My Dad In A Dream And That Time He Sang “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley” Into A Bottle Of Ranch

My Dad In A Dream And That Time He Sang “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley” Into A Bottle Of Ranch

A Joyful Memory Created and Captured

Have you ever had such a vivid and beautiful dream that you had to write it all down the moment you woke up? In the early morning hours of January 12, 2024, I had a dream that left me shaken, tearful, and warmly encouraged. As soon as I got to my desk I scribbled all the details I could muster onto the pages of a journal gifted to me after my dad passed away.


January 12, 2024

Last night I had a vivid dream that was about one scenario that went on for a while and abruptly changed plots.

I found myself in the old Mosaic (Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas in Little Rock, AR) offices at the old Wal-Mart. I had spent five years of my life working there among the wide open warehouse-like space with cubicle partition walls to create the set-apart office space.

In my cubicle, I noticed a Iamp or something delicate like a piece of art was broken. So I was on a mission to figure out what happened. There were kids playing kickball or soccer in the wide open space, and their ball was hitting the cubicle partitions causing them to knock things off that on shelves or hanging directly on the partitions. This dream was calm and bit stressful, even though I was Sherlocking (investigating) a minor church crime: kids breaking stuff. (It happens.)

Plot twist.

So I suppose the case of the broken office decor was wrapped up, and I walked down a short hallway that led to a sitting area in the lobby. I don’t remember seeing Nash so far, but I knew my son was with me. Right after I sat down at one of the tables, my dad walked towards me through the hallway where I’d just come from. He was healthy looking and lucid and alert. I thought to myself, “I must be dreaming.

I continued to sit there sort of stunned into inaction. Then Nash walked through the hallway, and I thought, “Surely Nash won’t see him which will confirm that I’m dreaming or seeing things.

Imagine my shock when Nash walks towards Dad and does one of those shoulder-arm pump-fakes as if to say “You want some of this!?” in a joking manner which made Dad jump a little and start laughing. Then they hugged each other! Were Nash and I BOTH being visited by my deceased father? Were we both seeing the same hallucination?

I think all of this happened so quickly that I was still processing what to say.

Then my brother-in-law Anthony walked up, saw Dad immediately, and also gave him a strong hug. We were all sitting here now with my dad.

[Note: Time is weird in dreams. Sometimes I dream about the past and know within the dream that it’s in the past. Like maybe when Dad was still alive. In this dream, I knew it was the present, a full 18 months since we lost Dad to a major stroke. This was surreal!]

At this point, I still hadn’t said a word. The first thing I think to ask is, “Are…are you okay?

Dad sort of chuckled. He was indeed okay. There was so much peace in his very alert and “with it” eyes. We hadn’t seen those eyes in years.

Dad got up to walk away, to go back to where he came. I jumped up and rushed toward him, eyes filled with tears. I got a close-up look at his shirt, it was soaked with his own tears. We hugged for I don’t know how long, and he looked me in the eyes with so much pride and peace. I don’t remember if he spoke anything during this sequence, but his eyes said everything.

Then I woke up.


Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley

Thinking of Dad with clear joyful eyes and all his wits about him reminded me of this video of him singing “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley” into a bottle of ranch dressing. Right after our family Christmas dinner gathering, for some reason, he just started belting out this song as we laughed (hard). If memory serves correctly, he bought HIMSELF that CD player, and maybe the CD. He hit play with no fanfare or warning and started jamming out in the kitchen.

Recorded on December 23, 2006, this was the first video I ever posted to YouTube. Hilariously, it has nearly 15,000 views, and for several years after publishing it, some viewers would come back year after year leaving comments on how much joy it brought them.

I love that I captured this silly moment and still get to share this part of my Bob “Cotton” McBryde with others. He was one of a freaking kind!

Enjoy! Smile! And hug your people.

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