Patty McCollom, President of The Living Tradition, has written the following short history of The Living Tradition. In the future, this history might be expanded to include additional information. Click here to view a PDF vesion of this history.
Brief History of The Living Tradition (1982 to 2019)
December 21, 1994 was the official launch date for The Living Tradition as a non-profit organization, but the organization actually started 12 years earlier. In 1982, Carolyn Russell started hosting informal concerts and dances at her home in Garden Grove, California. Many of us remember going to Carolyn’s house on warm summer evenings to hear talented performers and to do contra dancing on the patio.
Since the informal inception of The Living Tradition in 1982, to this writing in 2019, there have been four Concert Coordinators. Carolyn Russell was the first Concert Coordinator and Dance Coordinator from 1982 until 1998, when she retired from active involvement in the organization and moved to Lucerne Valley. At that point, Steve and Michele Dulson took over as Concert Coordinators. After eleven years, they turned over the Concert Coordinator position to Gary and Terri Trobridge, who had previously assisted as volunteers for a concert series in Texas. Gary and Terri managed The Living Tradition concerts for seven years from 2010 through 2016. At the end of 2016, they turned the concert series coordination over to Ron Bloom and Carol Schryver Bloom, who are the current Concert Coordinators.
There have been four Dance Coordinators from 1982 to this writing in 2019. The first Coordinator was Carolyn Russell, followed by Rich Di Marco. When Rich moved out of the area, Lynn Ricketts became the third Dance Coordinator until a job transfer took her to Florida in 2016. At that point, I, Patty McCollom, took over as Dance Coordinator, and I continue in that position.
An outgrowth of the monthly concerts and dances was the request by local musicians to have a monthly music jam where beginners as well as seasoned pros could make music together in an informal setting. To my knowledge, there have been only two Jam Coordinators: Emil Olguin and myself, Patty McCollom. The jams meet for a couple of hours prior to the 4th Saturday contra dance and have become quite popular. These jams feature everything from Celtic music to Blues to Old-Time American music.
Many thanks to all of the volunteers who have worked tirelessly on behalf of The Living Tradition, so we can continue providing high-quality concerts, dances, and jams to our community.
The Living Tradition Timeline
Dance and Concert Locations
· Carolyn Russell’s Garden Grove Home (dances and concerts)
· Anaheim Arts Center on Harbor Blvd. (Saturday dances; hall subsequently torn down)
· Ball Junior High in Anaheim (Saturday dances and concerts)
· Woman’s Club of Bellflower (Friday dances)
· Rebekah Hall in El Segundo (Friday dances)
· Anaheim Downtown Community Center (Saturday dances, concerts, and jams)
Dulson, S., Romano, B., & Romano, J. “Featured Organization-The Living Tradition” [PDF file]. Folkworks January/February 2001: p. 13. Web. <>.
S. Dulson, personal communication, Aug. 5, 2019.
L. Ricketts, personal communication, Nov. 11, 2018.
T. Trobridge, personal communication, March 30, 2019.