Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Freeman BarBQue

On August 29, Isaac Freeman, member of both Beaver Creek Storytellers and the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild invited all members to an end-of-summer BarBQue. Above is a photo of Connie Gill, President of JSG, with Isaac to her left. Slightly behind her is David Claunch, another storyteller.

About 30 members attended. Isaac, and his lovely wife Alice, entertained us at their farm out in the country near Marion, VA. Their log-cabin farmhouse is charming and in spite of some pop-up rain showers, we all had a great time. Isaac's home-made BarBQue is mouth watering.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Art Of Story III

Mary Grace Walrath and Paul Conco were the featured storytellers for the Aug. 23 session of The Art Of Story, a series of storytelling and education produced by Director G. Lee Hearl.

An audience of 25 applauded heartily at the four stories selected. Paul started off with a tale of college including a tribute to his muumuu-wearing mother who paved Paul's way with letters to those in charge. He later told an adaptation of a Russian folktale featuring his uncle, a Judge, who meted out justice to a local baker who wanted to charge for the aromas that emanated from his shop.

Mary Grace chose a personal story, also about a college experience in which a professor caught a liar with a unique invention. She then shared a cleverly modernized adaptation of an old German folktale in which a young girl enjoys sampling roasting chickens until she's devoured them and then must concoct a "story" to explain their disappearance.

A brief business meeting to discuss our upcoming Graveyard Tales followed the stories. It will be held on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weaver-Union church picnic area on Weaver Pike.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Becky Vickers Tells "The Advantage"

The photo is of Becky Vickers telling her original story "The Advantage," at the Bristol Public Library on Sunday afternoon on Aug. 9. The story illustrates Becky's philosophy that sometimes a disadvantaged "critter" (the family pet) might need a little help in order to obtain justice.

Becky also told "Pecking Order" which is a tale of a wife who finds out just where she stands in the priorities of her husband, Rooster Willey.

Mimi Rockwell was the other storyteller (that's me)! I told about my two names, one given at birth and the one chosen as my storytelling name.

I chose my 2nd story because its setting is a county fair held around the courthouse square. I'm always reminded of that fair at this time of year because of the Appalachian Fair that is always held every August in Gray, TN between Kingsport and Bristol.

And I had time for a 3rd story so I chose the scary tale of Esmeralda, a story I first heard from a West Virginia storyteller I met at a Festival when I first moved to this area. I've forgotten the name of the teller, but the story remains vivid.

And that's an important point to make--it's the story that's important and not the storyteller!

A small audience turned out and only a few BCS members were there probably due to vacations and the beautiful outdoor weather following many weeks of rain and cool temps.

But Becky and Mimi enjoyed themselves just the same since they both tell stories "just for the fun of it." It was good practice for our Graveyard Tales that will be coming up.

G. Lee Hearl, BCS Director, also played guitar and sang one of his original songs, "The Ceiling Fan."

All three storytellers write original stories. Becky bases hers on true incidents from her youth growing up in East Tennessee. I often tell about my Hoosier heritage, but really have a variety of stories I have either created or adapted. G. Lee says he enjoys getting older because he can enjoy his second childhood all over again as he reminisces about his own youth as well as many of the SW Virginia characters he has known.

The next performance in this series "The Art Of Story" will be on Aug. 23.
Storytellers are yet to be named.
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