Wow, what an amazing night last Thursday was. Lots of great first-timers. Lots of beautiful stories. We even managed to end on time without me having to bump anyone. My heart is full when Mr. Coffee is empty and everyone who practiced their story that month gets to tell it 🙂

We started off with David T telling us a story about walking across America to support nuclear disarmament. Did he stop when he found himself in a nudist colony? No. Did we take a week off when he found himself in Las Vegas? No. This is top-tier commitment, folks. I personally would have stayed a little longer in the nudist camp and that is probably why the world is the way it is. I start out trying to do something important and then I get distracted by something shiny.

Our next teller was a woman I met at a storytelling open mic in Tacoma called Something To Tell. I asked her to tell the story I heard that night at our show. She had to change a few things to stay within the rules for FGS but I’m really happy she showed up and shared her story. She told us what it was like to be diagnosed with an STI and how she decided to face it head-on. I was blown away when she told the story in Tacoma and just as impressed when she told it at Roy St. If we’re lucky, we’ll hear this story on the radio later this year. It’s exactly the kind of story a lot of people need to hear.

Jonathan went next and told a story he had prepared months ago but got bumped on a night when we had too many tellers. I don’t want to try to retell it here but it was a story of love and lies and it started right there at Roy Street Coffee and Tea. Who knew our little cafe was such a hotbed of love and intrigue? Next time I get up to Seattle I’m going to hang out at Roy St just to watch the mating rituals of Seattleites in the wild.

First-timer Lance told a story that brought me right back to Alaska in the 80s. I was a teenager back then and blowing up cars with just as much regularity as Lance apparently. What is it about teenage boys and wrecking cars? And how did so many of us live to tell the stories? If I ran Allstate I would never insure any male under 25.

Another first-timer, Brooklyn, somehow managed to take up the entire stage with her energy. She was amazing to watch. Technically, her story was about a crazy cab ride in France but she could have told us about eating a bowl of Lucky Charms and she would have made it just as exciting. Brooklyn is one of those people you hope you end up in a cab with one day because you know you’re going to remember that ride forever. I’m looking forward to hearing more about her life 🙂

If you’re counting words, you know I’m running out of space so I’m going to end with this one memory. In December of 2016, a woman named Susan wrote to tell me that she caught our April 2016 show and really enjoyed it. She said that she and her husband were moving from Cleveland to Seattle in 2017 and looked forward to coming to our show more regularly when they settled in. From her story last Thursday, it looks like Susan From Cleveland has definitely settled in. She told us about a Seattle bus driver named Bonnie who is possibly the friendliest person in the entire city. The weird thing is that after experiencing the most uplifting mass transit ride of her life, Susan never saw Bonnie again. She’s ridden the bus a bunch of times since then and Bonnie has never reappeared. Does route 545 have a lovable ghost driver that you only see once in your life??

After her story, I asked a Metro bus driver in the audience if he’d ever heard of Bonnie. He said he had but he had also only seen her once. Who is this mysterious Bonnie?! Susan gave me permission to share her story online so I’m going to post it in the hopes that we can get to the bottom of this Bonnie business. Was she a driver from fifty years ago who died during her shift and now shows up occasionally to take people for a spin? Is she the Loch Ness Bus Driver of King County? The Ghost of Transfers Past? Nathan Vass, hall of fame bus driver and FGS regular, has already agreed to poke around the haunted bus terminal downtown to see what he can find out. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can get hear more of Susan’s storytelling in her TEDx talk at WWU. It’s a great example of using storytelling to teach:

Before I let you get back to your weekend, I want to make sure everyone knows that FGS will now be held on the third Thursday of each month and not the fourth. I’m changing it to third Thursdays for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I won’t have to change the dates every November and December to schedule around the holidays. The second and more important reason is that everyone will now be able to attend Maryanne Moorman’s open mic. Her show is held on the last Thursday of each month so it usually conflicted with FGS. But no more! Now we can all go to her show and not have to miss FGS 🙂

You can tell a much wider variety of stories at Maryanne’s show so if there’s a story you’ve been keeping in your notebook for a while this is the place to bring it. I’ll be driving up from Olympia as often as I can to be there.

Auntmama’s Storytable
Last Thursday of each month
6:45 pm to 8pm
Madison Park Starbucks
4000 East Madison St
Seattle, WA 98112

Also, did you know that Snap Judgment is coming to Seattle? It is!

https://www.thestranger.com/events/30510333/snap-judgment-live
https://www.stgpresents.org/tickets/eventdetail/4140/-/snap-judgment-live

Our next show is October 18 and the theme is “Not Getting What You Want.” I’ll get the official invite out as soon as I can.

Thanks again to everyone who shared a story last Thursday. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the time and space to write about each story here. I’m already over a thousand words and we all know the average attention span is about 75 words. There are probably four people still reading this. But to those four people who made it this far, you missed a great show.

See you all on the 18th 🙂

Paul

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