Monday, October 11, 2010

Storytelling Festival 2010

Jonesborough Welcomes Storytellers and Listeners

BCS Graveyard Tales 2010

Click twice to see photos of other BCS storytellers

Graveyard Tales 2010

      Beaver Creek Storytellers entertained an appreciative audience of around 50 people Sat. night at the 13th annual Graveyard Tales. Tellers were Mary Grace Walrath, Glen Williams, G.Lee Hearl, Becky Vickers, Carole Ann Miller, Pat Musselman, and Mimi Rockwell. 

     Mary Grace opened the program with the classic story, "Tailey-Po." Glen Williams followed with a story of his college days and the haunting of the theater's rehearsal room. G. Lee then told his much-loved tale of "Coffin On A Rail."

     It was a warmer night, or should I say less cool, than it has been. However, between the stories and the sun going down, it was quite chilly by Intermission time. The hot chocolate was goooood!  

     Some State Street stores had donated some very nice items for door prizes and about a dozen were given away during the Intermission. 606 State Street Gallery had donated admission to an art class; Blakely Mitchell Men's Store donated three quality men's ties; Kiln-N-Time donated a pottery piece; and The Blowfish Emporium donated

a print of a tropical scene. Some books, jewelry, a Mikasa glass dish, and toys made up the rest.

     After the break, Becky Vickers told a tale of a frightened girl in a graveyard with a surprise ending; Carole Ann Miller with a delightful Scottish accent told a story of a Scottish princess who sewed britches for a humiliated brute who had been haunting the village; and Pat Musselman told the classic scary tale of Mary Culhane.

     Mimi Rockwell, who had been M.C. for the program, ended the program with a story to help you face your fears--but she had to scare them first.

     It felt good to have many of the old gang back together. G. Lee's surgery has given him new energy, and Mimi is back using stories to help recover from Rocky's death.

     Because my camera batteries kept losing their charge, I did not get many pictures. I'm posting what I got in the sidebar. As other members send me some of what they took, I'll post those later.  

New Venues

Beaver Creek Storytellers has been trying out new venues through these months thanks to members G. Lee Hearl, Pat Musselman, and Carl Jenkins.

Several monthly performances followed by a business meeting were held at the Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon. Admission was free and a small audience attended.

An art gallery on State Street in Bristol, The Blowfish Emporium, held BCS performances for a month or two, but then discontinued.

For the past couple months, 606 State Street Art Gallery has hosted BCS on the second Thursday of the month, with performances starting at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments are served and admission is $5.00. Several of the new members have joined through this venue. I am hearing reports that it is working out well and will continue. 

Pat Musselman serves as liason for the last venue. I also want to recognize Carl Jenkins  for obtaining donations from State Street businesses for door prizes for BCS events, especially our Graveyard Tales. You have both been wonderful volunteers for our organization. 

New Members

     The BCS Membership Drive took place in the Spring. There was some delay in getting all the dues paid but everything is caught up now. Paying dues means you can attend BCS functions without paying, and you are included on the business e-mailing list. 

     All 2009 members renewed except for two plus the two members who are deceased.
In addition, one performing member was added, Sandy Shortridge of Grundy, VA. One performing member moved away, Paul Conco. Three Apprentice members were added, Glenn Childers, Carl Jenkins, and Sam Samuel.
Three Supportive members were added, Mary (Kathy) McCarty, Mike Miller, and Ron Tittle with one Supportive Member moving away, Diana Conco.

     This brings BCS to a total of 28 members.

Performing Members are:
     David Claunch
     Judy Farlow
     Isaac Freeman
     G. Lee Hearl
     Carole Ann Miller
     Joyce Moore
     Lester "Toon" Murray
     Pat Musselman
     Leon Overbay
     Mimi Rockwell
     Sandy Shortridge
     Becky Vickers
     Mary Grace Walrath
     C. Glen Williams
     (Total of 14)

Apprentice Members are:
     Glenn Childers
     Carl Jenkins
     Sam Samuel

 Traditionally, BCS has asked Apprentice Members to try out their stories at one of the monthly storytelling events, have a total number of stories that would fill up a 60-minute show, provide the titles and length of those stories to the Director. The BCS Director will decide once they have completed these requirements if they are ready to become a Performing Member.

Supportive Members are:
     Wilhelmina Banks
     Alice Freeman
     James "Butch" Lane
     Sheila Lane
     Mary (Kathy) McCarty
     Mike Miller
     Ron Tittle
     Chris Vickers
     Gary Walrath     
     (Total of 9)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday To Many Of You

     Once again "Happy Birthdays" have been missed. None have been posted on the blog since last March. So let's correct that right now.

     April Birthdays: 
          Diana Conco and Mimi Rockwell - April 1
          Carole Ann Miller - April 19

     May: No Birthdays

           David Claunch - June 13

           Gary Walrath - July 2
           Lester Murray - July 3

           Joyce Moore and Becky Vickers - Aug. 25
           Paul Conco - Sept. 18

           Isaac Freeman - October 4
           G. Lee Hearl - October 11

     November: No Birthdays

          Pat Musselman - Dec. 6
          Wilhelmina Banks - Dec. 8
          Sheila Banks - Dec. 27


Back At It

     My life has taken a different turn since I last wrote. My husband, Rocky Rockwell, entered the hospital mid-March and passed away on May 11. I have not felt like doing any storytelling or keeping this blog up to date.

     However, five months later, I'm beginning to feel the urge to get involved again so am planning to do a few events yet this year. I also intend to start posting once again to this blog. I'll begin by saying a few things about Rocky who was a founding member of the Beaver Creek Storytellers.
     I believe Rocky had been a storyteller all of his life. When I met him in 1974, I knew him as a first-rate conversationalist and teller of anecdotes, usually over a restaurant dinner table. On car trips, he would entertain me with tales of his past experiences in school and the newspaper business from which he had retired shortly before we met.
     We moved to Bristol in 1982 when Rocky got a job as a professor at Virginia Intermont College. We had never even heard of the Jonesborough Storytelling Festival until 1987 when friends came to visit; one of them had read something about it in a newspaper. She and I drove to Jonesborough to check it out and in the first tent we visited we heard Donald Davis. We were hooked and excited to share news of this fun activity when we got home and told our husbands.
     Rocky and I started attending the Jonesborough storytelling festival every year. We began to learn about its organization and other storytelling organizations. In 1996 we went to a storytelling event at a Jonesborough restaurant and by the end of that year we had joined lhe Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, a small local group that told stories once a week at the restaurant we had attended.
     Storytelling woke up our creativity and soon we were both writing and telling stories on stage. A year later, Rocky, G. Lee Hearl, and I started the Beaver Creek Storytellers in Bristol. 
     Rocky's passion for the Art of Story continued and he became a member of the Board for the National Storytelling Network and later for the Tennessee Storytelling Association. He was a featured teller for the Corn Island Festival in Lexington, KY; the Blueberry Festival, and the Great Oaks Festival in Mississippi; Sharing The Fire in Boston; and several other festivals and conferences in Tennessee, Virginia, and Alabama. 
     Unfortunately, in 2004 Rocky was diagnosed with lung cancer and although he was cured it left him with severe COPD which, with other health problems that occurred, led to his death this year. With his illness, his passion for story waned, but it was never fully extinguished, and he was always ready to "talk story" when we hosted a visiting storyteller. 
     I'll finish this by telling a little anecdote about Rocky's last month. He was in a nursing home following his hospital stay, and one beautiful day the end of April, he felt good enough to get into a wheelchair and let me push him outside to breathe in some sunshine and fresh air. We discovered a little garden and about 8 people were sitting grouped together in a small pavilion. Some were patients and some were nurses aides.
     I pushed him into an empty spot and then began introducing ourselves and soon I was asking and answering questions. Rocky was clearly enjoying it all, but was not feeling up to talking. However, after a short while he leaned over to me and in a low voice said, "With another couple people, we'd have an audience." 
     That was our last delightful day. 

     Beaver Creek Storytellers will miss Rocky's ability to think clearly to solve problems, to be innovative, and to be a kind critic. Most of all, I believe they will miss his clever stories, all original, many of them humorous, but others touching the heart strings. Favorites were "The Hurricane," "The Last Shot Of the Civil War," "The Long White Shark," "JFK and The Camera," "The Adoption Story," "Jackie Mitchell," and "Old Age."