Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last Thursday and made it the best night of the week for me. We heard some amazing stories and got to know a bunch of first-timers. Some of you know that I never advertise FGS because I only want people showing up if someone personally told them to come. That means most of the folks who come out are there because someone in their life thought they’d be a perfect fit for what we do. I think that’s a big reason why each show feels so special to me.

As usual, we learned a lot that night. We learned that Arlene will risk her life to search for her iPhone in near-blizzard conditions. We also learned that Siri really isn’t our friend since she never once yelled out from that snowbank, “Turn back Arlene! Save yourself!” No, Arlene kept plowing through hip-deep snow searching in the dead of night for her electronic friend. I’m pretty sure if she had dropped her phone in the Mediterranean she would have found the Lost City of Atlantis on her way to rescuing it.

We also learned that Leonard, a psychotherapist for 55 years, isn’t afraid to turn the tables on himself. If a therapist isn’t afraid to dive into his deepest fears and insecurities and scream “Please accept me!” on the radio with thousands of people listening then why should the rest of us have such a problem doing the same thing? If you hear a news report next week of a guy in the food court of the Northgate Mall screaming, “Why don’t you people love me?!” it’ll probably be me. Usually, I’m more subtle in addressing my darkest compulsions but Leonard has inspired me. We’ll see what happens.

Obie, one of our regulars, told an amazing story of the time he spent in Namibia working for the Peace Corps. His story wasn’t just about the work he did in southern Africa it was also about the natural biases he discovered within himself before, during, and after his work there. It’s a story that I believe should be told far beyond Roy Street and FGS. I’m going to do what I can to get him an opportunity to tell it before a wider audience. If anyone is interested in learning more about what Obie was struggling with, do a search for “Harvard Implicit Bias Test.” I’m not sure I have the courage to take it myself right now but I’d love to hear what other people’s experiences are.

Our last storyteller of the night was referred to me by one of our regulars and I am so grateful she thought to introduce him to me. Kent Whipple is a treasure. If you see him tell him I said that. I asked him to tell a particular story that he told last year at a Moth grand slam and it was just as wonderful as I thought it’d be. Thank you, Kent, for staying to the end of the show to tell that story since I know you had another show to get to across town.

Thanks again to everyone who told that night:

David, Arlene, Marty, Gus, Debra, Obie, Vidya, Andrew, Leonard, Aimee, Karen, and Kent

Our next show is April 26. The theme is “That’s different – Stories of not fitting in.” Bring a story about a time when you realized you were different or somehow didn’t fit in. I’ve been sitting on the couch all night trying to think of a time when I did fit in and I’m still sorta struggling with it. I’m sure I fit in somewhere. I must, right? Fortunately, we’re looking for stories about not fitting in so we should have a full lineup for April’s show. Telling true stories to strangers in a coffee shop isn’t exactly the national pastime so if you’re reading this email you’re probably someone like me who’s spent a lot of time wondering where they belong in this world.

I’ll get out the official invite as soon as I can.

In the meantime, you can check out the Moth version of the story Kent told at our show Thursday.


Take care. I hope to see you on the 26th

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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