Lovett Hall (Dave Taylor)

lovett-hall

DAVE TAYLOR – Re: Dick Moore Tapes

Bob  Brundage –Today is December the 3rd, 2005 and ….

Dave Taylor – It’s January 3rd.

BB – January 3rd, right. Both laugh. There you go. I’m sorry. It’s tough to get old you know. Today we’re talking by telephone with Dave Taylor down in Florida. I transcribed a tape by Herb Egender and Herb mentioned the fact that Dave had made this tape that he’s going to tell you about and that’s why we’re on the phone today to discuss that a little bit more. So tell us a little bit about how you came about getting this tape or these tapes in the first place Dave.

DT – Well, actually it was my idea to make the – what do you call it – the Callerlab Award, the Milestone Award.

BB – Yes.

DT – My idea was to submit Benjamin Lovett because I grew up in the Detroit area and knew about the Ford dancing. I didn’t know a lot but I had heard a lot about it. Callerlab told me it’s OK to go ahead and see what I could do about finding out more about it so I went to the Dearborn Greenfield Village Museum in which they let me go through the archives which they don’t let many people do and I was surprised but they did and they gave me all the articles and all the writings on square dancing and how Mr. Ford was involved. They showed me the musicians. You know, he had a set of various violins from his Ford artists instead of fiddles. He was quite a guy. I think I told you the story about that he actually went out to Massachusetts and he was introduced to some square dancing there and Benjamin Lovett was the dance master for the hotel resort. He liked it so much he wanted Benjamin Lovett to come back to Dearborn, Michigan with him and Benjamin said, “Well, I can’t. I’m under contract to this resort.” So Ford went out and bought the resort the next day to get his contract.

BB – Right.

DT – So those are the kind of stories I ran into and in doing so – there were guys in the Ford Archives who said, “You ought to see Dick Moore. He’s still around here. He lives in Dearborn. He’s all retired now and what he does, he’s over at Fairlane which was Ford’s home. Because he was retired he would go through and give people a tour through the home and give them the history of Fairlane and how it looked. I developed a kind of a relation with him and decided to take one tape here I made of one of the interviews with him and then I – he made another one for me which he calls ‘The History of Dancing’ and ‘An Evening of Dancing at Fairlane’ which is cordoned off and has a little ballroom in his home there where he had square dancing there and the dancing over at Lovett Hall which he built to Benjamin Lovett and a couple of the inns he had around there in the Michigan area. He just spoke square dance. He had all the people who were in education come and take lessons from Benjamin Lovett and all that. He didn’t want to promote a lot of square dancing.  So, I got these tapes and I guess I told a little bit of the history of that and I wrote that article which they put in Sets In Order about the history of square dancing in the Detroit area. It turned out that they did make – Benjamin Lovett got the Milestone posthumously that year. This tape that I’ll send to you is my interview with Moore and then in the one of Moore has, on the other side of that tape, there was some records which introduced me to the music of the Dulcemer, you know. Then the same thing on another one, an evening at the Fairlane. I’ve two tapes here of him singing it. I also have some other tapes here, I don’t know if you’re interested, I’ve got a tape of – I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of or maybe you’ve even got it – it’s the Fireside String Band Square Dance Tunes For A Yankee Caller which came out of New England. Have you ever heard that one?

 

BB – Gee, I don’t think so. Not that I know of.

 

DT – Well, I’ll include that one in ….

 

BB – Yeah, great.

 

DT – …. I’ll be sending you so far these three tapes….

 

BB – OK.

 

DT- …. but I don’t know – I think I probably told you – your brother and I went and we threw a weekend and you were mentioning Lovett Hall shutting down. That’s a shame. We threw a special weekend out there of contra dancing you know.

 

BB – Right.

 

DT – Well, anyhow that’s about it. I’ll be happy to send those out to you and then I have an idea – you said you have a tape machine which makes duplicates.

 

BB – Yep.

 

DT – I don’t have one and I really don’t have a very good tape machine to tell you the truth.

 

BB – Yeah, well I’ve got a copier.

 

DT – So, another guy has been after some of these tapes from me and that’s Kappie Kappenman. You’ve heard of him?

 

BB – Yes.

 

DT – Do you know much about him Bob?

 

BB – Well, let’s talk about that when we finish the tape, OK?

 

DT – OK

 

BB – I wish you’d tell us a little bit more about the cotillion that you and brother Al did. I think you did it for two years, didn’t you?

 

DT – No, we just did – I think we just did one and what it was I was involved in another one that was – it would be when the National Convention was out in Detroit the next year and they rented the place and had me to come in and call. It was quite a place. There was quite a history behind that.  When I was calling in Lovett Hall and, of course we do it up brown. We had like – we dressed very formally you know. Ford had his people dress very formally and I had – my mother was still alive then – I had her come down to visit Al and I and she knew your brother Al real well. She came in, gave me a big hug and said, “Well, you finally got here” and I said, “I got where?” She said, “In this hall. Don’t you remember?” I said, “I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.” She said, “ Well, when you were a little kid about five or six years old I took you the Greenfield Village and all this and they had this hall and, of course it was daytime and (??) Lovett Hall.” And you kept saying, “I want to go in there Mom. Come on, let me go in there Mom” and she said, “You can’t go in there.” It was locked up, it was daytime you know and she said, “Only very important people get to go there.” And she said, “So, you finally got to go there.”

 

BB – Laughs – There you go. That’s great.

 

DT – So that was about it. I got a lot of information about how Ford got things rolling and things and I think – you got a copy of that thing I wrote up in Sets In Order magazine for it didn’t you?

 

BB – Yes. Probably. Yeah. Can you describe Lovett Hall a little bit.

 

DT – Oh God yes. Oddly enough people don’t realize it’s on the second floor. So he built an entire building with classrooms and everything. When you go up the grand stairway it’s all the old fashioned polished wood. When you enter the hall you’ll see one of the most beautiful floors you’ve ever seen of complete India teakwood imported from India. It’s just polished up beautifully and there were three chandeliers which were brought to Dearborn by train and they were from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – when they remodeled that place they were going to kind of – so Ford bought their chandeliers out of their hall. He had them all brought in and put up in Lovett Hall. It’s really a gorgeous place. It’s all brick on the outside and just top notch stuff on the inside.

 

BB – I’ll bet. Is there seating capacity around the outside or –

 

DT – Just – not in – it’s not built for viewing. It has a row of seats around the perimeter, that’s it. They do have a room outside then that you can sit down but it’s good for relaxation or socialization but not good for trying to watch out of the parlor outside the dancing area.

 

BB – I see. OK. Well, that’s all very interesting Dave. So, I appreciate your taking the time to call me and tell me about this and I’ll certainly look forward to getting the copies if those tapes. Did you say you have some papers there too?

 

DT – I don’t know. I’ll look through. I don’t believe so. I don’t know in that room if I have that article that I wrote and some stuff in there. I guess there’s been a lot of history besides that. You can still go there and see the musical instruments. They’re over in the museum. It’s really a fascinating place.

 

BB – Yes, I’ll bet. You don’t have any pictures?

 

DT – I’ll look around. I had a picture of the hall somewhere. I’ll make myself a note. You got my change of address. We just recently moved.

 

BB – Yes, I did,

 

DT – I have so damn many things still in boxes, you know but I will make an honest effort to try and find them.

 

BB – OK. Well, let’s call this the end of the tape and stay on line and we’ll chat some more.

 

DT – OK.

 

End of Tape – End of Interview

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