Professional Storyteller

Share a Story - Change the World

The southern tradition was to tell stories of the day at dinner. My parents were from Texas and in the summers I went to stay with family out there. I learned about values, attitudes right there with my family.
We had all the stories in the world. History stories of family members, growing up ones about how someone did this or that. I loved those stories. They were important ones that became myth in nature. How Dad (Knocky Parker) found ragtime music downtown in Palmer, Texas. Stories about a photo of Dad in the bluebonnets. Stories of my mom and the watermelon thief and her grandmother sewing. I would never know anything about these people without the story. I thank my parents for those, and my cousin Rosemary and her family for raising me to love my family.
When uncles and aunts and parents are gone...we have their stories and they make me so happy I cry.

When I married my husband joined right in and we raised our kids on stories too. He had one story about
college friends on a trip, I'll tell later... and another about being a kid in in a spooky house when he attended Mira Costa High school( Manhattan Beach, California) I realize that they loved thinking of him as a kid and what he did at their age. His surf club member stories and some crazy stuff like jumping off the house on the pier into the water in Hermosa Beach or riding his bike off a roof into a swimming pool.
The kids wanted him to tell stories over and over.

Dinner time is still the time to catch up with our loved ones on the day. Never a rehersal of bad stuff but "good enough stuff "to share and value. What a tradition.

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Tags: Beach, Costa, Hermosa, High, Knocky, Manhattan, Mira, Palmer, Parker, Ragtime, More…School, Texas, music.


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Comment by Susan K. Coti on March 26, 2008 at 9:06pm
Wow. Family storytelling is such a HUGE gift! I won third place in the Washington, DC Story Slam three years ago by telling a tale my mother told me about her grandmother in Ireland who told her the story when she was a little girl. It has to do with a blind peddler and a girl who loved a little doll. Actually, I was tied in third place with a guy who told how he rescued a prostitute who ran into his building trying to escape an enraged john! I'm truly glad I could compete with that one!
Comment by Mylinda Butterworth on March 26, 2008 at 4:22pm
Family stories are like a quilt. Each block tells a story and each story connects the past to the present. The best stories are told around the kitchen table or over a bowl of ice cream while relaxing on the back porch. Ain't reminiscing fun?

Always a tale to tell,
Comment by Don 'Buck P' Creacy on March 26, 2008 at 3:28pm
I have been remembering all afternoon... Boy I wish I was on the phone.. haha
Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on March 26, 2008 at 12:55pm
OMG! I have some funny family stories. Like the time my brother set a vase of plumes on fire and my stepdad came running out naked when I yelled, "Fire!" My grandma screamed not because of the fire but because she saw her son-in-law naked. What a great thread.

Or the time my mom almost cut off my brother's ear when she gave him a haircut. To this day, he won't let any family member touch his hair...

Or the time I played an April Fool's joke on my mom calling her and pretending to be the IRS requesting an audit.. Yes, my family has a sense of humor although I think I almost got disowned for that one!

Or the time I went on a BLIND senior prom date. The guy got high, drunk and threw up all over my prom dress. This year, my 17 year old daughter will be attending her senior prom. Yes, she will hear that war story again...

I am laughing thinking of all the great family stories we still like to share when we gather. It's always about who has the most embarrassing story about another family member.

Comment by Randall Roberts on March 26, 2008 at 11:55am

"His surf club member stories and some crazy stuff like jumping off the house on the pier into the water in Hermosa Beach or riding his bike off a roof into a swimming pool."

I am sitting here trying to envision quiet, reserved Bob doing those things. I can't tell you how big a grin I have right now.
Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on March 26, 2008 at 9:59am

What a treat that your children are growing up "storied." That is such an important tradition to uphold. My family is like that too. We eat together. We pray together. We play together. We tell together. Hey! That would make a great bumper sticker. hahaha

You should listen to my podcast interview (it's an hour long but a good listen) on The Art of Storytelling with Children podcast. It's called "Storytelling: A Safari into Literacy." We touch upon the importance of eating together and sharing stories around the "hearth."

Thank you for sharing...

Comment by Don 'Buck P' Creacy on March 26, 2008 at 9:55am
I am Texas boy and we told and tell stories too. Everything from family history to the latest wild tale or adventure of someone at the table. Sometimes we even told tales on folks who weren't even alive anymore, Great Granddad Cooper or Aunt Ida and her heart stopping carrot cake. My family loves to tell stories on someone in the room... traditionally I deny all knowledge of stories referencing me... but I still love them and laugh like they were being told for the very first time. Dad's timing was great... he knew exactly when to pause for a sip of coffee or to take extra care with his next bite of food... while we let ours grow cold in anticipation of the next motion of the story.

Thanks for the neat trip down memory lane. I miss my family but I still feel their love. Even from across the way...




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