Just Another Square Dance Caller is the biography about the life of the late Marshall “Flip” Flippo; a legend in the world of square dance callers. Those who knew him best recognized him as a humble man who never stopped insisting that he was “just another square dance caller” who had been lucky enough to turn his passion into an over six-decade career. This story is truly a legacy to his body of work, humor, wisdom, and love of life.
- 2021 Book Excellence Award Finalist
- 2021 eLit Silver Award
- 2021 New Mexico & Arizona Book Awards Finalist – 2 Categories: Biography Other & Nonfiction E-book
About This Book
Just Another Square Dance Caller is more than a biography filled with the remembrances and stories of a 90-year-old man with 64 years’ experience in the world of square dance. It’s a unique and colorful retelling of the life and times of Marshall “Flip” Flippo; a legend in the world of square dance callers. Flippo was a Navy veteran, father, husband, and proud Texan who lived a life of passion and zest until his passing in 2018.
With chapter titles like Three More Ships & Baseball, Burma Shave Jingles, North and Then East, South, & Home for Christmas, Four Special “Once Mores,” and Callers Flippo Called, Worked, & Slept With, this biography will give readers an entertaining look at the long life and career of a man who claimed to have aquired his first big career break in a chicken coop.
Flippo may have been considered a Renaissance man by many, but those who knew him best recognized him as a humble man who insisted that he was lucky and oftentimes “at the right place at the right time.” He also maintained until his passing that he was “just another square dance caller” who had been blessed with the opportunity to turn his passion into a career. Just Another Square Dance Caller is truly a legacy to his body of work, humor, wisdom, and love of life.
Just Another Square Dance Caller by Larada Horner-Miller is the authorized biography of Marshall Flippo, a man who did so much more than provide dance step instructions in fluid succession. At nearly 800 pages, Horner-Miller does an intensely deep dive into the person, the profession, and a life lived that was both meaningful and impactful to all who knew him. She includes stories, photographs, how his career started and how it progressed, and the personal life and relationships that evolved alongside—for better or for worse. There are paper clippings and letters, dance moments, and events that stood out, such as a trip to Japan where he met Emperor Hirohito’s square dance-loving younger brother, Prince Mikasa. The stories and pieces of the memoir go on in beautiful detail throughout, painting a vivid portrait of a man who stayed true in all he did.
I picked up Just Another Square Dance Caller knowing almost nothing of the craft of calling, and little more than a basic knowledge of square dance in general, and set it down as an avid fan of both the artform and Flippo himself after reading. Larada Horner-Miller has compiled a magnificent tribute to Flippo, who sadly passed in his nineties after a career spanning more than six decades in 2018. Most helpful to me were the clear descriptions of the mechanics behind calling in order to educate the reader and also highlight what a rare gem Flippo was. Horner-Miller makes it all even more relatable by letting us know that there was much even she wasn’t entirely sure of. There is a time she recalls asking him what “phrase calling” is and he cheekily answers, “That means calling on phrase.” It was a dual “ah-ha!” moment when it was explained that was made more entertaining with Flippo’s humor. This is a fabulous tribute to an extraordinary man to be enjoyed by those who were lucky enough to know him or know of him, and those of us lucky enough to learn about him now.
5 Star ReadersFavorite.com
This book is a wonderful trip through the life of one of the most famous square dance callers in the world. The stories are in Flippo’s own words, and include many of his experiences, friends, and travels. It is a great read about a very common, uncommon man.
“This is truly an unfiltered conversation between Larada, the author, and our beloved friend we called, “Flip”. We enjoyed the book’s colorful insights into what shaped the unique character, mentor, and friend we all came to know and love.”
~Mike & Lisa Seastrom
“Such a GREAT book! Larada truly brings the spirit of Flip to the page. You’ll laugh, then you’ll cry and then you’ll laugh some more. It will always be my honor to call him, “Friend.” To those of us who knew and loved him, he’ll never be, “just another square dance caller.”
“Drawing on a collection of homespun stories gathered from interviews and an assortment of family scrapbooks and photographs, Horner-Miller has assembled a biography of Marshall Flippo, her square dance–calling hero and friend. In addition, the author offers a compendium of square-dance culture and luminaries from the 1950s to the present day.
Flippo loved telling stories, and the lively narrative reflects his proclivity for changing topics midstream, as one thought triggered side trips down Memory Lane.
An intriguing portrait that should appeal to square-dance aficionados.
These days, we tend to forget the illustrious life and career of legends in different fields as soon as they pass. The reason is that there is no proper documentation of their lives in tangible form. Great achievers are mentioned in passing in today’s conversations because no one took it upon themselves to document the stories of these great men and women before or after their demise.
In Just Another Square Dance Caller, Larada Horner-Miller, took it upon himself to ensure that the life and achievements of one of the world’s foremost Callers are not banished to the unknown past. He shared the story of legendary Marshall Flippo’s dance calling career. The book is the biography of Flippo. He lived his life touring different parts of the world, calling dances. In this book, the author shared juicy details about his life.
The book has some positive points. I love that the author made the story more authentic by letting Flippo tell most of the story by himself. For the most part, Larada Horner-Miller only replicated words obtained from Marshall Flippo in their interview sessions or regular conversations. Again, I love that the author infused Flippo’s accent in his writing. I am sure anybody who met Flippo and had a conversation with him during his lifetime could hear his voice in their head as they read this book. Also, I love the honesty of the work. Flippo was not eulogised all through the book as we have in many biographies. His struggles, failures and the bad parts of his life were equally documented in the book.
On the negative side, I did not appreciate how lengthy the book was. The book contained a lot of long stories that made it unnecessarily vo lu mi nous. For instance, the stories in the chapter where different people were allowed to share stories about Flippo could have been limited to just a few persons. There was no need of having too many people share their stories. Some readers may find that to be boring.
The book was exceptionally well edited. I found no spelling or grammatical errors in it. The spelling and grammatical errors in the book were intended to reflect Marshall Flippo’s accent. Consequently, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I didn’t give the book a lower rating because I enjoyed reading it. However, because I found a lot of the unnecessary stories shared in some chapters to be boring, I deducted one star from the book.
I recommend this book to lovers of a detailed biography. Lovers of Square dance calling will also enjoy the book a lot.
Why is this an authorized version? I had Flippo’s permission to do it, and I spent over 40 hours in interviews to gather the information.
Our dear Marshall Flippo passed away on November 4, 2018. He so wanted to be able to read his biography. You have two choices for paper: hard back or paper back. For an e-book version, choose Kindle, iBook, Nook or Kobo.
- May 5, 2020
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