Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Halloween Storyteller

With Halloween looming I'm reminded of my one particular uncle blessed with the art of storytelling. He was from Indiana; taught biology and coached basketball but it was his wit and smile and that particular gift of his that I remember the most-especially this very spooky time of the year.

There was one particular poem he'd recite and everytime he did we sat breathless, gearing up for that last sentence spoken with such certitude and fear. Although he'd recite it any time we asked, it was this time of the year of witches and ghosts and creepy, dark shadows that the ending of that poem sent shivers through our little spines. Of course it was all in the delivery-and deliver he did every single time.

"Little Orphan Annie" was the poem. It was written by James Whitcomb Riley who was born in the very city in Indiana where my uncle lived with my aunt and four cousins in an amazingly elegant, old Victorian home filled with amazing antiques he and my aunt restored. It was a great place to visit. They were lots of fun and that Victorian fit well with that storyteller. Is it any wonder that when he was about to recite that last line, that our hearts were beating a little faster and a tingling of nerves was setting in? No matter how many times I heard this, I still jumped right out of my skin.

With his eyes fixated and his Hoosier drawl in spooky mode, this uncle turned Halloween storyteller slowly let these words out. As I write them, I can hear him and see him and miss him greatly:

"The Goblins Will Get You-If You Don't Watch Out!"

Happy Halloween Storyteller!

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