halloween'ing 2017golden arm
It was October of 1984. I was at a sleepover at a friend’s farm, along with various other grade school chums. We were out in the back area, near the grove of trees that seemed to go on forever. The sun had gone down a while ago, and we were all sitting around a fire, and began telling stories ghost stories. I mostly listened, myself having not yet developed the story-telling skill, and not being well-versed in some of the more traditional campfire stories. But, these guys did. One of which was the classic tale, “The Golden Arm”.

Doing some research on the history of this particular folk tale, “The Golden Arm” dates back to at least 200 years prior, and was used by one Mark Twain as an example of how to tell a story.

Truly, the best way to get the most out of this story is to tell it orally. And it’s not just how you tell it, but also the place you’re telling it and the aesthetics of the setting are part of the whole experience. That night, all those decades ago, was the perfect setting, which is probably why this story has stuck with me for so long, and probably was instrumental in collecting folklore and ghost stories.