Everyone Has a Story: Don Denny

It’s a typical Thursday night at Huck Finns where music fans come to hear the 4th Dimension with singer Joe Cody and Jan-Arden Petersen but there’s another attraction drawing a crowd on this night a man by the name of Don Denny.

CJ Hoffman is a friend and fan of Don. “I think the majority of people just think he is living life to the fullest and no one believes he’s 89 years old.”

Gloria Oberg is seeing Don hula hoop for the first time. “I only hope when I’m that age that I can be out there dancing and doing what he’s doing.”

Joe Cody says Don has been following him from show to show for 3 years now. “He brings his hoops out and he just inspires people with his energy and his love for life,” said Cody.

Jan-Arden Petersen says hooping is one of many things the 89 year old does. “I found out he snowboards, he rides motorcycles. He does everything a man his age shouldn’t do according to society’s opinions but he does them anyway without any thought to it.”

“In 2005, I got a DWI and I thought ‘Well that’s enough of that”, so I quit drinking and then I’d go over to Leo & Leona’s and a girl saw me tapping on the table and she kept after me until I danced and then I couldn’t quit,” said Denny.

Don makes all shapes and sizes of hula hoops.  A triangle, octagon and weighted ones are his favorite.

“I’ve had several inventions and when I do something I can’t quit,” said Denny.

Don says making hula hoops is one thing using them is another. “The happiest moments in my life were when I go out with all the people and just have fun,” said Denny.

Don turns 90 in April.  He planned on ringing in the year jumping out of a plane and then decided he couldn’t wait!

You can see Don almost every night of the week wherever there is live music.



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