hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


January 18, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: 'Dancing with the Stars' hits home

Did I ever tell you about the time I got a rousing ovation for a dance I did at the lake one summer?

I didn't? Well, read on. You're going to like this.

It was a warm September afternoon, and I was closing down my camp for the season. One of the more undesirable tasks is raking the leaves and gathering the acorns, which fall by the zillions.

Anyone who has a home by a forest of trees knows the feeling. For every acorn that falls, two others take their place until your back gives out.

It was the year singer Neil Young came forth with his new release, "Harvest Moon," a sequel to his "Harvest" album of the early 1970s. If you're a Neil Young fan like I am, you know the score. It's music to dance by.

Anyway, I grew infatuated with the title song — so much that it was dancing in my head whenever I played the CD. Here's how some of it goes:

"Come a little bit closer. Hear what I have to say. Just like children sleepin,' we could dream the night away. But there's a full moon rising. Let's go dancing in the light."

Well, to make a short story even shorter, the afternoon was wearing thin and I had the earphones plugged into that track and out came the song. I went into one of these dreamlike moments and had my rake in hand.

There I was on the edge of the lake, swooning all over the place with my rake, eyes closed, oblivious to the world and its problems.

What a ridiculous sight this was, dancing with a rake for all of five minutes. The music was intoxicating. So was the pose.

When the song ended, so did my reverie. And that's when the applause rang out. A couple of row boats with anglers aboard saw the bizarre sight and approached my lakefront home. They stood and gave me that rousing ovation like I had just scored a 10 on "Dancing with the Stars."

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