August Swap Update 2016

A convivial group of 19 listeners and tellers gathered for shared stories on a balmy summer evening. We heard about people and animals from Texas to West Africa, Mexico and beyond.

Katy and Laurie gave reports from having attended the recent Sierra Storytelling Festival held in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Nevada City, California. With a casual setting in amphitheater under the trees, six excellent professional storytellers, a Slam competition, open telling, and friendly folks – a hot time was had by all!

Meg reminded us that our presentation of TELLABRATION!™ will be on November 19. Everyone who attends our Swaps and appreciates good storytelling, is invited to help spread the word and volunteer with simple tasks so that our team effort comes shining through.

It’s always great to greet “regulars” who often come to the Swap, and to welcome newcomers each month as well. Our setting is relaxed and encouraging to all tellers, beginners and more experienced alike.

Laurie started us off with her true tale, “Sweating it Out” about finding herself locked inside a friend’s car! She told this story at the Sierra Storytelling Festival Slam’s theme of escape, and tied for second place out of twelve.

Cal relayed a story called “Airport” about a series of mishaps a woman had while trying to book a flight, ending up with two lottery tickets, but no plane ticket.

Katy shared her “afterglow” feeling of love and connection in the days following her experience at the Sierra Storytelling Festival. Lovely to be reminded that stories are all about love and connection.

Mary told a charming story with what at first was a befuddling title, “How I Found a Lost Dog in My Teacup.” True life is indeed stranger than fiction.

Alicia’s story from West Africa was about a man named Cosmo and his effort to pass along his debt. In various ways, a monkey, lion, tree, and others had, then got rid of, the debt…until it came back for Cosmo.

Our host Elaine told the story of The Empty Pot, from China, in which the emperor needed to choose his successor from among the boys in his kingdom. Honesty prevailed when only one boy admitted he could not produce a thriving plant from the (sterile) seed issued by the emperor.

Before taking a break to enjoy snacks including homemade apple bars, we formed a friendly circle to introduce ourselves and state what our favorite food is. A variety of answers (surprising that only one person declared it to be chocolate!) had us smiling, nodding and licking our lips in agreement.

Cal returned to the stage with a story of comeuppance a young boy dished out to his domineering grandmother. Upon her yelling at him unfairly, he deliberately flooded the bathroom. When asked why, the boy answered reasonably, “Now I gave her something to yell about.”

Mary’s story about Cinderfeller had a magic tree that revealed the true nature of the boy and his mean stepbrothers.

After someone mentioned during our favorite food sharing that theirs was the first tomato of the season, Laurie was reminded of her own “first tomato” experience and told us about it.

Robin described having lived in the hot, dry, dusty Texas panhandle and three kinds of plant life that managed to grow there…along with the associated memories she has of what they meant: the poky poisonous plant, sweet smelling honeysuckle, and the mystery of tumbleweed.

Newcomer Patricia told about her childhood in Guadalajara, Mexico and what it was like leaving her home in a big city for her grandmother’s in the country. From fresh milk direct out of the resident cow to a myth about a monster in the lake, her visit was vivid!

Elaine told her ever-popular tall tale, “One Bullet Left” about how she learned to hunt while living in the Virginia wilderness. Believe it or not, a bear, a deer, seven ducks, a rabbit, turtle, and a bounty of trout all came her way, one way or another, by using just one bullet.

Our next Story Swap will be Tues Sept 13. Plan to come and be carried away by stories, meet and greet fun, imaginative folks, and perhaps tell us your tale.

Posted by Laurie Reaume