This time to Albany, New York via Buffalo. I'm off to the Sharing the Fire Storytelling Conference in Albany, stopping first in Buffalo to hook up with Lorna; then we'll travel together to the conference. She is a featured teller for the Friday night concert, and I'll be presenting a showcase on Appalachian ballads on Saturday.
I've been unpacking and re-packing this evening, and packing eBay sales too--what a day. But I am so ready to see so many friends I have not seen in several years, and to spend time with Lorna. We've been friends since 1997, I believe, mostly online but occasionally getting together at conferences and storytelling festivals. Another treat will be seeing my friend Karen Chace, who writes an excellent storytelling blog. And Kate Dudding, who made me some wonderful woolen socks and is also an awesome storyteller. And donna Dudinsky who will be coming down from Canada. And many, many others.
Storytelling is like a family; there aren't that many of us, you know, and we get to know each other over the years, often online, and so when we have an opportunity to get together it's like a family reunion. Once at the national conference in Denver several of us got on the elevator with a man in a business suit.
He said, "You are all storytellers, aren't you?" We admitted it.
He said, "I was down in the lounge last night." Uh-oh, I thought. We were kinda loud, singing and talking until pretty late. Was he upset about that?
"I have never experienced anything like the way it felt last night. You all have something special, you know that? The rest of the world needs what you have." The elevator doors opened and he got off. To this day I remember his face, and treasure his words. I hope that sometime in the following years he found storytelling again.
So friends, I will most likely not be blogging for a few days unless an opportunity presents itself. You have a good weekend, enjoy this lovely Spring weather, and I'll be back to tell you all about the conference and to complete my story about our trip to the coalfields of West Virginia.