I am Dayrl Merrill. I am the Caller for the Purdue Krazy Eights Square Dance Club.
I started dancing in the fall of 1970 with the Bi-State Steppers of Winchester Indiana. I also started attending Purdue University as a freshman in the the fall of 1970. After about a month of Lessons with the Bi-State Steppers I was at the Co-Rec on Campus playing Table Tennis with some friends when a group of people came in and explained they had the room reserved every Monday night and that we would need to use the other room with Table Tennis equipment. As we were leaving I noticed what appeared to be equipment for square dance calling. So after finishing the game I was playing I returned to see what was happening in the room we just left. What I found was the Krazy Eights teaching lessons. As I was watching one of the girls came over and took my hand and said come on we will teach you how and led me into a square dance. She didn't ask if I knew how so I didn't offer that I was already taking lessons on Sunday's back home.
After a little bit the Caller called a move that I had learned the night before but he hadn't explained yet. However my partner and the couple facing us already had completed lessons and so they automatically did it as well as I. When the other squares all failed my partner looked at me and asked if I knew how to dance. So, I explained that I had about 5 weeks of lessons out of 26 but had just learned the move Square Thru the previous night.
I contined to go home for lessons and also joined the Krazy Eights so very quickly the lessons back home became review. The Krazy Eights teach the entire set of lessons in one semester.
I continued to dance with them that year and the next. At the end of my Sophmore year I was elected club president for the Fall of 72 through the Spring of 73 semesters.
The Caller for the Fall of 72 was a student and he was graduating in December and would not be there in January. I toyed with the idea of calling but didn't really commit to the idea. We found anothe local caller for one of the clubs in Lafayette and he agreed to call for us staring in January.
After the first night he said that while he enjoyed it he would need to be paid for his efforts on a weekly basis. The Krazy Eights did not have a very large treasury and we could not afford this. So the club officers got together the that night for an emergency meeting. I said if they would put up with me learning to call and teach while teaching lessons I would purchase the equipment and records and give it a try. They said they would,
The next day I went down to a local electronics store in Lafayette. They did not have the equipment in stock but it was in one of their supply catalogs and they could order it and have it in three days if I paid for it in advance. So I did and by Friday I had the microphone, turntable and speakers. On Saturday I drove to Indianapolis to a Square Dance Supply store that stocked records. I bought several that I knew we had been dancing to that I liked and tok them back to the dorm and practiced. Monday, January 15, 1973 I started teaching my first set of lessons and started my Calling career. I had taken 2 sets of lessons and had as a dancer for three other sets of lessons, so I drew upon that experience.