A good day for wing flapping

Tommy aka 'Byron Bay Dancing Man' and star of 'I'm Free To Be Me' by TropfestA quickie post while I figure out what poem I’ll post next and where I’ll put it.


My daughter sent me a video I want to share.  The title, “Free to Be You and Me,” sounds like a coloring book for a self-esteem presentation.  Self esteem presentations make me gag.  But I didn’t gag watching this.  Mostly I laughed, and when I finished I wanted to dance and did.


Tommy Franklin, the subject of the short film, loves to dance in public spaces.  Cynics will call him an attention hound.  I call him a really really great dancer who’s spreading joy and kookiness in a world that needs both.


I love his advice to viewers:  “If you’re out of your cage, by all means, flap your wings.”  If I had a tattoo, that would be it.  If you’re out of your cage, by all means, flap your wings!


I relate to this guy in a particular way because when I was in 7th and 8th grade and as odd as odd can be, I used to tap dance on my patrol post in the morning.  (Which was, by the way, an entry ramp to the Capital Beltway along a very busy road—no kid would be given this responsibility today.)  A classmate’s father later told me that he’d see me on his way to work and it made his day to see me shuffling away on the sidewalk. Yes, I was showing off (albeit in a socially suicidal fashion), but doggone it, I was born to flap my wings.


Here’s the link.  Enjoy!


And R.I.P., Mr. Mullholland.  That was a beautiful compliment to share, one I’ve held onto all my life.  And, er, uh, I take back what I said about self-esteem presentations.  The one he gave had me smiling for hours.  Years, even.



  1. Kelly

    Great story! I wish we all felt confident enough to dance when the spirit moves us! I am amazed how self conscious people get about dancing even in a situation with a dj and great music. I attended a very tame 50th birthday party last year that was being held in the birthday girl’s back yard – they had a fun dj and no one would dance!! I really wanted to dance so I finally gathered a group of tweens and teens to join me on the patio and requested some fun music that would appeal to them (and me). Now that is an age group I can relate to! I often say that there is not enough dancing!!! Where does one go to dance these days? i guess if you are Tommy Franklin you just hit the streets!

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