Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last week. We had a great bunch of tellers that included some excellent first-timers. Before I go any further I want to let you know about Kent Whipple’s storytelling class student showcase. Kent always does a fantastic job with his students so I know this will be a good show. Get your tickets soon as the show is tomorrow (Friday).

Ok, back to FGS!

Silvana started us off with a beautiful story of moving on from a rough childhood and finding a safer, more loving world at college. “Rough” doesn’t really cover it. Silvana’s mom makes my mom look like Mary Poppins. The part of the story that stays with me is how much Silvana seems to have healed from those early years. One of the ways you can tell that someone has healed from an experience is that they’re able to find humor in it. This is part of what I’m talking about when I tell people to speak from their scars, not their wounds. Silvana didn’t focus on the trauma. She told us just enough to frame the story and then moved on. Thank you Silvana for not using your story to attack people in your past and instead sharing your story from a place of love and gratitude.

Ahmad, a first-timer, came next and told the story of how he decided in just a couple days to change his life and go for his Ph.D. I have no idea what it’s like to earn a Ph.D. The closest I’ve ever gotten is getting a D in physics, and once checking the ph level of a fish tank. I loved how Ahmad described his professor’s blue Pentel .7mm mechanical pencil as though it was a talisman of deep knowledge. He even went out and got himself his own blue Pentel .7mm pencil. I do this myself! I have the same typewriters used by Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, and the Unabomber. Impressive, yes? One of my Covid goals was to write my own 30,000-word manifesto of love and kindness on the same model typewriter Ted Kaczynski used. 

Deborah was next with a story of self-reflection that I wish I and other parents could have heard when we were struggling with our kids. I remember many times when I wanted to be thanked and congratulated for doing something that I should have done anyway just because it was the right thing to do. 

Misty, another first-timer, told us about a big date with her husband where they ended up at a nearly empty festival in a storm and a collapsing big top. Is there anything better than a night out that’s ruined by a natural disaster? I love it when that happens. I hope my next trip has a windstorm, lightning strikes, tornadoes, and locusts. Not sure how I’ll get that all down to five minutes for The Moth.

Gretchen was next with a story from when she was growing up and her favorite room was the kitchen. I wish my favorite room growing up was the kitchen. My favorite room was the laundry closet where I’d hide, reading a book. I didn’t learn much from reading The Hardy Boys. Gretchen learned to fall in love with cooking. One thing we all learned from Gretchen’s story was that cayenne pepper gets hotter when you cook it. She painted the perfect image of her parents trying to keep smiles on their faces while their insides were turning to lava.˙

Shayne, our last first-timer, told us about the surprising joy of getting to choose her own classes when she went to college. Hers was the second story of the night to talk about the freedom of leaving home and high school and getting to experience life on your own. Once again I was reminded that I am often the least educated person at an FGS show 🙂  Shayne’s ultimate goal is to one day be the Honorable Reverend Dr. Shayne. I’m sure she’ll get some great stories along the way.

Our final teller was Cara, one of our out-of-town regulars who we got to know from the last two years of Zoom shows. She told us why you should never hire your out-of-work-and-out-of-touch neighbor to fix your roof. Her neighbor should have listened to Deborah’s story about the importance of self-reflection. Our final lesson of the night was to look at yourself before you blame others.

Our next show is Thursday, September 15. The theme is “Strangers – Stories of chance encounters.” It’ll be on Zoom again since I’m still looking for a place to take our in-person shows. Look for the official invite to show up sometime this weekend.