We met on the first Wednesday of the month at the Brook Hollow Library on Heimer Road for the April Story Swap, joined by a dozen interested VILs (Very Important Listeners - where would we tellers be without Listeners, huh????) and the stories came thick and fast - if you’ll excuse the deplorable use of the English language.
Susan Whipple hosted and Jane kicked off the evening with a rendering of the most difficult story of all to tell… one learned from a rambling old man on an Irish island… of a dog with no name and a woman who wouldn’t bend to Irish bureaucracy. The dog had been left at home and died soon after the son emigrated to Australia, and the woman refused to pay for a license for said dog. The police finally took up a collection and gave her a license… that is Irish poetic justice for you.
Susan followed with a great story, full of details, about stalwart women and their baking trips and tips, grandmas and mothers and aunts who baked and cooked without recipes and - horror! - without handing down recipes to their daughters and daughters in law.
VIL Roger Singler stood, then sat - “bum ankle” - to tell the fascinating story of Gregorio Cortez who went to jail for life for not killing both a sheriff and a Ranger. It was a ricoted bullet and friendly fire.. and that fact eventually got him out of prison. As a side story, Roger told of Pancho Villa and the Mexican revolution and how he raided a shoe factory, thereby acquiring shoes for his soldiers…I think the story was called The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez but I was too intent on listening to the details to get the title.. Great job, Roger!
Then it was 7 pm and just 30 minutes after we had started and there was lots of time for stories yet… Jane volunteered to fill in but, luckily, Pat Schieffer stood to tell a Jewish tale of “Shrewd Toady and Lizer the Miser”. This was a hoot - as we learned how a poor, extremely capable survival type got one - no, four! - over on the town money lender in order to bring his family through hard times. Tell it again, Pat!
Teller Judy Peacock stood and regaled us with a true tale of a family trip at Easter to Maine… a trip the started in a car towards it destination and finished on sleds and toboggans in the snow until reaching the door. Easter: and the Easter Bunny left filled basket the next day on the snowed in porch…. the kids never found out if it REALLY WAS THE EASTER BUNNY OR THE PARENTS as there were no other footprints besides those of the Bunny in the snow.
An interesting discussion followed on the merits of telling and critiquing, on
how to tell and how to develop a personal style of telling, on the importance of storytelling - with 5 SASA storytellers present and a dozen very interested listeners - many of them new to the Story Swap - this was an important discussion.
We still had 20 minutes left to 8 pm, when the Library staff throws us out, so Jane stood to tell the story of the “Gadai Dubh”, the “Black Thief” and how a devious 15 year old bested him by stealing the sheet out from under an old couple’s bed as they slept in it; by appropriating two horses from a farmer in a field as he used them to plow said field; and by taking two black-nosed sheep from under the Gadai Dubh’s nose as he led them home from market. A short story of two Irishmen, going home from a pub, who met a ghost in a graveyard, followed.
And to round it off, Roger told of how the Houston Gaels Gaelic football club’s luxury bus got stuck on a berm outside a pub on their way to last Saturday’s game against San Antonio’ s San Patricios team.
It was a rollicking evening and if you were not there, you are definitely SQUARE.
Next one: Wednesday, May 4th, 6.30 - 8 pm; Brook Hollow Library, Heiner Road, SAT.