A few days later I left for several days of storytelling in central West Virginia. I started with a ghost stories program in historic Philippi, WV, home of the first land battle of the Civil War (more of a skirmish, some claim), the two-lane covered bridge originally built by bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth, and the Philippi Mummies.
I spent the following week preparing for the third annual Ripley Believe It or Not Lantern Walk. It was so good to have the luxury of a clear week to review, research and prepare the stories for this year. While some are repeats (and favorites of the listeners) I add new details each year as well as new stories and historical anecdotes to keep the walk fresh.
This year I visited the two cemeteries in town, finding graves of the early settlers and other people who figure in my stories.
|The grave of Henry Progler, a Swiss immigrant who was|
one of the early movers and shakers in Ripley.
This old photo from the scrapbook shows the covered bridge (no longer in existence). I had not seen a photo this old of Ripley, and it has some fascinating details, like the paling fence around the courthouse.
More catch-up in my next post!