Monday, January 12, 2009

save the glen echo dance ranger

most of the lindy hoppers who've traveled to washington, d.c., for a dance event in the last several years have danced in the glen echo park, either in its spanish ballroom or its bumper car pavilion. it's really an incredible venue -- the ballroom is restored to its 1930s-era luster and comfortably holds something like 600 dancers. it's usually one of the main venues for DCLX, and we sweated our way to near-total dehydration there during a mid-june heatwave for jam cellar's big big event this year. if you add in regular saturday night dances with live music, it's really a big part of what's probably the largest swing dance community east of the mississippi.

recently, there's been a flurry of e-mails and a facebook group, all upset because park ranger stan fowler's been reassigned after 30+ years of service in glen echo. mr. fowler, it turns out, has been a driving force behind a lot of the restoration work there, and he's been instrumental in bringing the dance communities out to it. the washington post just put out an article that makes it pretty clear how much we owe stan... and clarifies that he still had things he wanted to do there in the few years he has left 'til retirement and didn't want the transfer (i'd wondered!).

so here's hoping! if you're interested in working with the d.c. dancers who're trying to get the decision reversed, look for the facebook group "Saving Glen Echo Dance Ranger" or join the yahoo group DanceRanger.

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