Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tellabrations! Two and Three

I have been Tellabration-crazy this year. Tellabration began as a day set aside for the celebration of storytelling, to be held the Saturday before the US holiday of Thanksgiving. it was intended as a day for storytellers to give back to their communities; most events are free but any money collected was to go back to a storytelling guild or other means to support storytelling.

Then the idea caught on, and events spread from the US to worldwide, and the dates spread too. Tellabration now covers most of a month with events all over the globe, and in my area there were three within driving distance. I've not been able to participate much in recent years so this year I decided to take part in as many of the scheduled events as possible. The first was held in October as part of WVU's Mountaineer; the second was this past Thursday evening in Athens, Ohio, and the third was Saturday, on the original Tellabration day, in Beckley, WV. The Beckley event is the longest-running of the three, having been in existence since at least 1997 when I participated for the very first time (and was terrified!).

I wrote about the WVU Tellabration earlier, so I'll catch up now with the other two. The Athens event was held at the Athens County library, in an inviting, open setting that allowed patrons to listen as they checked out books and did other work in the library. Three women and three men told tales and sang songs. I was the only out-of-stater, but I am really just over the river from Ohio so I feel part of the storytelling scene there. It was a good night with good stories and a relaxed atmosphere.

Then Saturday I drove down to Beckley, about 2 1/2 hours south of home. Larry had intended to go with me originally as we were invited to stay at the home of storytelling friend Danny McMillion, but he was nursing a cold, and my oldest son and grandson were arriving for hunting season, so Larry opted to stay home by the fire and play host to our visitors until I returned.

The event was held at Tamarack, West Virginia's premier arts and crafts showcase. I was mesmerized by the displays of gorgeous artisan glass.

The staff at Tamarack were putting up trees and other decorations and the place was looking beautiful.

The telling was Spectacular! Sue Atkinson, a transplanted southerner with a soft Georgia accent, was out MC.

Terry Farley
Terry Farley led us off with his hilarious comedy, songs and jokes. What a funny man he is! Then Scott Hill told us about his son's quest to be a professional team mascot, I told a story from my husband's childhood in a coal camp and sang a ballad or two,

Fred Powers followed me with stories from his 20-year experience as a coal miner,
and John Wyatt wrapped up the show with songs and stories from his days working for a West Virginia Railroad. It was just perfect, and the audience showed their delight by staying afterward to talk with us and thank us for the stories. 

The Greenbrier cafe's tree
We stayed to eat dinner in the cafe run by the Greenbrier resort, delicious food and good conversation making a good end to the day. Then I followed my friend Danny to her lovely vintage home and more good conversation followed. She made me an awesome breakfast the next morning and I was soon homeward bound.

Stories, stories. They wrap our world, explain our world, make us laugh and cry, and teach us compassion and joy. Where would we be without them?

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


annie said...

Good for you!
It all sounds wonderful!

Brighid said...

I don't comment often, but I do read your posts. Thank you for keeping story telling alive in so very many ways.

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