Thanks to everyone who came out and supported all our tellers last Thursday. We had lots of first and second-time tellers and it’s always a treat for me to see those folks find the courage to get up there and share a story.

We started off with a Little League story by Dan and the sad realization that he was never going to play for the Cincinnati Reds. I always love hearing Dan’s stories but my favorite part of his story this month was the effortless way he handled a sudden outburst from the coffee bar a few feet away.

Dan: You know, there’s something about baseball glove leather. It’s one of the all-time best smells –
Barista: CHEESE PLATE!
Dan: -and cheese plates. Those are good too.

I almost fell off my chair laughing. I was so impressed with the timing of Dan and the Roy Street staff that later I asked all the tellers to say “cheese plate” whenever they wanted to use language that’s not allowed during the show. I might even start using it in everydayday life. In fact, on my way home from the show that night some cheese plate almost ran me off the road on I-5. Yesterday, I wanted to say to a guy in Target who was yelling into his phone, “Dude, don’t be a cheese plate. Take it outside.” If you ever see me selling t-shirts that say, “Don’t be a cheese plate” you’ll know where it came from.

One of the most surprising stories of the night was by first-timer Erin who told us about a night in Tokyo when she was at one of the lowest points of her life. Her career was stalled, she felt like a failure, and she couldn’t see a way out. Then, walking by a wedding venue, she spotted a giant flower mask in the trash. Is dressing up as a giant flower a wedding tradition in Japan? I hope so. Anyway, when Erin pulled that flower mask out of the trash and put it on everything changed. She spent the rest of the night walking through Tokyo dressed as a beautiful 4-foot wide daisy with her head in the center. Suddenly, the world not only looked different, it started treating her differently. Turns out when you walk around town dressed as a giant daisy people will start smiling at you. And then you’ll start smiling at them. And suddenly, life doesn’t seem so bad. I’ll do my best to post a photo of Erin in her flower costume so you’ll see what I mean. And this week, when I’m feeling down, I’m going to imagine I’m a giant sunflower.

I wish I could go into all the stories we heard that night but I don’t want to keep you guys stuck to your computer screen more than I have to. I wish you had been there to hear Obie tell the how much trouble a young boy can get into with his first pocket knife. I wish you could have heard Rich tell the story of how he helped bring America and the USSR closer together with his vodka-fueled impression of Ronald Reagan. And I know you would have loved hearing Sonny tell us about riding the rails as a 15-year-old in 1945. After two years of hopping freights around the country he was picked up by the police in New Mexico as a runaway and tossed in jail for three weeks. Hungry and tired, he sat in jail wondering how he was going to get home. Then one night he heard the most beautiful sound coming from the cells around him. It was all the immigrant farm workers who were waiting to be sent back to Mexico harmonizing with each other. That was 70 years ago and he still thinks about those young men in jail, waiting to be sent across the boarder, singing quietly to themselves. Thank you Sonny for passing that wonderful memory on to us.

If you didn’t make it to last week’s show I hope you can make it to next month’s which will be October 26. The theme is “Never in a million years.” I’ll get the official invite out as soon as possible.

The recording worked fine so if you told a story and want to get a copy of it send me an email. I only give out the audio to the people who told and it’s only of the story they told. Most of the stories at FGS are very personal so I never give them out or post them without permission of the people they belong to.

Thanks to everyone who told that night: Obie, Dan, Erin, Vidya, Sarah, Rich, Catherine, Moreah, Greg, Rebecca, Sonny, and Carl. (forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone).

If you’d like to find out more of what it’s like to walk around Tokyo dressed as a flower you can catch Erin at the Haunted Bingo show she’s running on Halloween: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/haunted-bingo-on-halloween-tickets-37419771544https://www.facebook.com/events/1681011588598581/

Also, if there’s a good storytelling open mic in Tacoma now and their next show is October 18. It’s an open theme so you can work on any story you want there this month as long as it’s true, happened to you, and is around 8 minutes long: https://www.facebook.com/events/119104262091726/

If you’d like to see me telling the story I told two months ago at FGS you can catch me at the FAR-West festival this Sunday:
http://www.far-west.org/storyexpo-2017.html

That’s all for now. Thanks again for coming out and supporting all our tellers 🙂

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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