Sometimes you just have to delight when the Universe and the Internet collide.
Hugh, a gentleman from England, was seeking permission to “assemble a book of dances suitable for calling at English dance clubs,” and he wanted to include some American contras, in particular some of Gene Hubert’s dances. His Google search turned up a tidbit of information that Jenny Hubert, Gene’s widow, had posted a comment to my blog entry about Gene’s death. Hugh emailed me asking if this meant I had a contact address for Jenny.
I did not know that I had a contact email for Jenny until I checked the details of her comment. Lo and behold, there was an email address. Since I am a privacy advocate and did not want to give Jenny’s email address to a stranger, I forwarded Hugh’s request to Jenny, and she responded:
“Thanks for your email and your desire to protect my privacy as well. I believe Gene would be pleased for his dances to be used, as long as he is given credit. He never charged for his dances and I think he assembled and distributed the dizzy dances books at his own expense. He never made any money from writing contra dances and I believe he wanted people to have free access (callers and dancers) and to share the joy of calling and dancing with others.
Macon and I are doing well. We think of Gene daily and know he lives on in our hearts and in the spirit and joy of dancing everywhere in the world. I am so thankful to have known Gene and for him to have fathered my son. Macon has many of Gene’s physical features and he is growing up to be a delightful boy, turning 6 in November. Warm Regards, Jenny Hubert”
Jenny & Macon Hubert, 2007
Photo courtesy of Jenny Hubert
Then I told Jenny that I had accidentally found a great web link to a bunch of Gene Hubert dances. This happened when I was researching dances on Michael Dyck’s excellent web site, which I use constantly! She wrote back:
“I took a look at the link you sent me and had found the original document that is sited in the attic about two weeks ago. That document speaks to Gene’s wishes regarding use of his dances, in his own words, and I think that is a great link to cite for those who seek permission, as well as my comments, since I suppose his copyrighted work became my property, and people are seeking to do the right thing in getting permission to publish his dances. … I don’t have a problem with your putting my email address on your blog entry. The contra dance community has been a great source of support for me and Macon in the love they sent to us in thought and deed. My email address that is likely to go with me when I get a new computer is email@example.com Jenny”
Jenny, thanks for sharing Gene’s dances with the world. Gene lives on in our hearts and spirits and through our dancing feet. Part of Gene also lives on physically through Macon. Huzzah to you for teaching Macon to love music and dance! And to Al Gore, or whoever actually invented the Internet, muchas gracias.