Joe and Dottie Todd were loyal and faithful dancers in the Catskill Mountain Squares, a square dance club in Arkville, NY. Although Joe had all appearances of being a little frail and hunched over, I clearly recall him jumping up with both feet in the air along with Seager “Sig” Fairbairn. Dottie was a very mild-mannered lady. She continued to dance even though she had a stroke. It was a pleasure to have them attend my dances.
If you’ve ever danced to me, you’ve probably realized that I enjoy talking with the dancers. Sometimes, it’s a difficult task to talk with everyone at each dance. The Catskill Mountain Squares danced at the Arkville Fire Hall in Arkville, NY. The hall had a stage at its far end and chairs formed a horseshoe shape around the exterior.
Joe Todd was sitting at the first available chair near the stage. During the first break, I looked at Joe and said, “Joe how are you doing?’ He replied, “OK”. I proceed around towards the back and talked to some other dancers, and I returned to the stage to do the next tip.
Once I completed that tip, Joe once again was seated in the same seat as before. I again acknowledged Joe’s presence, and I talked to others in the hall. As the break ended, I went back to the stage. This scenario was repeated several times during the dance.
The dance ended, and I went home with my family as usual.
The next Friday evening, we had the Catskill Mountain Squares dance once again. The crowd again had our friends Joe and Dottie. As usual, Joe was seated in the first seat near the stage. After the first tip, I proceeded to walk and talk to the crowd. I looked at Joe and started to ask him, “How …”
Joe stopped me from completing the sentence.
I waited to see what was going on. Joe responded with the following,”I know you were going to ask me how I am.” He told me that I asked him about 8 times the week before, and he went to look in the mirror figuring I might have seen a health issue he didn’t know about. He didn’t have any health issues, so he figured I was just being awkward. I was.
We both had a chuckle and the dance went on. From that point forward I made a concentrated effort to have a full conversation with Joe early each evening.