I almost got out the old Roget’s thesaurus today to see if there was a better way to say thank you to everyone who came out to the show Thursday. But then I thought “Hey, does hearing thank you ever get old? Of course not.” So all I can say is thank you over and over again as I write this. It was a wonderful show and one I know people are still thinking about.

Dave, one of our new regulars, started the show with a story about his low-speed getaway from a dog catcher in a Golden Gardens Park. It was so nice to hear that no matter how mature we get as adults when an authority figure waves us over sometimes our first instinct is still to run away. Luckily, Dave and Yankee, his standard poodle, are slightly faster than your average animal control officer and they made a clean getaway. I don’t know if Yankee’s mugshot is on the wall of every doggie daycare in King county now but you should know that if you give either one of them a ride home from a park you may be charged with aiding and abetting.

After Dave’s Bonnie & Clyde adventure we heard from two first-timers who I hope will keep coming back. Tiffany told us about meeting the world’s kindest drag queen in a Seattle Value Village and Rebecca Lee told us how she went from working at Club Med to being onstage in LA doing improv. Oh, Rebecca, why didn’t you ask me first about a life in comedy? Do you know how many comics would kill to work at Club Med?? Well, now that you’re here I hope you come back and tell another story. And, Tiffany, I hope your days are filled with kind and helpful drag queens and that you don’t accidentally drop any more desks on them.

Elliot, every time you walk up to the mic I know I’m going to hear about a corner of your life that I thought I knew well but didn’t. Thank you for letting us know how you went from protecting America in Iraq to female phone sex operator in Seattle. Can you imagine what we could accomplish around the globe if we took just a fraction of our military spending and put it into phone sex operations? If we could get Elliot on the phone to certain high-level people in North Korea we could have peace on earth for $3.99/minute. Joking aside, Elliot is one of the most honest, and vulnerable tellers I’ve seen. He doesn’t know it but he’s inspired me over the years to be more like that myself.

Zoe, our friend from last month who got bumped because we had too many tellers, told a story about John Lennon that I just loved. I asked her for permission to post it on our website and I’m crossing my fingers that I can share it with all of you. It’s one of those quiet stories where the little details stay with you for a long time. Parts of Zoe’s story I remember hearing as a kid and I would never have dreamed that I would one day meet someone who had experienced them in person. Thank you Zoe for reminding me that, in a world of internet and reality show celebrities, sometimes a person comes along who really is important and who really does matter.

I should probably end this here but I want to thank a few more tellers before I leave this coffee shop and start my day.

Chad, my friend, you made me very nervous with that story about hitchhiking. Here I am glancing over at my son in the corner while you talk about how you were never murdered by getting in a car with a stranger. What am I supposed to tell my kid now? Honestly, though, I wish I had your courage and faith in humanity. Right now I think it’s good for all of us to hear stories about how there are actually a lot of nice people in the world and if we give each other a chance we’ll be pleasantly surprised. Now that I’ve said that, please stick to safer places for meeting strangers like dark alleys and dive bars.

Stephanie, I feel like we just got to know you and now you’re flying off to Australia for love. I am happy for you and also a little awestruck. Most of us wouldn’t drive to Tacoma for love and here you are getting ready for an 18-hour flight to a giant rock in the Indian Ocean. I know you often get a tattoo to commemorate something you’ve lived through but I hope this time you don’t need a one. I hope this time the story is so big and beautiful that no amount of ink could ever cover it.

Deborah, your story of falling in love with a man for his heart before you even knew what he looked like was so sweet. Every time someone tells me I should go onto one of these online dating sites I think about what it would feel like to know that hundreds of women have swiped past me because I didn’t have the right nose, lips or hairline. I’ve never fallen in love from seeing a woman’s photo but more than once I’ve fallen in love after hearing their story. Thank you for reminding me that the app store isn’t the only place to find love.

Scot, my old friend, it was great to see you back at the show. I’m so happy you survived becoming a human bobsled on that mountain. We’re even happier to know that you didn’t leave any body parts on the rock that launched you into space 🙂

Moreah, one of our new regulars, has only shared a few stories with us so far but there seem to be about twenty stories tucked into the ones she’s told us. I love how she drops interesting little tidbits of her life into the last 10 seconds of a story just before she walks away from the microphone. Moreah, how do you just casually mention that if we want to hear more about what you’ve done since leaving the convent in the 70s that we should join you Saturday at Nudestock? How do you just walk away after that?!?! And where can we get tickets to Nudestock?

Our final teller was Ginger who told us about the party she threw where all the parts of her life came together. Some of us are lucky enough to have a moment in life when everything came together and sent us off in a direction we never expected. It’s something else when you purposefully create that moment for yourself. I love that Ginger knew what she needed to do and had the courage to do it. It was the perfect story to end the evening. This morning I woke up with two things in mind. I wanted to know more about kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, and I wanted to spend more time thinking about this: what would I do if I knew what I had to do?

Thank you all for coming out and sharing the evening with me. As always, special thanks to the tellers, especially our first-timers, for doing the hard thing and sharing a part of your life with us. My personal gratitude goes out to everyone in the audience who gave each teller all the love and patience they needed to get through their story.

Our next show is September 28. The theme is “Silver Linings.” I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can.

The tape recorder did its job so send me an email if you told a story and I’ll get the audio to you. I only give out the audio to the people who told and it’s only the audio of their own story. Most of the stories we hear at FGS are very personal so I don’t share them or put them on the website without permission.

See you on the 28th 🙂

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

 

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