Friday, November 30, 2007

Hambone Hambone – Where You Been?

“Been around the world and goin’ again!” slap slap slap! (that is me slapping my stomach and legs to give a beat to the song).

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The Juba dance or hambone, originally known as Pattin' Juba (Giouba, Haiti: Djouba), is a style of dance that involves stomping as well as slapping and patting the arms, legs, chest, and cheeks. It is similar to clogging and the jig, and "pattin' Juba" would be used to keep time for other dances during a walkaround. A Juba Dance performance could include:

* counter-clockwise turning, often with one leg raised,
* stomping and slapping (v.s.),
* various steps such as "the Jubal Jew", "Yaller Cat", "Pigeon Wing" and "Blow That Candle Out".

I tivoed Bamboozled yesterday and am watching it in bits and pieces. It is unbelievable. But, I’ll save that for another blog.

The movie reminded me of a guy that we named Hambone because he did the hambone body slapping to rhythm so good. Hambone was a white guy, about our age, but more or less a drifter. He somehow materialized among us Marietta boys in the summer of 1960 in Daytona Beach. We got a kick out of him because he was such a party animal.

After all, we were at Daytona Beach to party - not sit around and discuss physics of the stars and solar systems above us or oceanology or anything like that.

Weeks later on his way back to his home in Chattanooga he stopped by Marietta and looked up some of the friends he made on the beach and if I remember right, lived among us for a week or so. Then he went on his way.

It seems he made a second appearance in Marietta a year or two later on his way to someplace else.

Now Hambone is about 66 or 67 years old. I wonder if he ever settled down. I wonder where he has been? Did he go around the world and go again?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jean said...

My guess is that Hambone is dead if he didn't settle down soon after you last saw him. It doesn't sound as if he had a lifestyle that promotes longevity.

5:46 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Jean,
You never know. He could have taken a different path - changed his name and made a big name. One time in the 70s I saw Mac Davis to the Hambone on TV - and their facial features are similar - you never know.
However, I agree with your probability-wise.

6:34 AM  

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