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.