My father—Son of Comet—was a History teacher who was particularly adept at the retelling of old stories from the African American Folklore genre. I think that, at one time or another over the course of his teaching career, he must have brought home every book on Black Folklore that his school library possessed.
Once he’d mastered a story, he’d put his own spin on it then either; retell it to me, my brother and sister or, for the more risqué ones, to the guys sitting around the town square.
The square was actually a “squircle” but, that’s part of another story.
My favorite were the “Ghost Stories”. In addition to the stories, he had the “Shaking Hand” routine. When executing the “Shaking Hand” routine, the room would be darkened. We would lie in bed with the covers pulled up to our chins, anxiously peeking into the dark.
Then silently, the…
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