Monday, October 5, 2009

National Storytelling Festival: Sights

Ah, Jonesborough, Tennessee, the mecca for storytellers and story lovers from all over the United States! The tiny town comes alive each October when thousands of people visit to hear stories and enjoy the beauty of this oldest town in Tennessee.

Some traveled the festival streets in style. Me? I walked. And walked. And walked. It's good for me, right? Wish my feet agreed with that.


In front of the International Storytelling Center is Doc McConnell's Medicine Show wagon. From the festival's beginning in the mid-1970's, Doc was a fixture. He passed away this year but his wagon was there as a monument and testimony to his memory. What a man he was. Many people recorded stories in front of the wagon, recalling past festival memories.

Tents were filled to overflowing. I snapped this during a break since photography is not allowed inside the tents during performances. Each tent seats about 1000 people, and each one I saw was nearly full. Sundays usually have lighter attendance than the other festival days.

In the Courthouse Tent, the train tracks are very close by. During one session a train that was surely one of the longest in history decided to pass by in the middle of Sheila Kay Adams' story about the aunts who decided to change a relative's suit--when he was in the coffin. Squealing brakes and chuffing cars caused a long pause in the story, which sure drew out our anticipation of the possible ramifications the aunts might face in their endeavor. What a story. And true, or so Sheila Kay claims. I believe her. People can and will do the most amazing things.


The Festival's end. Streets emptied fast as listeners and tellers trudged to their cars to begin the journey home.

1 comment:

Susan at Stony River said...

You've got me in love with Jonesborough. Putting the wagon in its place alone is so sweet... and I'd love to hear the coffin-change story; sorry to hear about the show-stopping train however! LOL

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