Golden Boot 2022
Golden Boot 2022 - Vic Ceder, Debbie Ceder, and Caitlyn Ceder
presentation at Twin City Spin by Allan Hurst
Under normal circumstances, I WOULD have made this presentation at Take A Peak 2020, in Denver.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of that in-person event.
So I WOULD have made this presentation at Houston We Have A Promenade 2021, in Houston, but...COVID-19 cancelled out THAT in-person event, too.
So here we are, in 2022. We are in Minneapolis. We are meeting, finally, IN-PERSON, and to quote Bullwinkle, "THIS TIME FOR SURE!"
So let's talk about the Golden Boot, and why it's such a Big Deal.
The Golden Boot was originally presented to Art Smith in 1983 by Puddletown Squares for his many contributions to LGBTQ square dancing in the Pacific Northwest. Art chose to pass the award on to someone outside of the area, and it's moved from hand to hand ever since.
But WHY is the Golden Boot a thing?
Being one of the historians of the IAGSDC, I'm falling back to Art Smith's original words:
"The spirit of the Golden Boot Award belongs to everyone. For it is all of us contributing together, sharing our energy, our dedication and most of all our love that is truly the spirit that is honored. When any one of us gives 100% of the best of what and who we are, that is the finest example of the essence of what the Golden Boot Award exemplifies."
It took me a long time to write and rehearse this presentation, because I kept stopping to cry every time I read Art's original quote.
This award isn't just a big deal, it's a recognition that someone has done something--usually, MANY somethings--for LGBTQ square dancing to expand it, enhance it, keep it alive, or rescue it in some way.
When I received the award at "Belles Run", our convention in Philadelphia in 2019, I was utterly stunned. Mind you, nobody else at my table was surprised; I was the only person in the room who didn't figure out where Barry and Pam Clasper were heading until it was too late for me to flee the room or hide under the table. I may even have sworn on-mic at one or two people who were at my table who were enjoying my discomfort, but I don't remember clearly.
At this point, our new dancers are probably wondering, "What do you have to do to receive the Golden Boot?"
Here's my take on it:
BE KIND TO OTHERS.
HELP SQUARE DANCING WHENEVER YOU CAN, AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.
That's really it.
I am only one of many, many recipients, all of whom--including me--will probably tell you that everyone else who received The Golden Boot was far more deserving than were they.
May I please ask all of the Golden Boot recipients present to stand and be recognized?
If you're one of our fifteen new dancers who want to know what the heck we all did...go to the IAGSDC History Wiki at history.iagsdc.org, and look up the Golden Boot presentations. We're all there, thanks to Andy Shore.
And now the rest of y'all can stop waiting for me to put in a plug for the history project.
The short version, after you look over the previous recipients: it is entirely possible that I may be one of square dancing's Coffee Overachievers.
Yet...I am far from the only one. ("LUKE, THERE IS ANOTHER.")
In fact, this year's recipient of the Golden Boot is even MORE of a Coffee Overachiever than me.
I know, I know...you're saying to yourself, "how can that be humanly possible?"
Bear with me.
When I was awarded the Golden Boot, I was told by several other recipients that they spent their year agonizing over who they would pass the award to.
Well, the other Boots are gonna hate me, because I instantly knew to whom I was going to give the award, and I didn't sweat over it a bit for THREE LONG YEARS.
Traditionally, the presentation circles around the identity of the recipient, delaying naming them as long as possible.
It's going to be difficult to keep this a secret for very long, because this year's recipient of the Golden Boot:
- Samples chocolate from all over the world.
- Collects Beanie Babies.
- Is a caller's partner.
- Is a caller.
- Grew up in LGBTQ square dancing.
- Was married outside of the USA.
- Dances square, round, contra, and swing. (Quite expertly, in fact.)
- Wrote the best choreography article that I have ever published in the GCA Call Sheet.
- Married their high school sweetheart.
- Self-published a set of the most highly regarded choreography reference books in square dancing, teaching several generations of LGBTQ dancers (and their friends) how to dance.
- Received a CALLERLAB Milestone Award.
- Created the most extensive databases of callers, choreography, and singing calls on the internet.
- Wrote what is considered to be one of the leading caller choreo and music management applications in the industry.
- Rescues bees.
Is there anyone here who hasn't figured it out yet?
Yes, this year's recipient is THE CEDERS: Vic, Debbie, and Caitlyn!
Unfortunately, Vic and Debbie Ceder couldn't be here due to COVID-19. They're still isolating at home.
However, at the very last minute, after I had arrived here in Minneapolis, I found out that Caitlyn was going to be in attendance.
HEY CAITLYN...GOTCHA, HON! (C'mon up. It'll be mostly painless, I promise.)
While Caitlyn is making her way to the stage, and for our first-time attendees, let's discuss the Ceders for a bit.
Vic and Debbie created the Ceder Chest line of choreography reference books.
If you haven't seen their website at Ceder.net...it's massive. Vic just keeps bolting on new and wonderful things. I don't know a single caller who doesn't refer to it frequently
Debbie created the best-ever article on how to write choreo for the GCA Call Sheet. I hope she'll grace me with another article some day.
Oh ... Vic and Debbie also created Caitlyn, who our community has danced with and watched grow up in LGBTQ square dancing, so she has approximately 1,100 guncles and gaunties. And she has turned out to be as brilliant and gracious and vivacious as her parents.
The Ceders roam all over California, rescuing bees; if you don't follow Vic on Facebook, his pictures are really quite terrifying, yet fun.
Vic and Debbie are also one of only three sets of people who have now received both the Golden Boot and the CALLERLAB Milestone award. Barry & Pam Clasper, and Betsy Gotta, are the others.
It is customary for the Golden Boot recipient to receive a gift from the presenter. Because Vic and Debbie had to cancel out of attending Twin City Spin at the last minute, and I was unaware that Caitlyn was attending anyway, I did not bring either their gift or the Golden Boot plaque with me.
I will deliver these items to Vic and Debbie in person, along with treating them to a celebratory dim sum brunch at a time and place to be determined. (Knowing Vic, he will probably appreciate the dim sum more than the gift.)
My gift to the Ceders is a set of custom jewelry designed by Portland, Oregon's Eric AhernSawyer, cofounder of Jewels of The New Antiquity.
Eric has been very patiently working with me for the last nearly three years to refine our joint design ideas into something we both hope the Ceders will enjoy.
For Vic, Eric has created a belt buckle incorporating elements of square dancing and beekeeping. Eric told me after studying what he described as "hundreds" of photos of Vic calling on Facebook and the internet, he realized that thousands of people might see this belt buckle at future dances, so he was quite self-conscious about it. My helpful comment to Eric, of course, was "NO PRESSURE, DUDE!"
The musical notes on the buckle are from "Love Me Honey Do", for which I owe Chip Prince a debt of gratitude (and lunch) for his diligently transcribing music for me from the vaguest of possible descriptions. He's been very patiently waiting to find out what the hell I was gonna do with it. Thank you, Chip!
For Debbie and Caitlyn, Eric has created an intricate bee-themed necklace and earrings, to be divided as they both see fit.
And now, after a three year run of keeping this under my hat, it's the Ceders' turn to figure out who should receive next year's award.