a piper (as in bagpipes) passed the window, followed by many people. Men in kilts two days in a row? It seemed bizarre; the previous day at Prickett's Fort there were several men in kilts for the Celtic Heritage Festival. Had they followed me to Grafton? Larry slept right through the music and commotion while I stepped outside to see what was going on and found...
a Scottish wedding in full swing. You can almost see the piper in the background, and there was also a harpist (you might be able to see her hands on the strings to the left center of the photo---everyone stood up just as I snapped the picture). I didn't stay because I didn't want to intrude on the private ceremony but it was so fitting to hear that music sounding over the water.
As night fell, I began my storytelling set at an outside location. The naturalist worked hard moving and cleaning benches as more and more people arrived for the session. We ended up with about 45, I think, of all ages.
I tried out a new story and feel comfortable with telling it. I plan to add a Civil War ballad to the story, probably Going Cross the Mountains, along with more information about the Civil War in West Virginia. And maybe, when I have time to learn it, I'll also add the Casto Hole, a Jackson County ballad that is linked to my ex-daughter-in-law's--and so to some of my grandchildren's--family and homeplace in Statts Mill, WV.
The evening extended until almost 10:00 as we talked with some of those who attended. The best part of storytelling (besides sharing the stories, of course) is the people I meet; second best is the many beautiful places, like Tygart Lake, that I have been fortunate enough to visit. Being a storytelling is like being a modern-day wandering minstrel in some ways--taking stories and songs to people where they live, traveling the countryside in search of audiences and new tales to tell.