Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last Thursday. I know it was a rough night with the traffic and news from the Aurora bridge but I’m grateful to everyone who turned up and supported all the storytellers.

We had a lot of heavy stories at this show and I was touched by the kindness and patience that over a hundred audience members gave each of the tellers. Anyone who has been following us for a while knows that my goal with Fresh Ground Stories is not just to give people a night of free entertainment. My goal is to give people a place to share stories they can’t share anywhere else. Sometimes it’s safer to share stories with strangers than it is with our own family. I guess that’s why so many tellers ask me for a recording so they can send it to their parents or siblings.

One of our newest members told a story about her husband dying that took a lot of faith and courage to share. It was amazing to see her coming to terms with her new life as she pushed further and further into the story. Those last two minutes are something I’ll remember for a long time.

One of our regulars, Cavan, told a story that I know he’s been keeping inside for months. I remember earlier this year when he told me how his father died. I knew back then that part of his healing would be to get onstage at Roy Street and talk about it. Thanks for letting him do that.

As always, I gotta give special thanks to our first-timers, Kat, Amy, Amelia and Lynn. You guys did great! Kat and I discovered we read the same book of love letters between Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz. We found out that Amy has a soft spot in her heart for arthritic greyhounds with explosive intestinal issues. Lynn, we now know, is very proud of her arrest record. Amelia has a heart for adventure I can only dream of. And Aimee has an unpronounceable compulsive disorder that makes me feel a lot less alone because I have one kinda like it. Go Team OCD!

I’m going to pull rank for a moment and mention my son Taran who told a sweet story about asking out the girl he was head over heels for in high school. They ended up going to Homecoming together and I remember that night as one of the special moments of his young life. I had never heard the whole story before and I was so happy to see him explain all the fear and uncertainty that led up to asking Katie to the dance.

Here is something my son doesn’t know. I kept one of the flowers Katie gave him that night. It’s been hidden in a little plastic container in the freezer for almost six years. I remember the look on Taran’s face when he told me the girl he was sweet on said she would go to the dance with him. Every time I see that little rose peeking out from behind the frozen blueberries it reminds me of the time a young woman told my son that she liked him and would love to go to the dance with him.

Ok, that’s enough of that. I’ll finish up by apologizing to two tellers I didn’t have time to put up, Deborah and Arden. Every other show it seems like I have to bump one or two people. Last time I had to bump my own kid. I hope you both keep coming out and throwing your name in Mr. Coffee. Sooner or later everyone who wants to tell a story will get up there.

Lastly, I want to remind you that there are still tickets available for the latest Words ‘N’ Music show at the Jewelbox, Oct 14 and 17. Words ‘N’ Music features some of our favorite stories from FGS regulars and live music between each one. It’s a lot of fun and a good way to stay connected. All we want to do is break even on expenses and if we sell about 50 more tickets we can do that and book another show with new stories.

The next Fresh Ground Stories is October 22. The theme is “Anything For Love.” I’ll write up the official invite in a few days so look for that in your inbox.

Last week’s recording came out fine so I can give the storytellers a copy of their performance if they want it. I only give out the audio to the people who told a story and it’s only the audio of their own story. Most performers don’t want their personal stories online so that’s why I only give copies to the people who told them.

See you on the 22nd!