We are also planning social activities that do not include square dancing so that we an get to know each other better.

New Hours and Location Agree with Summer Dancers

Weekly dance instruction is good for the spirit. But what’s a dancer to do when classes are over? Keep dancing, of course!

And so, our semi-monthly summer dances have begun, with a change in venue and time. For four Tuesdays, we are dancing on the 6th floor conference room of the Lenox Health Greenwich Village medical facility. Folks are making the best of the carpeting, kicking up their heels and kicking off their shoes if necessary. Betsy Gotta called on Jun 12, and Howard Richman called for our Rainbow Pride club night on the 26th.

Howard Richman, our own Rhinestone Caller.

We are starting, and finishing, 30 minutes earlier, which also makes for happy dancers. 7:00-9:00pm seems just the right time for getting enough dancing in without folks trickling out.  We hope the momentum continues throughout the summer.

If you haven’t danced with us this summer, your next chance is July 17 when Don Moger from Montreal will be calling. Be there AND be square.

Dancing at Lenox

Times Squares Board Minutes through June 2018 available

Times Squares Board Minutes for April 2018, May 2018 and June 2018 are now available.

April Minutes announce an increase in fees for A2/C1 dances from $10 to $15 starting in the Fall to cover operating expenses. We are in the process of purchasing a sandwich board to place on the sidewalk in front of PS 3 on the evenings we dance.

May Minutes announce results of our automated attendance procedures. Times Squares will offer a dance as part of Chain Down the Coast, a series of events from Boston to Philly before the IAGSDC Convention in Philly in July 2019. We will also host a Bon Voyage dance for a group of dancers who will be joining a square dance cruise leaving from Bayone, NJ in September. David Mee, the sponsor/caller will be calling for us that evening.

June Minutes feature a proposal by the DC Lambda Squares that we jointly sponsor a fly-in in 2019.

Toronto’s Triangle Squares hosts Pearl Promenade Fly-in

Pearls, Pearls, and more Pearls

Times Squares members Bill Wolff, Kian-Lam Kho and I attended Triangle Squares’ “Pearl Promenade” fly-in over Memorial Day in Toronto. Everyone was very friendly and we had great fun dancing to Vic Ceder and Don St. Jean, their club caller.

What really impressed me were the decorations. It was a weekend of pearls, pearls, and more pearls. The gym at the school where we danced was cut in half with one door leading to one hall and the adjacent door to the other. The doors were decorated like St. Peter’s pearly gates and you were ushered into square dance heaven by one of the angelic callers. The gym walls themselves were painted with silhouettes of athletes who wore pearl accessories for the weekend.

The Pearly Gates

In the hallway there was a photo spot where you could dress up like the Girl with the Pearl Earring by the Dutch Golden Age painter,  Johannes Vermeer.

The Girl (?) with the Pearl Earring

Remembering Nivia Cruz

Our friend Nivia Cruz has died. A square dancer of indomitable spirit, she brought gaiety to every occasion, and to many Times Squares events.

Born in Cuba, she was raised in Holguin, a city in the province of Oriente. As a young girl, she came to this country and met fellow Cuban Tom Alamo, with whom she had a lifelong friendship of laughing and dancing.

Nivia was a wonderful cook and an enthusiastic hostess. She loved entertaining a constant flow of friends at the weekend home in Pennsylvania she shared with her long time love, and eventual wife Nadine Posner. This home provided Nivia a platform for themed parties, cookouts, dinners and many warm memories.

When not square dancing, Nivia enjoyed dancing Salsa a few times a week. Sometimes on the same Saturday night, she would finish a Combo Dance at PS3, only to head uptown to Salsa the night away with Nadine. It can be truly said that Nivia was a party girl as she used any excuse to have one, including snow storms, hurricanes and blackouts.

Times Squares will surely miss Nivia’s generous spirit, engaging laugh and joy of living.

DREAM 2018

Over one hundred dancers attended DREAM 2018 (Dancers Recruiting Educating and Motivating) sponsored by the NNJSDA last Saturday. Six Times Squares members attended including Susan G., Marshall B., Jeff E., Peter S., Kian K. and me. There were also three dancers from our sister club in Philadelphia, Independence Squares.

I attended two workshops. The first was given by Roy Gotta and addressed ways to talk “up” square dancing. When he gave examples of how we often talk about our activity to non-dancers, I cringed a little because that’s exactly how I talk. When he rephrased what we often say, I was amazed at how much more positive it sounded! The other session I attended was about Graduation and Graduation Ceremonies. The presenter shared an online article, Abandoning Graduation Ceremonies, that suggested that we do away with graduation ceremonies altogether as it gives new dancers a convenient opportunity to stop dancing. One club in the NNJSDA has its graduation ceremony three weeks before the last class so that the dancers have to come back to finish the lessons.

 

Learn How to Help Your Club at DREAM 2018

If you care about the fate of Times Squares, but don’t know what to do, here’s an opportunity to learn how to help. The Northern New Jersey Square Dance Association is hosting a day of seminars and workshops entitled: DREAM 2018 – Dancers Recruiting, Educating, And Motivating. The workshops start at 1 PM on Saturday, May 5th in Clark, NJ and will be followed by an evening of dancing with callers Mike Kellogg, from California, and our own Betsy Gotta. Click here for full details.

 

Many of the workshops directly address issues crucial to the fate of our club. For example, Retaining Your Dancers and the Social Aspects of Square Dancing (Beyond the Dance Floor) will discuss how you balance activities for both new and seasoned dancers that build social relationships crucial to continued growth. With so many things to do in New York City, retention is a big concern for our club.

 

Do you ever get strange looks when you mention that you square dance? Talking “Up” Square Dancing, will share strategies for encouraging friends and colleagues to take lessons and join a club.

 

Enticing Club Members to Become Leaders. Many clubs have folded despite good attendance and a healthy treasury because no one wants to help run the club. Learn how to reframe the tasks so that dancers don’t arrive as the first tip starts and leave just before cleanup. As Times Squares’ membership shrinks so does the number of dancers willing to lead the club.

 

To Graduate or Not: Alternatives and Solutions is a roundtable discussion of approaches to respectfully handling the faithful new dancers who may not be “ready to launch” at the conclusion of the lessons. A struggling graduate is more likely to drop out than continue.

If you’ve decided to take a more active role in supporting Times Squares this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the issues surrounding our club’s survival. If you need transportation or want to register, please contact Warren Livesley at wlivesley@gmail.com.