Cross Trailers History
As Written By Dorotha Campbell
Prior to 2010.....
The Cross Trailer's Square Dance Club began in 1950 with four couples: Charlie & Winona Patton, Jack & Lillian Cook, Gene & Pat Fedo, Orban and Ruth Parker, and caller, Tom Gatewood and Taw, Dorothy, in the Patton's basement in Independence, Missouri. In 1951, a present-day active member of the Crosstrailers, Chuck and Marian Millett, along with several of their friends took lessons, and the Cross Trailers moved to a larger place in the basement of the Parker's restaurant.
About 1954-'55, the Club split, and Bob Fisk became the caller. Tom and Dorothy Gatewood moved on and formed the Silver Dollars. The Cross Trailers grew under Bob Fisk to 62 members and moved to the old VFW Hall in Sugar Creek; then on to Bowling's Barn (a made-over chicken house!!). In 1961, Bob Fisk went on the road professionally moving to California.
During the following two dance seasons, guest callers were used, as well as an alternating rotation of Kenny Shuttleworth and Dick Enderle during this period, Linden (Junior) and Janice Panknin joined the Club. They are still active members. (Note, Janice passed in Dec. 2008 and Linden passed a few years later.)
The fall of 1963 thru spring 1965, Bob Kuhn was the Club caller. Bowling's Barn closed in 1965, and the Cross Trailers moved to Holy Cross Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
Bob Hurt & taw, Liz became the Club caller in the fall of 1965. After three seasons, he resigned and moved to Texas and then on to Arizona.
When Norman Madison and taw, Patty became the caller 1968, we danced at the Raytown YMCA. We moved to Pinkerton School in Kansas City the next dance season. In May 1970, the club split again. Norman & Patty left and formed the K C Squares.
Richard Callahan and taw, Willeta (Willie) was hired to call for us and stayed until the summer of 1978. During this time, we danced at Pitcher School, the Raytown VFW and Tom Korte School.
In 1975, Kansas City hosted the National Square Dance Convention. More than half of our members served on committees and/or accepted duties working to make the convention the success it was.
The next three dance seasons, September 1978 thru May 1981, Dave Courtney and Taw, Betty was the Club caller. We were dancing at Tom Korte School then. Don Reiman cued rounds occasionally during the 1979-1980 dance season.
In 1981, Dave D'Arcy & taw, Debbie was hired to call, and the Club moved to the Little Blue Barn. Dave gave up calling with the end of the dance season in May 1985, and later moved to Tennessee.
The Cross Trailers danced the next season at the 4H building in Independence using guest callers. One of the guest callers was Al Warren. Al Warren and Taw, Jan was hired to call starting the fall of 1986. We then moved to Holy Family School in Independence. Due to rent increases, after two seasons, we moved to Ott School; then to Lee's Summit Christian Church. Dave and Rita Rimmer were hired to cue rounds in 1992-'93.
Guest callers were used for the 1993-'94 dance season and we moved back to Ott School. Mike Hines became our round dance cuer. In the fall of 1994, we moved to Blue Ridge Elementary School (a more central location for our members). Mike Kelly & taw, Cindy was hired to call for us. Mike Hines later resigned as our cuer as the Club had few round dancers.
Through the years, the Cross Trailers have brought in professional callers for special dances many times and with great success. Cal Golden, The Red Boot Boys, Randy Dougherty (still a teenager the first time), Dee Dee Dougherty, Jerry Story, Romney Tannehill and JR Sparks are among the callers brought to this area to call for special dances. Don Whiteman, Don Reiman and Mike Hines were among the round dance cuer's used for these specials.
For the 1996-'97 dance season, the Cross Trailers hosted dances on the second Saturday of each month at the Blue Ridge elementary School in Raytown, Missouri. We still boast of having as members some of the best cooks around. We continue to provide delicious refreshments for our guest dancers. Mike Kelly and taw, Cindy is once again our caller. Janet Hicks, daughter of long-time members Chuck & Marian Millett, is our line dance instructor.
During the 1998-99 dance season, the Club had 44 official visits to Federated club dances earning a Gold medal to display on the club banner. The Crosstrailers have been active in the Heart of America Federation Vigorous Visitor Program for over 20 years.
With the start of the 1999-2000 dance season, Mike Kelly's employment required that he be out of town for extended periods of time. Because of this, the Cross Trailers began using guest callers. Gary Mahnken has agreed to become the Club caller beginning in the fall of 2000 if Mike is still unavailable.
In May 2000, Cross Trailers will celebrate 50 years of existence. A free square dance is planned to commemorate this event. An attempt is being made to invite former Club callers, cuers & members. Norman Madison has agreed to be the Emcee for this dance. We hope our many friends will share this special occasion with us.
Update: May 2010.....
Gary & Marge Mahnken called for the Cross Trailers at Blue Ridge Elementary School from September 2000 thru the summer of 2002.
Cross Trailers moved to Ivanhoe United church of Christ the fall of 2002. Mike Kelly and taw, Joy were retained to call for the Club until early Spring 2005. At our dance on May 13, 2005 Jim & Edythe Weber with the Missouri Federation presented a certificate for the Cross Trailers to Chuck & Marian Millett for 55 years of dancing.
With the fall of 2005, Cross Trailers had many new beginnings. We moved to River Blvd Baptist Church, started dancing on the third
Saturday and had guest callers.
Stan Brooke and taw, Sharon were hired as Club caller for 2006 thru 2008. In January 2008, Julie Pigg started to cue rounds for us. We moved back to Ivanhoe United Church of Christ the fall of 2008. Julie Pigg gave up cueing for us after a few months due the failing health of her husband, Marvin Pigg.
In 2008 Cross Trailers once again experience turmoil in our group and several members left to join other area clubs.
In 2010, Cross Trailers started dancing at Ivanhoe Church again and we were blessed to continue to have Stan & Sharon Brooke remain as our Club caller & Taw. Our May dance was a free dance at the Sermon Center in Independence, Missouri on May 22 to commemorate the 60th year of existence. Mike Hines cued rounds for us. We had many dancers on hand to help celebrate this milestone.
From this point on, Louise Coleman wrote the club history.
Update: April 29, 2011.....
During the 2008-2009 dance season. The club decided to have Stash Tosio cue Rounds on a trial period starting about January 2009. Janet Hicks continued to lead line dances until April 29, 2011. On that date the Club was informed by Janet Hicks, speaking for Chuck & Marian Millett, members since 1951, that the Cross Trailer Club would be closed the following month at the May dance; that the logo and the name
"Cross Trailer" could not be used by anyone until after 2020. The club money was to be split between River Blvd Baptist Church, Ivanhoe United Church of Christ and the VA. She then announced at the Heart of America Federation meeting the next day that Cross Trailers were folding and would host a free dance the next month (May 2011).
Following much discussion and further investigation in the matter, the Club membership voted to remain
"Cross Trailers" as long as possible and disputed the suggested disposal of the money. The membership unanimously agreed that the Club money belonged to the Club, not to any one individual to dispose of as that person might choose. We also agreed to go ahead and host the
"free" dance; however, the dissenting members did not attend. The dissenting members along with some other members left the club at this point.
Stash Tosio agreed to continue to cue pre-rounds from 7:00-7:30 pm for the Cross Trailer dances and alternate with line dancing lead by Carolyn Goucher & Karen Craig between tips.
Cross Trailers dance location for 2011-2012 dance season was changed to The Point (owned by Graceway Church), 5600 Blue Ridge Cutoff, Kansas City, Missouri. We hosted dances on the 3rd Saturday of each month Sept. thru May. Fred Goucher gave lessons and we gained some new members. Our dances that year, 2012-2013 were well attended.
Update: February 2014.....
At a meeting in January, Cross Trailers voted to change the dance location to Graceway Church Fellowship Hall. Stan Brooke and taw, Sharon were still calling for us, Stash Tosio continued to cue rounds and Carolyn Goucher continued to lead line dancing. Karen Craig had her own club up North and was having major health issues.
Cross Trailers agreed to co-host the Missouri Federation NW District dance on July 26th, 2014 which was held at The Point.
October 2016, NW District hosted the annual MO Federation Festival at Truman High School in Independence,
Missouri. All our club members were active in this event. Fred and Carolyn Goucher were Presidents of the NW Dist., Louise Coleman was chair of the Fashion Show, Cross Trailer members sold raffle tickets, Pot of Gold, manned the silent auction, led activities for Youth dancers, etc. and served Breakfast to the Federation Officers on Sunday Morning.
Update: May 2018.....
We served lunch for the Missouri Federation Officers Meeting in the spring of 2018.
Cross Trailers had their annual Christmas Party on the third Saturday in December in place of our regular dance. We had a dinner party at the home of Louise Coleman. The first time was December of 2008 when the members were invited to a sit down dinner at
"Lou's Cafe." They were served their choice of Ribeye steaks or a Chicken Casserole. They also had wine and appetizers. All was prepared by the hostess and every one chipped in on the expenses. The dinner was held 2 years at the home of Malinda and Robert McKinney but has been back at Louise's house since then.
We hosted a Gospel Special this year called by Bill Roles and Stan Brooke, which was a great success, also a three-caller special featuring Bill Reynolds, Bill Roles and Stan Brooke. The proceeds from the 3-Caller Special were donated to the 67th National Committee. In March, we hosted our first ever Bar-B-Que Dinner. This was a great success and we are planning to have another in the spring of 2019. We also had a great special dance featuring National Caller, Ken Bower. It doesn't get much better than this!
Cross Trailers hosted the Missouri
Missouri Federation NW District dance on July 28th, 2018. Several club members went to Lebanon,
Missouri for the annual Missouri Federation Festival October 19 - 21 and some of us participated in the Fashion Show.
We are a small but very active club. We are one of the longest running clubs in Missouri with 68 years as of May 2018!
Update: August 24, 2020
February 2020 we began hearing rumblings about a deadly virus referred to as a Coronavirus thought to be from China. We were to have our 3rd Bar-B-Que in March. However, come early March all dances were cancelled and people were asked to self-isolate too help prevent the spread of
Long story short, as of this writing, we are still not dancing and I don't anticipate we will before (and hopefully) January 2021. Cross Trailers were to celebrate 70 years as a continuously active club in May 2020. That didn't happen! Here's hoping that we will get to celebrate next May with our 71st anniversary!
Keep Safe and Stay Well.
Virtual Hugs too All,