Bud Auen, Caller
Ron Nelson, Caller
Ann Walker, Caller
"Old MacDonald had a Farm" won the Mayor's Trophy
In May 1986, Jess Lunsford and his wife, Pat, started a square dance class at the Bostonia Recreation Center. When the class graduated, they formed the Valley Twirlers Square Dance Club as a Called Run Club. Since there were only two squares, the Lunsfords started another class immediately.
At the same time, Bud Auen, who was learning to be a caller, was teaching some of the residents at his mobile home park in Spring Valley to square dance. Bud read about the Valley Twirlers' new class and asked Jess if his group could join the class. Most of them (about two squares' worth) decided to join the new Valley Twirlers class. This second class now had five squares.
For the first few years the Valley Twirlers was a caller-run club. During this time Bud served as acting president. In 1989, Jess felt that the time had come for the members to take over the management of the club, and so a board was elected with Bud, who later moved to Missouri in August 1993, as its very first president. The first draft of the bylaws was prepared in 1990, and the club joined the Back Country Square Dance Association. The club held its first Anniversary Dance in February 1991.
With his Tennessee twang and way with a tune, Jess Lunsford proved to be a great draw in the East County, and soon the club boasted 75 members. He continued to call and instruct classes until retiring and moving back to Tennessee in 1995.
Ron Nelson, a veteran caller with over 30 years of experience, was selected as the new caller of the Valley Twirlers, bringing his own electric, creative calling style to the club. Ron continued to call for us until his business schedule made it necessary for him to curtail his calling in 2000.
The Valley Twirlers were delighted to find their next caller, Dick Neumann, a full-time caller with over 20 years of experience, who brought his own inimitable style to our club. Dick called for us until May 2004, when he underwent surgery.
Ann Walker, a caller with 17 years of experience, agreed to fill in for Dick until he recovered, but due to several post-operation complications, Dick spent the next three years in hospitals and nursing homes. Ann, who liked to introduce herself as a "Call Girl," continued to fill in for Dick. With her ability to call and cue, she kept the club going. When Dick was able, Ann returned the duties of club caller to him in June 2008. Dick continued calling for us until he passed away in April 2016.
A stand-out Valley Twirlers couple for decades was Stan and Barbara Fortenbach. Through the lean years, they kept our club going by serving on our board, hosting parties, and providing wonderful decorations for each and every party night. We continue to honor them by decorating our hall to fit each theme. We are grateful for the Fortenbach's dedication to Valley Twirlers!
After auditioning several callers, the Valley Twirlers' Board selected the fabulous Steve Moore as our new caller. Steve has been calling for over 40 years, with almost 30 years as a full-time caller. He was welcomed as our caller at a special dance on May 31, 2016, and we continue to enjoy his calling, his patient instruction, and his yodeling!
Mother Goose Parade
We have entered a float in El Cajon's Mother Goose Parade three times. The first time (November 1998) we won the Mayor's Trophy with our float entitled "Old McDonald had a Farm." In 2000 we won the Sweepstakes Trophy with our float entitled "The Cat and the Fiddle." In 2016 our club joined with the Back Country Square Dance Association on a flatbed trailer float featuring two squares of dancers who danced during the entire length of the parade.
Jess & Pat Lunsford, Founders
Dick Neuman, Caller
Stan and Barbara Fortenbach
Steve Moore, Caller
"The Cat and the Fiddle" won the Sweepstakes Trophy