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Gay and Lesbian Folkdancing Field Trip
November 24 and 25, 1979, Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire
Images and text by Demian                         back to the Gallery Index
The Gay and Lesbian Folkdancing group held instructed folk dance sessions in the Phillips Brooks House, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. The building was constructed in 1893, in the memory of the Reverend Phillips Brooks, a preacher at Trinity Church and advocate for social service.

The Group met twice monthly, from 1978-84 or 85, and consisted primarily of men and a smaller number of women. I attended the dance sessions every now and then. The dances where always friendly, lively fun, and a great social experience.

Patrick Dorman, Lynn Uretsky, Don Galbreath, Dee Michel
Henry Goldberg, Andy Rosing, Bruce Sylvester, Peter Rivard
Michael Smith, Sarah Reynolds, Judy Gatland

The retreat, at a home in Sunapee, near Quabin, was set up to get to know each other in a less structured, rural environment, in order to share music, food, and even more dancing.

Dee Michel, Lynn Uretsky, Henry Goldberg

From my diary - Nov 24, 1979

“Unable to decide whether to go with the folk dance group to Sunapee, N.H. for the weekend. So, I decided, no. That is, until Dee Michel called and asked ‘Where are you, and could you be ready to go soon?’

“It was a long ride, made longer, by Peter Rivard ignoring road signs and getting lost.

“Lots of noise and fun. 12 of us: Dee Michel, Peter Rivard, Sarah Reynolds, Patrick Dorman, Andy Rosing, Don Galbreath, Lynn Uretsky, Bruce Sylvester, Judy Gatland, Henry Goldberg, and Michael Smith.

Lynn Uretsky and Bruce Sylvester on the ends. Everyone else in the middle.
My boots on the lower right.

“Well-designed dinners. I brought my own vegan food, and I could eat a few things people brought. Lots of dancing.

“During the afternoon, many of us did acrobatics, dance and martial arts movement, while three of us took pictures.

Andy Rosing, Judy Gatland, Michael Smith

“Most of the men decided to wear dresses in the evening, which they had brought with them. I was not comfortable wearing a dress, so, just wore my usual jeans.”

Lynn Uretsky, Dee Michel

During this time period, I missed living in rural Massachusetts, in the Amherst and Montague areas, surrounded by woods and far cleaner air than Cambridge and Boston. I was also, technically, homeless, and unsettled. Landing in this tree-and-hill-landscaped town restimulated my sense of loss.

Lynn Uretsky

More from my diary, on the same day - Nov 24, 1979

“I asked Michael for some crying time. He was helpful; I instructed him as to how I wanted to be counseled. It’s been painful not living in the woods.

“Many of the folks stayed up too late, singing and making noise.

Bruce Sylvester, Don Galbreath, Andy Rosing

From my diary, the next day - Nov 25, 1979

“Another long walk in the woods. Took many pics. Couldn’t find the rock quarry.

“The town constable stopped to question me, as a suspicious road walker. I asked about the quarry and he directed me to the very pleasant owner Charles Boyce, who showed me some nice rocks.

“Very wet from the woods and rain; tired, in spite of a nap.

“I’d like to go back for another retreat sometime, only with much fewer people, and institute a bedtime curfew.”

Tech Notes: The images were shot on Ektachrome using a Pentax single-lens reflex. All were scanned on an Epson Perfection V500 Photo, and retouched using PhotoShop Elements.

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