Thursday, October 18, 2012

#BookChat Dance With Me by Carol Dabney


Dance Me Home is based on the true life story of my father, who was born in Texas in a log cabin. He was a United States Navy Man during world War II. He was 17 when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese that Sunday morning in 1941 and one of the youngest to enter the war. We sat around for decades listening to him tell the stories of what happened over there. We took it for granted that he would always be around to tell us a story or two. In his eighties, his Alzheimer's actually took him back to even more vivid memories, and I realized I needed to write it down. The amazing things my dad had to do to survive during that time, and how it drove him to alcoholism later, and the dramatic conversion in Christianity that helped him triumph. One thing is very clear, he never stopped thinking about a beautiful girl he met before the war, he dreamed about her and longed for her, and made plans to survive the war because of her. After the war he went looking for her and found her again at the dance.

She had been born in Cuba. Her mother's marriage to her father had been arranged. The man she married had come from America. He was a Cherokee Indian and had stories of his own about his grandparent's travels on the Trail of Tears. They moved  to America when she was eight, and she attended an all girls Catholic school. Her father died just a year later. She had polio and was told she would never walk again, but her inspiring faith made her whole, and she loved to dance. During the great depression years the Spanish beauty helped feed her five siblings by standing in soup lines.

Dance Me Home is a love story weaved in with some American history. It is the story of how one soldier's dream to dance became more powerful than the dance itself.  Its a journey of one American family from the end of WWI to the present age.

From the Author:

Dance Me Home is about my father's life story. It's a romance during WWII and took me three years to write. I read it to my dad and mom in the nursing home, and they got a kick out of it and so I wrote more, how they met at a USO dance, after she said finally said yes to his proposal, past the romance was every day life but great adventures, babies, alcoholism, faith, their lives before they met, which includes a boat ride from France and a walk with the Cherokee Indians on the trail of tears, and finally the humorous parts of Alzheimer's, and the dance continues...
Its an amazing love story and journey of two peoples lives.


Chapter 20 "Yes"
"Did she dare believe him? What if he really had thought about her while he was at the war? He fought for his country and came back to this cruelty. She suddenly felt bad for having been so unkind. She had never meant to hurt his feelings straight up. Up until then all their talk had been a game. but now the expression on his face revealed a vulnerability she had not expected. Before she realized it, she was running after him and apologizing and found herself saying, "I didn't mean it. You can drive me home. Look, I want you to drive me home."

She was glad to make him smile again. Then a twinkle came into his eyes, so she added sternly, "But that's all. Don't expect a kiss or anything." He gladly agreed to her terms and drove her home.

With refreshed energy and hope, he jumped out of the car to walk her up the sidewalk. She walked fast ahead of him. He grabbed her hand, pulled her around, and held her close. Before she knew it he kissed her. While she stood speechless, he had the nerve to ask, "So can I pick you up tomorrow night?"

To his surprise, she slapped his face. Then she let him see a hint of a smile before she whipped around, answering as she continued to walk, "I guess, if you were to be here at seven, I'll consider it. Maybe." Then she disappeared into her house, shutting the door. He smiled at the door. He smiled at the sidewalk. He smiled at his car.

 Chapter 23 "Christmas Wedding" (Post WWII)

"My father, like most other young men had already poured all his money into a new automobile. It was all he owned. As they drove away to their honeymoon destination, he asked her to count the money in the glove compartment. She counted to what came to  less than a dollar in coins. "Ninety-eight cents." She announced and flippantly tossed the coins back into the glove box. She suddenly had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. She turned to him and asked sternly, "Why? Why did you want me to count the money in the glove?" She had an uncomfortable guess as to the answer.

He replied with a nervous chuckle, "Well, I just wanted us to remember how much money we started out with."

She was stunned at this revelation. However, seeing her eyes tighten, he quickly pointed out. "Oh but don't worry. I have our rent for the whole month paid and a great job lined up. It pays thirty-five a week, so we'll be fine"

She relaxed her body back into the seat and replied, "Whew, for a moment you had me worried."

Behind the Scenes:
It sure is hard to pick a portion out of a book that has 62 chapters and talks about a person's entire life ... My folks were married 65 years, so this is just two little moments. My father passed away last year and my mom last week. It is a tribute to them. I read most of the book to them and they loved hearing their life in storybook form. Dad slapped his hand upon his knee one day at the nursing home and declared, "I had no idea I was so interesting." It's a fun book. It is written very plain and simple, easy to read, and liken unto that of the Little House books, I've heard people say. Which I love by the way.

Author Bio:

I was raised on a farm in Arkansas. Studied Italian Opera and became a singer-song writer for Tom Moffatt Productions in Honolulu, Hawaii. Then I was a disc jockey and a music resource teacher for over 20 years. Last but not least, I raised five great children and wrote a children's book about my grandson Noah and my daughter Lieutenant Melissa Dabney entitled Military Mommy.

Dance Me Home is available at Amazon.


  1. Carol, I just have to say that as I read your book, I was so very touched when I finished that I sat quietly contemplating not only the story but the emotion inspired. This is a wonderful story to enjoy but it is also a glimpse to times long gone by and people, places, life, love, trials and triumphs and a courage of spirit you were able to capture in the words and pages of your book.

    I listened to the song you wrote and could not stop tears from slowly running down my face. You are such a gifted person in so many ways. I feel blessed not only to be able to enjoy your writing, music and art but knowing you as a person and being able to truly call you my friend.

    I write about your books and music and art not because of a friendship but from truly being inspired by you and all that you do. I will alway keep my copy of your books and read and reread. You are amazing.

  2. This sounds like a lovely story, Carol. I look forward to reading it. I started out writing about my parents, putting the vignettes I captured during my talks with them in a three-ring binder that my mother kept as a coffee table book and proudly showed to every visitor to their home. The time I spent talking with them about their lives was a gift to them and to me. Sounds like your time with your parents was just as precious.