SOS Talk

September 17-26, 1999 SOS Fall Migration:  The club members had a “meeting place” – first, The Barrel and Later The Boulevard Grill.  Around 8:30pm, club members would begin their SOS nights together, with members then drifting off to their personal-favorite, later-night dance spots, most often, Ducks and Fat Harold’s.

Eventually, The Boulevard Grill became a popular spot for the NVSC’s afternoon and early-evening dancing.  The Grill had hired two of our deejays, Craig Jennings and Larry Jones, for occasional SOS duty.  (Sofmetimes billed as “The Shooter Dudes,” Larry and Craig also deejayed for SOS at Ducks and Ducks, Too.)  The Grill also was one of the places, Ducks was the other, where NVSC held its SOS “free pour” parties.

On the last Sunday of SOS, NVSC members typically gathered at The Grill’s late-morning Gospel Shag party, where they danced with The Ministers.  These “clerics” were a riotous collection of DJs and other Ocean Drive notables who wore long white robes, sang gospel, banged on tambourines and collected money for charity.  It was a fine way to say “goodbye” to SOS and each other.

There was another event that held the club together at SOS throughout the 90s – the Friday afternoon drop-in that Valerie Swiger hosted at her beach condo.  Val’s regular co-hosts and helpers were Bob Lutz and Larry & Mary Campbell.

IT MUST BE LOVE (Hardway Connection)

On October 8-9, three NVSC couples traveled to Dunn, NC to compete in the annual Club Faces Open Shag Classic, an amateur shag contest to promote competition and camaraderie.  Vesta Jones & David Rodgers and Don & Audrey Borja danced in the competition and Heather & Craig Jennings cheered them on.  (See write up by A. Borja under Additional Articles below)

The NVSC Christmas Party was on December 11th at Springfield VFW.  FREE for members, $5 for non-members.


By December 1999, and particularly during the last 2 years of club growth under President Vesta Jones, the Northern Virginia Shag Club continued to be accepted as one of the best in the ACSC and one that held importance in shaping the future of Carolina Shag.  Club membership had grown to almost 400.  The Club’s Bylaws had been rewritten to more accurately reflect the current policies and structure of the club.  The club won first place in the Ms Fun Monday contest and won first place in two SOS parades, which put trophies in the club and money in the bank account.  With Vesta Jones acting as the spark plug for the club’s  Company Store volunteerism, the club won money and “top sales” awards on several occasions for successful efforts working in the SOS Company Store. 

“Go on Record for Charity” record sales and a successful Shag-a-thon netted about $12,000 for Hospice.  We moved the Classic to a new location.  We moved the dance club to a new location (Nicks).  The number of competitive shaggers expanded to four couples and the number of club deejays increased to five that are ABSCDJ members.  The club expanded its dance instruction program to one that is respected and envied throughout the shag community.  The club received official, legal, non-profit status from the IRS.  And an NVSC plaque went up at Fat Harolds’s and club pavers went down on Main Street of North Myrtle Beach.  Way to go, club members!


By Joan McKinney

Anytime people band together -- even for a social purpose like a dance club --  there's often a simple impulse to do an occasional good deed for the community, especially at Christmas.  The newly formed NVSC had that impulse, and joining the Association of Carolina Shag Clubs reinforced it.  The ACSC requires its member clubs to adopt a charity, or otherwise respond to community needs.  So, the Northern Virginia Shag Club began its charity work for modest reasons and with modest goals. 

Charter Member Donna Harrington recalls that, soon after our admission to the ACSC, the Board discussed adopting a local charity.   Donna says the discussion boiled down to 'everybody's doing something for kids.  Let's do something for old people.'  Donna took on the research task, calling numerous local organizations asking what they did and how they did it.  She placed several options before the Board, and it voted for So Others May Eat, or “SOME.”

SOME is a Washington, D.C. organization that tends to the most basic needs of the homeless, the poverty-stricken, and families in distress.  In their first year of supporting SOME, NVSC members donated personal-care items --- such as, soap and shaving supplies -- and Donna packaged the donations into individual-sized gift boxes.  Another year, NVSC members donated winter coats and jackets.  H.K. Lee arranged to have them dry-cleaned.  He was quite a sight leaving Blackie's on Wednesday nights, almost hidden under the coats piled on his shoulders.  They donated toys to needy children through an organization called Ho Ho Ho.

Meanwhile, the NVSC representatives to ACSC conventions and our traveling party-goers began to report back about the larger shag world.… and they sometimes reported on the amazing things that other shag clubs did to both help their communities and to expose their communities to shag: charity golf tournaments, yard sales, bake sales - and shagathons.  Several ideas converged, and several things happened about the same time:  At Dance Committee meetings of fellow instructors, Heather Jennings began to lobby for an NVSC shagathon for charity - to be held, Heather suggested, at whatever local mall would accommodate us.

At Board meetings, Pauline Easby-Smith and Vesta Jones regularly reminded the Board to support the club's charity work.  The Board eventually asked each other (and the club) to make nominations for an official club charity, and an election was held.  NVSC members voted for Hospice of Northern Virginia.  Vesta Jones launched “Go On Record for Hospice.”   Members donated old 45s and albums; people paid to autograph them in white ink; and the mone

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