Photos: Square dancing was often organized by these campus Greek organizations in 1978; (top) Alpha Phi Omega; (bottom) Tri Phi
"It was the only kind of dancing that was allowed back then," whispers Deborah Ashmore as she playfully covers her mouth as though she was talking about a forbidden activity.
The 1978 Hardin-Simmons University alum says, "Students attending HSU from 1974 through 1978 would get together at Rose Field House for the only kind of dancing allowed on campus in the 70’s – square dancing."
Ashmore says even though this Homecoming is not specifically a reunion year for these classes, she is expecting around 30-35 classmates to return to campus specifically for the event billed as the Super Shindig. "I know of two people coming from pretty far away, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and San Diego, California, just to attend this event," says Ashmore of the upcoming square dance at the Doc Beasley White Horse Center, Friday, October 11, 2013.
Ashmore reveals that students in several of the Greek clubs on campus got together for dozens of square dances in places all over Abilene and outside of town. "Some of the dances were even sponsored by the university, that’s when we would gather at the old Rose Field House. But I can also remember having a Halloween dance at an old wooden barn on the Indian Creek Ranch in Tye. We danced on the second floor where the hay was usually stored. There was also a metal barn in Potosi where we would go, and we even had a dance in one of the buildings owned by First Baptist Church of Abilene, where the Family Life Center is now," says Ashmore.
"Joel Wilson was our caller, I remember he worked at West Texas Utilities, and we liked him because he would teach us the dance moves," says Ashmore. "He would bring a friend and they would demonstrate the square dance moves for us."
Ashmore says her class of ’78 and others of that mid-to-late 70’s time period still enjoy getting together and always have big class reunions. "We have so much fun."
Helping with planning the Super Shindig are two of Ashmore’s classmates, Beverly (Rosengrant) Pherigo of North Richland Hills, Texas, and Karen (Williams) Johnson from Abilene.
The Super Shindig square dance will be Friday, October 11, 2013, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at the White Horse Center on Grape Street. Class members from 1975 - 1980 (most in their late 50’s) are invited to dance, snack, visit, or just sit, watch, and relive sweet times – days when square dancing was the only dancing allowed.