On August 2nd Chris and I met a legend. I can honestly say that I looked forward to meeting Dancin’ Dave whose real name, Dave Whatley was not known as widely as his beloved Dancin’ Dave name. Dancin’ Dave passed away this past week and his Homecoming Service is today at 11:00 A.M. Friday, September 25, 2015, in the Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Headland, Alabama. I suspect it will be attended by many admirers, family and friends and while I will not be in attendance my heart will be there.
Knowing that I was able to meet Dancin’ Dave mere weeks before his death gives me so much happiness. I would have loved to have known him earlier but my life was made so much richer by those hours that Chris and I spent with him. We met his “handlers” Debbie Yurevich and Lori Barefield at The Blue Plate in Dothan for an early lunch where Dave devoured his lunch.
As we walked through the restaurant it was obvious that folks “knew” Dave. A lot of them. People were quick to open doors for him, offer assistance to get to the bathroom, smiling and greeting him all the time and that is what made me feel that I was in the presence of an amazing man.
His body was beginning to fail him and in his simple way he asked for very little in the last days of his life. When we went to view the peanut in Headland that had been dedicated just weeks prior to our visit with Dave he happily sat and posed for pictures for us with his signature smile and hand wave. I flooded his lap with Little Debbie treats that probably overwhelmed him but he took a shine to the Banana Creme variety in particular and on that hot and sticky day he ended up with probably more on his fingers than in his mouth but he happily licked that off.
So today I bow my head in thanks to our Lord for allowing me the opportunity to meet Dancin’ Dave Whatley and thank Debbie and Lori who made sure it happened. It reaffirms in my mind that I always want to take those opportunities to make connections with people who are interesting and who have a story. We see them all the time and sometimes just ignore them but I know that each of those people who has a unique story and voice is an important part of life.
If you missed my original post about Dancin’ Dave you can read it by clicking here.
Dancin’ Dave’s obituary is here.
More about Dancin’ Dave in the Dothan Eagle.