FAIRBEE CLUB HISTORY
The Fairbees Square Dance Club had their beginning in 1957. A small group of square dancers met in County Commissioner "Squatty" Lyons's precinct Barn off the old Hempstead Highway, part of which is now Highway 290 in northwest Houston. You may wonder how the name Fairbees originated. The precinct barn was located in a small community know as Fairbanks, hence came the name Fairbees.
Through the years, it has been necessary to move to several different locations, most of them in the northwest areas of Houston. As an indication of the members' ability to adapt to the moving situations, our club has survived through one precinct barn, two schools, one skating rink, and six churches. All of these locations bring back many fond memories.
During the early years, the majority of the callers had permanent jobs elsewhere and square dance calling was a part time hobby. The club had a regular caller who called for all of the club dances except for an occasional visiting caller. Some of our former regular club callers were Pat Barbour, who began his calling career with the FairBees, Pat Kotal, Stu Ringer, Johnnie Wykoff, deceased, Wade Driver, Shelby Evers and several others who are still actively calling in Houston. Callers in order of being club caller: Don Wallace, Johnny Reagan, Henry Thompson, Pat Barbour, Wade Driver, Pat Kotal, Shelby Evers, Johnny Wycoff, and Stu Ringer - then the Fairbees went to guest callers which they still have today.
The Fairbees first began having regular round dancing when meeting at the Wainwright Elementary School. Leo and Roxy Bacon were the first cuers who taught the club members to round dance. We went though a period of having guest round dance cuers for a while. Maurice and Melba Chambers were our club cuers for several years prior to our discontinuing round dancing. During the time they were cuers, they included a round dance workshop prior to the club dance with squares and rounds. Fairbees had quite a few round dancers that were members of the Club. Today it is still traditional for Fairbees to have round dancing for their annual Anniversary Dance.
In the mid-seventies, a group of Fairbees who owned recreational vehicles decided to reactivate the Houston Area Camping Squares, a group of square dancing campers that had become inactive. This was a successful endeavor, and the Houston Area Camping Squares is still very active today.
A club with a history such as the Fairbees is not without some very interesting and amusing events.
Here are a few-
- A copy of the Treasurer's Report for June 28, 1965, while the club was still meeting in the precinct barn, revealed a balance of $69.76 in the treasury.
- At one time a report was given concerning a rather lengthy meeting of the executive board. According to the minutes, "After considerable discussion, the meeting was temporarily adjourned until after the dance. The meeting reconvened at the $1.19 Steak House, all board members present, except one."
- Selecting club square dancing dresses seems to often create a problem for the ladies. This is quoted from the club minutes of November 4, 1965: "The first topic of old business for discussion was the club dress. Since the members could not agree on the dress, and there had been so much controversy over it, the board members agreed that there should be no more discussion about the dress for a while. It was felt that if this subject was not dropped at the time, the club could lose members over it which we certainly do not want to happen." (Fairbees went on to keep that same club dress for approx. 20 years)
Houston Square & Round Dance Council
Presidents of the HSRDC
1998 - Carol & Linda Nixon
2002 Beth & Jack Banks
2006 Nanette & Jerry Tucker
Houston Dance Promoters of the Year
1999 Willie Beth & Eddie McWhorter
2005 Patricia & Bob Lester
2006 Ann & Vernon Wells
(numerous club members have served on the Houston Square and Round Dance Council in all offices and responsibilities through the years.
Texas State Federation Square & Round Dancers
1998- 1999 - Texas State Federation Parliamentarian
1999- 2000 Texas State Federation Secretary
2000- July - Oct. - Texas State Federation Treasurer
(resigned early due health reasons) - Linda & Carol Nixon
2002-2003 Texas State Federation Round Dance Coordinator
Nancy & Bill Beaton
2006-2007 Texas State Federation Chaplain
Suzi & Carl Froberg
Long Time Fairbees
1962 - 2006* Eddie McWhorter
1962 - Present Willie Beth McWhorter
1972 - 1998* Faye Runyan
1972 - 2010* Horace Runyan
1975 - 2010 Linda Powell
1983- Present Patricia & Bob Lester
1986 -Present Nancy & Bill Beaton
1991 - Present Jeanette Stadler
1991 - 2007* Robert Stadler
Some history on our longest Fairbee Members -
Willie Beth & Eddie McWhorter, were high school sweethearts, native Houstonians, and celebrated their 50th anniversary at a Fairbee dance special.
They joined the Fairbees in 1962 and though Eddie passed away in 2006, Willie Beth continues to be active and supportive of all club activities.
They were Fairbee presidents in 1963, 1975, 1980, 1998 and probably others. They served in all offices of the club several times.
They also served on the HSRDC for two years.
1987 - they were presented with a 25 year honor award by Fairbees.
1989 - A special dance was held in their honor by Fairbees. Eddie was awarded an official Pettipants Inspector Badge, which he wore proudly and took this job very seriously (as all the women know!)
1997 they were honored by Fairbees for 34 years of membership in Fairbees.
The square dancing community and especially the Fairbees have been fortunate to have them be a part of our lives.