April SA Story Night A Blast!

We met at the Brook Hollow Library on Heimer Road in N. Central San Antonio on the first Wednesday of April and Veronica kicked off an evening of great stories with an “Anansi” tale. Finally! We now know how Anansi got his waist; he had been TOO fat before he feasted on yummy cooked beans, cooked yams and green beans. 

(You had to have been there.)

 

Jane stood and told the riveting tale of a love lost and a journey not taken to the US. 

“The Bridge of Tears” was the title of this modern story of Ireland. 

 

The evening was really rolling along when Trudy stood, with apologies, as she had written this story and was not happy with the script. It turned out to be a corker: “Revenge of the Terrapins”: what happened AFTER the scorpion was given a ride across the river by a turtle. She had us sitting on the edge of our seats as we envisioned the turtles racing to the feast on the other side of the river.  Alas, the scorpion fell asleep as the turtle carried him across the river, and said terrapin dumped him into the watery stream; there was mouse on the menu that night, and Turtle could NOT wait. 

Trudy is a born teller; she told an excellently written story, and showed great timing in the telling. Can’t wait to hear more of her tales.

 

John Munley - recently returned to San Antonio from parts northeast, and so welcome back to SASA! - told of looking for a forever home in S. Texas and finding one in San Antonio, of finding a story course at NYU, New York and at Trinity University, Dublin, and the George West Story Festival in S. Texas, to where he drove “forever”. (Yeah, we know, Texas is big.) Met an old friend there, dressed in red, white and blue, and spent a while exchanging greetings and conversation. Afterwards, his wife asked hm who that was. John: “Never met him before in my life”. Yes, we storytellers are good at faking it. And it’s great to have John back.

 

Susan (Whipple), our MC for the night, and an excellent job she did - stood to tell of a very scary meeting with a UFO in Rochester, NY. Walking her block to a neighbor’s house on a crisp, sunny September day: she saw it: shiny, silver, “something metal in the sky” hovering over her street, no sound coming from it. Horrified and struck silent - “I was the only human around!” - she prepared to run when the shape turned and the sun reflected off two wings. It was an airplane.

Great relief all around.

 

It was a good night, once again, at the San Antonio Storytellers’ Swap at Brook Hollow Library.

 

You missed it? We meet again to tell and regale on Wednesday, May 2, from 6.30 to 8 pm at Brook Hollow. Be there - or be SQ…E!!

 

Jane McD.

San Antonio Storytellers ring in the festive season

Fortified with Stollen cake from Germany and first class coffee from our favorite latte shop, we gathered on December 6th to look forward to Christmas, and to look backward on a successful year of storytelling. We had a full house, and recorded two new members at the end of the evening. The stories came fast and furious.

Susan Whipple started off the evening with a short introduction to Hanukah and the history of the “Eternal Light” then segued into a beautiful miracle story. You could have heard a pin drop.

Jane McD. brought John Henry Faulk’s Christmas Story of a little boy and his orange, and the grace of good neighborliness.

Veronica Gard followed with a riveting telling of Mary, a teenage mother to be, who went to her shocked neighbor for help. Neighborly help seemed to be the theme of the evening - as Veronica ended her story there was a long, quiet silence, then applause. Once again, Veronica succeeded in reminding us of the beauty of simple, selfless help.

VIL Joe, a self-professed poet and occasional visitor to monthly SASA story swaps, had us then in stitches as he told of an over friendly teacher who taught him the facts of life. This, after a moving story about his 58-year old cousin who has early onset dementia.

Our own Sue Kuentz stood to tell an old Doc Moore story: “Papa Joe and Belle”. Papa Joe ran a pawnshop where an old bell rang on the front door as customers entered the shop. Belle was a six-year old, who wanted to buy the bell as a Christmas present for her Grandpa. Papa Joe didn’t want to part with the bell, which he said was a “family heirloom” but was persuade by the little girl to sell it. She emptied her coin purse and he gave it to her for the princely sum of $2.47. She later came back with her mother - and the bell, wrapped up, and presented it to Papa Joe. Turned out that the mother was the daughter with whom he had lost contact years before, and Belle the granddaughter he had never known. Best Christmas ever!

The stories were followed by Christmas anecdotes - Sue, telling of a disastrous flute concert at a Christmas Cotton Bowl game and, another time, flying airborne in Japan into a snowdrift between two garbage cans. Veronica told of Christmas in Berlin; of choirs from 3 of the Nato powers in

the city singing in the Frauenkirche there. And Jane rounded out the evening with a telling of the Irish tradition of the December 26th St. Stephen’s Day Wren Boys and post festival season Women’s Celtic Christmas.

The Stollen was almost all gone and we recorded two new members - actually one and a half, as John Munley is a “returned” SASA member, having lived in Cincinnati for a while. Welcome back, John, and WELCOME, Oscar, to the SASA fold! Looking forward to your stories!!

A very happy and blessed Christmas to all storytellers and story-lovers - we’ll see you in the New Year. May that be a peaceful year for all of us, without rancor and strife, with joy and contentment.

 

Jane McD.

SASA May Story Swap

We met at the Brook Hollow Library on May 3 to tell and reggaLe - and what a night it was!

We ran out of chairs, people were standing in the back of the room… we had a great turnout.

Veronica kicked of f the night with a telling of a beautiful Chinese folktale, “The Grass Cutter”, a tale of re-directed stallions and magnificent fabrics, a humble and happy grass cutter, his friend the long-suffering merchant and a prince and princess who lived happily ever after. The grass cutter did make a decision to keep out of politics in the future. (You shoulda been there.)

Mary Grace took all of five minutes to clarify what prejudice is, with the help of her grandchildren’s favorite book covers. She also told the brief, short story of a twelve-year old black girl who had a project to find book about black girls, and did - she wrote reviews of 9000 books. Wow.

Susan Whipple stood to tell us about her time as a part time and then full time gardening expert, finding a job that makes the heart smile, and finding the best part of it all: meeting enthusiastic gardening customers - and meeting some interesting co-workers on the way. Susan had a Chinese proverb which described it all in a nutshell: “Find something you love and you will never work again”. Love those Susan stories.

Jane stood with an old and strange tale in two parts from the Brothers Grimm: “The Three Snake Leaves”. Not often told, this story, it was a tale of a beautiful but false woman who demanded that the man she would marry would be buried alive with her if she died first. She did. And he did. But the snake with the three green magic leaves saved her, and saved him, later on, when she killed him at sea. She and the sea captain came to a nasty end; sent out in a boat with a hull riddled with holes. The justice of the Grimms and all those people in the State of Hessen who told them their fireside tales.!!!

Charlie is a good teller he had a couple for us again - two he’s “working upon” - we all are, at one time or another - he told of finding arrowheads on the construction site of the Brook Hollow Library, and of old school friends, likened to model airplanes: some who crashed and some who flew so high that they disappeared from sight. I’d love to meet that Charlie Kerr who flew over Cuba, taking reconnaissance pictures and menaced by MIGs…

Then Sue, to round off the night, did a telling exercise with us all which ended in

chaos and general merriment.

Great night. And if you weren’t there - you are really SQUARE.