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Timeless Love

Dancers in the Night
Dedicated to Barry Right Malpass

Submitted by Kathryn

The first time I met my in-laws, Barry and Joann, was at a "Pumkin Chunkin" festival held in lower Delaware on the first weekend in November for the past several years. The "Pumkin Chunkin" challenge is to build a machine that will toss leftover Halloween pumpkins across barren cornfields the farthest distance. There are games, food, and musical entertainment as well. The wind was blowing arctic gusts that day, and everyone was all bundled in several layers to keep from freezing, but that didn't stop Barry. As soon as the band played a song that struck a note with him, he grabbed Joann and they started dancing together. A group of "pumkin-chunker" watchers stopped to enjoy these two tripping the light fantastic across this frozen country field, oblivious to everything else except for the music and each other. I think I fell in love with them as well as my husband that day. Their joy in each other was always contagious, and it touched everyone around them. They were in their late sixties then, and in the eight years since I have known them, they never let an opportunity pass to dance together, not caring whether or not anyone else was dancing or who was watching. Childhood sweethearts, Joann and Barry held hands wherever they went, and they went everywhere together. They enjoyed many vacations to all parts of the world, but their last trip together a year ago was to Hawaii, where I know that many evenings they danced the night away to the sounds of exotic Hawaiian guitars and drums. These memories will always be very special, for as much as they enjoyed life and each other, nothing is forever. Barry passed away this past September from liver cancer, and Joann buried him with his dancing shoes on so they can dance once more someday when they are together again.


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