Thanks to everyone who came out Thursday and helped make it such a great night. I say all the time that FGS is the best night of the month for me but last Thursday was something special.

Bill started off the evening with a hilarious story of trying to buy a new car but not wanting the salesman to know that one of his requirements is that it’s big enough to sleep in. I was happy to find out that I’m not the only one who buys cars based on that metric. If you’ve ever had to live in your car it’s always in the back of your mind that you might have to do it again one day. I’m pretty sure that no one driving a Mini Cooper has ever been homeless.

Dan, a first-timer, followed that with a story that went straight into my heart. He told us the story of his 25-year marriage ending and the first kiss a year later that gave him hope that maybe one day he could find love again. I know what it’s like to feel like you’ll never be kissed again. It’s the worst feeling in the world. I wish I could go back and tell every woman who kissed me after years of loneliness and tell them how much it meant to me.

I was very happy I pulled Stephanie’s name out of Mr. Coffee because she got bumped last month and I hate having to look at someone when they give me the “two times in a row?” face. Stephanie has an interesting hobby of getting a tattoo for each adventure she’s been in around the world. Next time I see her at FGS I’m checking her arms for new ink to see if she’s telling a story that night.

Colby told a touching story of having to give up his career as a healer and it reminded me of all the people who have helped me heal through various techniques. I can’t imagine what it would be like for them if they lost that ability. When I listened to the story again I heard something I missed the first time. He also talked about how sometimes we give up one thing in order to get something else and how different that is from losing something and getting nothing in return. That’s a situation I rarely hear spiritual people talking about and now it’s something that I’m going to be thinking about for a while. Thank you Colby.

We had so many great tellers last night I feel like I’m letting you down by not telling you about all of them. Unfortunately, I only have so much time to get this email out and you only have so much time to spend reading it. I wish I could tell you about Janet falling out of a raft in Zambia and instead of being eaten by crocodiles she was rescued by the the most handsome man in Africa. And I’d love to talk more about how Eric grew up with the coolest dad in the world who played air guitar in the living room and still sends his son classic rock mix tapes. Unfortunately, all I have time to say is that if you weren’t there that night you missed a great show.

One teller I want to take time to thank personally is a woman I’d never seen before. I don’t know if she wants her name out there so I’ll just call her C. I happened to standing next to Mr. Coffee when C put her name in and I could tell she was having a rough night. Her eyes were red and puffy and she hesitated before writing her name down. We talked for a moment and she told me a little bit about the story she wanted to tell. I told her I didn’t know a safer place to tell that story in public than where she was.

The story she told was how the year she didn’t make the usual call to her little brother to wish him a happy Thanksgiving. She found out later that it was the night she lost him to suicide. Even though her story was heartbreaking for me to hear I was grateful she chose us to share it with. I don’t know another group of people, who are mostly strangers to each other, who could receive that story with the grace and compassion that you guys did. Thank you for supporting C and all the other tellers over the years who have told these difficult stories. And thank you C for having the courage to tell it. It made a difference to me and I know it did for others.

I wish I could name everyone who told that night but I don’t have my notes with me and I don’t want to forget anyone. As always, special thanks to the first-timers, though, many of whom had never been onstage before. You guys always amaze me.

The audio levels on the recording were a little low but still worth keeping. It just means you’ll have to either turn up the volume or wear headphones. I’m still trying to get this audio stuff dialed in. Send me an email if you told a story that night and I’ll send you the audio of your performance. I only send audio to the people who told a story and it’s only of the story they told. A lot of the stories were hear at FGS are pretty personal so I don’t send them out to anyone but the teller.

Our next show in June 22 and the theme is “Stories of Discovering What You Love.” I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can.

One last thing before I go. I forgot to mention at Roy St. that Transportationchoices.org is hosting a storytelling show and they’re looking for people with public transit stories. If you have a 3-5 minute story about something memorable that happened to you on the bus or other form of public transit they’d love to hear it. I’m not sure if you should just show up at the event or if you need to contact them beforehand so email Rachel Logo at rachel@transportationchoices.org for details.

I pasted the text of her email below:

“I wanted to reach about a program we have coming up that I thought might be of interest to you and your audience. This June we are celebrating public transportation, with our annual Ride Transit Month program, which includes prizes, fun events, and more! On June 15th we are presenting a special live storytelling event that highlights the unique way that transit connects to people, places and community. We are looking for riders of all kinds to share a short 3-5 minute story of a moment they have had on transit.

I’d love to make sure there’s the opportunity for all voices to be included in this event, and would appreciate any help connecting with voices and stories that don’t always get heard.

Transit Talks – Moments in Motion

https://www.facebook.com/events/202917646892106/

Date: June 15th, 6pm

Location: Jewelbox Theater

Reserve your spot

https://transportationchoices.secure.force.com/donations/CnP_PaaS_EVT__ExternalRegistrationPage?event_id=a28A0000001IcX4IAK

To celebrate Ride Transit Month this June we are bringing you a very special version of our quarterly Transit Talks: Moments in Motion. This live storytelling event will feature a collection of stories about connections, told by riders of all kinds, about a moment they’ve had on transit.

A conversation with a stranger, an unexpected reunion, a date. It can all happen when we step out of our bubbles and onto transit.

These true stories will highlight the unique ways that public transportation connects us to people, places, and community.”

That’s all I got, though I suppose it’s enough given the length of this email. I hope you’re all out enjoying the weather. Remember the sunblock! We live in the PNW and are defenseless against the sun.

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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