Thanks everyone who came out to the show last week on such a sunny day. We had way more people than I thought we’d get and I’m grateful to every person who came out.

I was trying to explain to someone the other day why it’s more fun for me to host than to tell my own stories and all I could say was that your stories keep me company. The next time I’m walking through the woods I’m going to remember David K and his story from Thursday about the time he and his brother found a pit full of snakes in the forest. They couldn’t understand what the fuss was about when they walked back to their family with handfuls of live snakes. I’m also going to remember what he said to me in an email this weekend. He lost his brother a few years ago and telling stories about him is one of the ways he stays connected to his memory. Thank you, Dave, for giving me one more reason to keep this show going.

Today at the grocery store I was putting a bag of apples in the cart and I thought back to Chris’s story about bonding with some friends in high school by passing an apple around in a circle and each one taking a bit until it was gone. The sisterhood of the traveling apple! It made me think back to my early 20s when the only bonding I did with my friends was by sharing bottles of whiskey. Those nights definitely had an aura of ritual and bonding to them. Maybe if we had shared apples instead of alcohol those bonds would have lasted longer.

David Schumer’s touching story of holding support groups for the young doctors in his hospital began and ended by quoting the title song from the musical Camelot. I’ve never told anyone how much I love that soundtrack. Camelot was a huge part of my childhood. Why did David choose that song to put in his story? I have no idea, but now I have something to ask him the next time I see him. Tonight I’m listening to that soundtrack for the first time in years and wondering why I ever stopped.

One of the most surprising stories of the night was from Lauree. It was a wonderfully honest story about how she finally learned the reasons behind some behaviors she’s lived with all her life. She talked about how she went from feeling alone to feeling like she belonged to this group of people who shared her experiences. At the end of her story, she said she felt like she had found a family even if that family was very different from the rest of the world. Man, who hasn’t wished they could find that family? How many of us grow up in biological families we had nothing in common with and don’t find our real families until decades later? Maybe instead of paying 23andMe to find my family I should have gone to WebMD. Actually, you want to know how I found my true family? I started going onstage and telling stories. After a while, people starting coming up to me after shows and saying that they had the same feelings about stuff that I did. I’m a little sad that it took me until I was in my 40s to find those people but I’m glad I can finally say that I may be weird but I’m not alone. If I ever write a memoir I will probably call it Weird But Not Alone.

Special thanks to everyone who told a story that night: Bruce, Connie, David K, David S, Chris, Morgan, Michael, Lauree, and Marjorie. The tape recorder did its job so if any of the tellers want the audio of their story just send me an email. Most of the stories we hear at FGS are very personal so I only send audio to the people who told a story and it’s only of the story they told.

We have an unusual circumstance surrounding next month’s theme. I left my notes at home that night and I couldn’t remember the theme I had settled on by the time I had to announce it. So told everyone at the show that May’s theme was “Courage”. When I got home I discovered the theme I’d been trying to remember which was “Keep on Keeping On – Stories of not giving up.” So for the first time, we’re going to have two themes next month. You can choose whichever one you want to tell a story about. I’ll get the official invite out as soon as you can. The show will be May 24.

Thanks again to everyone who came out. You’re all on my gratitude list this week 🙂

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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