May Swap Summary 2016

At our May 10th Swap, we had a lively gathering of 25 people, and 12 tellers ranging in age from 18 to 93! With our question of the month: Where were you born? we discovered that 90%+ of us are California natives. Also, at least half were born on or near Navy or Army bases, with fathers who were serving in the US military.

Special mention:
Do Tell Swapper, Brandon Spars, recently competed in the Moth Radio Hour Story Slam in San Francisco and came out the grand prize winner! He shared with us his winning story, based on the theme “Leaps.” If you’ve heard Brandon tell stories before, you won’t be surprised that this one was set in Sumatra and included a squid, monkey, bus ride and much excitement. Brandon’s recording of the story he told live to a large audience during the competition will be aired on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour, broadcast nationwide. Congratulations, Brandon!

Other announcements: Host Elaine shared about her recent visit in Washington state with Do Tell co- founders Kenneth and Patricia Foster, where they hosted two storytelling house concerts for neighbors and friends.

Beth gave a summary of the Bay Area Storytelling Fest and acknowledged Elaine (24 years) and Martha (30 years) for their leadership and work on the festival, in particular Martha’s quilt making and coordinating.

Pat started off the evening’s telling with a humorous tale set during the Spanish Inquisition, called Debate by Sign Language, that involved mixed signals between a chicken man and the king, where both parties got their hoped-for outcome.

High school senior Liam described his harrowing encounters trying to tend aggressive chickens, in what he described as the worst and scariest job at boarding school, worse even than feeding firewood to the huge, hot boiler in the basement where rats rambled.

Pam relayed a Russian story, Sack of Diamonds, about a 100 year-old woman’s dilemma upon receiving such a gift from the king, and not knowing where to hide it for safe-keeping. Next time you gaze at a star-lit night sky, notice how those gems twinkle!

Rosemary entranced us with an ancient Japanese tale about an artist whose painting came to life; the image of a friend in a rowboat he’d painted saved his life from an evil emperor.

Katy’s imagination took off on a feel-good spring day when she imagined an operatic tenor singing just to her from the balcony of an Italian restaurant as she walked past, and in real life she made a spontaneous gesture of kindness in buying a cup of coffee – with lots of honey – for a person she met along the way.

Martha told a story from Japan about a girl mouse’s father who wanted her to marry the most powerful creature in the world. Was it the sun? clouds? the wind? No, it was the boy mouse next door whom she most wanted to marry. He could chew through walls, making him more powerful than all others.

First-time teller Clara described, in good humor, her unusual summer camp experience that turned out to be more Miss Gertrude and bible quotes than the brochure’s promised horseback rides.

Cal weaved a story about his gramma, a Swedish immigrant who landed in Utah, and his recollections about the sugar cube treats he received after finishing his chores.
Laurie relayed in poetic fashion her tribute to a remarkable, resilient and compassionate woman, who we learned at story’s end, is her own mother.
Elaine told us of an unfriendly neighbor who changed his behavior with the help of a mask, and described how the folks who thought him hypocritical were the ones who needed to peer in the mirror.

Finishing out the evening of storytelling was newcomer Rachael who, with great animation and joy, told a Russian folk tale of a traveler seeking wondrous wonders and marvelous marvels, and found them in a magical goose.

Summer is here and it’s light out late, so come on over to June’s Do Tell Story Swap on June 14th. Bring your story or just come to listen. All are welcome!

Our annual TELLABRATION!™ is coordinated by Meg Brown, who is seeking volunteers now and in the months leading to our November 19, 2016 big event. In the immediate future, we would like one or two folks to step up and help with publicity year-round for our monthly Swap and for TELLABRATION!™ The work entails submitting event info to various local websites, and on occasion, sending email or making phone calls. No long hours, research, or complicated tasks – just an hour or so every few weeks. If you are interested, please contact Meg at (707) 887-7996 or email her: Thanks!

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