Taws 'n' Paws origin: Initially, a Beginners Class was started in the Fall of 1958,
with Bill Saunders as instructor. The Club was co-sponsored by the Whirlaways
Square Dance Club and the Santa Barbara Recreation Department. There were seven
other clubs in the Santa Barbara area at the time:
* Left Footers met on Thursday
* Whirlaways met on Friday
* B's 'n' B's met on the 2nd & 4th Fridays
* Cartwheelers from Carpinteria also met on Friday
* Fairs and Squares met on Saturday
* Kuntry Kuzins met on the 2nd & 4th Saturday
* and the Youth club Barn Busters met separately for years until they merged
with Taws 'n' Paws and then folded. Vic and Debbie were the last Presidents.
Wednesday night was open, so that became the night for Taws 'n' Paws.
The first class graduated in March 1959. Then, they formed an
Intermediate square dance club, and named it Taws 'n' Paws. The
By-Laws and first officers were voted upon, and the club officially
started April 1, 1959. Our first Anniversary dance was April 6, 1960.
The club had 150 members at that time. New officers were installed each
Anniversary dance, but there were so many people that wanted to serve
as officers, the club starting having elections every six months for a time.
New members listed for March 1960 included Dick and Lois Cofiell. Members
were originally charged 50 cents per evening and visitors were charged 75 cents
per evening. It cost $1.00 yearly dues to become a member.
An article from the A Square D Grapevine, Volume 63, No. 1 (June, July, August 2014) stated:
Celebrating 55 Years--Dancing every Wednesday night and still going!!
Bill Saunders was a teacher at Peabody School when he founded Taws 'n Paws
in 1959. At that time, Bill was the club caller as well as the squaring teacher. Bill retired
in 1980. It was then the club joined "A Sq D." At the same time, Parks and Rec. of
Santa Barbara wanted to take over the city's square dance clubs. Since Bill retired, we
had only guest callers and we felt it a poor move to allow the City to take over control
of our clubs. We knew the callers and did not want to split the 'take' at the door with
Parks and Rec. Our Vice-president became the 'bookie'.
We now dance at St. Mark United Methodist Church, 3942 La Colina Rd. with two club callers,
Vic Ceder and Darren Gallina. Once a year we have a pot-luck picnic to
get together all our dancers both current and those who were in the club in days gone
by. It is a wonderful gab session when we can catch up on news. Once a year we have
an Anniversary Dance at the church and invite past members; again a fun time is had by
all. It's great to be with all those who enjoyed the camaraderie of squaring.
We have one couple who are charter members, they were in the first beginner's
class in '59, Lois & Dick Cofiell, and of course, they know everyone! They have danced
at all the fair grounds in California and they are still dancing today. There were eight
square dance clubs in Santa Barbara, Taws 'n' Paws is the only club left.
Our Anniversary dance took place on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, with Vic