(from left to right, Gary Lloyd, Geraldine Buckley, Noa Baum, Miriam Nadel, Margaret Chatham, Merrillee Pallansch, Tim Livengood, Lauren Martino)
I've been procrastinating on updating, mostly because I needed to get around to uploading a few photos from my camera. And, also, because I've just been absurdly busy, but that is situation normal, not especially fouled up.
Anyway, one of the things I promised to write up was the Story Surge. As you may recall, this was the storytelling concert I organized, along with members of Voices in the Glen to raise money for the Island Park Public Library, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. I am way too proud of myself for coming up with the name, which is, of course, a play on words since the damage was done by a storm surge.
The concert was the night of February 16th at One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia. It was a standing room only crowd, for which I give credit largely to Noa Baum, whose adoring fans were there in force. As we say at work, the bottom line up front is that we took in $483.15 in cash and $150 in checks, which I sent off to the library. (Actually, I kicked in a bit of my own money, but that's another matter.) I got a lovely thank you note from them.
As for how the evening went, Gary Lloyd emceed, describing each of the tellers as hurricanes (for the women) and a typhoon (for the lone male). He missed, however, that old joke (which is no longer true) that claimed that hurricanes were named for women because they aren't himmicanes.
I was the first teller, with The Secret Place, a story about my childhood in Island Park and a secret place my brother, my best friend, and I used to hang out in. We eventually buried a time capsule there, including our full addresses (XX Carolina Avenue, Island Park, Nassau County, New York, United States of America, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe). And then the shopping center was built ...
Margaret Chatham was next, with The Living Kwan-Yin. This was a lovely Chinese version of the story about the poor man who seeks to find out why he doesn't prosper and collects questions from other people / creatures he meets along the way. Unlike many versions of that story, this had a happy ending. And dragons.
Noa Baum closed the first part of the evening with A Father's Gift. This is a story she collected from a Pakistani man in one of her workshops. It did a fine job of emphasizing the connectedness of all of us.
I probably should have delegated the refreshments to someone who knows what they are doing, as I turned out to have bought too much juice and soda, though just about the right amount of cookies. It's better to have too much than too little, right? (And I gave away most of the leftovers.)
Merrillee Pallansch started off the second half, with "a story about a small town public library in the 1930's." This was an entertaining personal account of getting into interesting trouble and living to tell about it.
Tim Livengood followed that with his original story, A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea. This was (as is typical of Tim's stories) wild and exuberant. The audience roared at his mix of science and silliness, with a decided emphasis on the latter.
Lauren Martino changed the tone, with the spooky Friesian folktale, The Devil's Barn. She looks so innocent. Her quiet style was the perfect technique for defeating a demon.
Geraldine Buckley closed out the evenng with Totten Hall. As someone who also read Nancy Drew and longed for secret passages (somewhat short on the ground in suburbia), I related to this personal story.
All in all, we had a great mix of tellers and types of stories and a lively and responsive audience. I also have to put in a word for the folks at One More Page. This is a charming little independent bookstore. In addition to books (and I picked up a few there), they sell wine and chocolate and fair trade coffee. If they ever start carrying yarn, I may never need to go anywhere else.
As they say in New Yawk, we done good.