A Brief History Of A Long Square Dance Career
Ernie and Naomi Gross began their square dance life as a caller and teacher when the small club of which they were members nearly folded because of financial difficulties.
In order to help the club survive, Ernie made the decision to begin calling. This was in the late 1940's, and he began his calling career with a live band in southeastern Nebraska.
During his more than fifty years of calling, Ernie was a member of the Lincoln Caller's Association, the Nebraska State Caller's Association, and CALLERLAB. He was presented the "Half Century Award" from CALLERLAB for his outstanding service to the square dance activity.
Over the years, Ernie and Naomi were featured two times as "Caller of the Month", and twice as round dance leaders in Bob Osgood's "Sets In Order Magazine." In addition to calling squares and teaching rounds at workshops, festivals, and National Conventions, Ernie still managed to call and teach for eight clubs in the area surrounding their home in Syracuse. They kept up this schedule for over forty-two years, with one of those clubs being the Guys and Gals of Lincoln.
Ernie and Naomi were strong believers that round and square dancing belong together. They leaned toward the rounds that the square dancers enjoyed. Many years were devoted to this phase of the activity. They served for many years as staff members at several square and round dance resorts. They included 12 years at Peaceful Valley Resort in Fun Valley, Colorado, 20 years at The Lighted Lantern in Golden, Colorado, and 31 years at Kirkwood Lodge, in Osage Beach, Missouri. One very special dance for Ernie and Naomi was the Annual Crippled Children's Dance held in Ogallala, Nebraska. They felt privileged to have been invited to call this dance for 30 years.
Naomi wrote that Ernie enjoyed the uncountable hours, spent each year in providing fun and leadership in this great activity. They both enjoyed the many, many friends they made throughout the tri-state area.