“Dancin’ Fool” was the first story that came to me whole and nearly fell on the page by itself. That us why we called magic. The inspiration for the story was, what seemed to me then, an elderly relative at a family reunion. He danced by himself or with any woman or child who would dance with him. I couldn’t get the image of him out of my mind. A few years later, I was taking a college writing class and needed to write a story. The narrator’s voice came to me as though someone were whispering the story in my ear as I hurriedly scribbled down on a yellow legal pad. Of course, this story is a fabrication of my own imagination and in no way relates to the actual person who inspired it. I know nothing of his personal life. I still think of that old guy from time to time. He’s probably dead now, but on a late summer’s many years ago, I saw a man full of the joy of living. In a way, he gave me a great gift:
Some folks might have called him a dancing fool, but Henry liked to dance. He guessed it had started when he was a baby and his folks took him along to play parties, square dances and such. Now as a grandfather he’d come back to the place he grew up for a reunion with all the people he remembered from the old days. It was a time to renew old acquaintances and relive memories.