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From John Ratliff written during the island’s storm season
After I finished playing at Memory Matters, a new volunteer came up to let me know how much he enjoyed my set. He’s an engineering graduate of the University of Virginia, a soft-spoken southern gentleman with a beautiful accent that I could listen to all day long. We were chatting about traveling and the imminent mad holiday rush which is going to be made more difficult by the line of storms moving in from the west when he shared the following story.
“It was during hurricane Mathew. We had evacuated to a relative’s place outside of Greenville. His house sits way up on a hill. From the big dining room window, you can see all the way down his beautiful, sloping three-acre front yard to the miles of forest surrounding his property. We were eating lunch when a very hard rain began to fall. Someone noticed a couple of deer had emerged down by the tree line. Then a few more appeared, and then a few more, including some magnificent bucks. As the herd was getting pummeled by the rain the strangest thing happened. One of the young bucks jumped over a female, and then she returned the favor, leaping over him in a playful manner. Before long the entire herd was dancing around like magic ballerinas. We all put down our knives and forks, pushed back our chairs and went to the window. The deer continued to frolic like that for almost half an hour. We all marveled at the incredible rain dance which had appeared before us like a vision in a child’s imagination. But it was real, right there in front of us. I’ll never forget that experience for as long as I live.”
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