I’ve always been a story teller. I think I come by it naturally. Do you?
April 27 is National Tell a Story Day. I didn’t know there was a day set aside for this prior to writing this post. I’m glad the art of art of storytelling is acknowledged. It’s a day when people are encouraged to get together and tell stories to one another.
The origin of theatre can be traced back to the cave dwellers. Caves in Africa, France and Spain demonstrate a close connection of storytelling with present day theatre. If a cave dweller came home from a day of hunting, we know at some point someone drew pictures on the walls of the cave. They appear to tell a story.
Don’t we all tell each other stories daily? I know I do.
I’d prefer to tell a story to my husband when I’m explaining about something that occurred during my day. Sometimes it’s a short one–“There was a huge line at the grocery store and only two cashiers” or “Did you hear what Senator So and So said today?”
The story gets the ball rolling, that’s for sure.
Do you have family members who can entertain your for hours with family stories? I have heard the same stories so many times, I have them memorized and can chime in on the punch lines. I’m never bored by them. Sometimes the stories are all I have left of that person. The stories bring them back to life if only momentarily.
My father was quite a character– a doctor, smart and intense. His intelligence outweighed his emotions, though. He could get scary mad, but he also had a playful side which I adored.
1. Once in the coldest part of winter, my father drove my mother’s new car (a Nash) on an iced over river, so my brothers and sisters could play Crack the Whip with a rope tow behind the car. Unfortunately, the ice broke beneath the car sinking it during the festivities pulling my siblings along with it. I remember my mother and I being called to rescue them in Dad’s old truck. Mom’s car was never the same. In the winter when you sat on the car seats, they crinkled with ice crystals within them.
2. When I was in 8th grade, my father took me fishing at Bennett Springs, Missouri on opening day of spring fishing season. He asked me to get his tackle box for him seconds before the horn sounded signaling fishing could commence. I was careless and didn’t put the tackle box back on the rocky enbankment as I was told to do. It slid down the rocks which threw out its contents bobbing along through everyone’s fishing line. Oops.
3. Another time, my father thought it would be fun to fly (we had a small airplane) to an airport closeby and have lunch after church. Dad was so excited by his idea, he failed to consider the huge rainstorm the evening before hand. We landed on what was supposed to be a dirt airstrip. Instead we became terribly stuck in a quagmire of mud and two hours from home with no transportation or rain boots. It was a long day.
4. It was a scorching hot day. I never do well with heat. While camping, my dad ordered me to get out and scout ahead for a particular campsite where were planned to park our thirty-five foot Airstream. Again, I was kinda attitude filled (ninth grade) and hadn’t wanted to walk ahead of the rig in the oppressive heat. Indignantly, I radioed him everything was fine. I didn’t see the two parallel trees on either side of the narrow road. Trusting my asssessment, my father drove forward and wedged the rig between the trees putting us in everyone’s way for at least an hour. To make matters worse, it was a brand new Airstream with all the horns and whistles.
5. My dad and I were avid kite flyers. Once, he surprised me with a special kite. It was pretty cool at the time. (Although now I have my eye on a dragon kite.) It was a beauty. The shiny red, black, yellow, pink and orange silk could be seen from blocks away.
On a trip to S. Dakota to see our friends, we attempted to fly the kite from the bluff behind their home. It flew with such ease and grace. Everything was going fantastic, until the kite string snapped. Our beautiful kite fell from the sky toppling over itself like a broken winged bird. We frantically dashed down the bluff to the kite laying helpless about four blocks away from us. Luckily, we were able to rescue it from a farmer’s field right before he fertilized the row.
Now the kite hangs on my office wall safe and sound along with Dad’s University of Kansas school of medicine diploma.
Ah, those were the days…..
If Dad was alive today, I’d call him and ask him to tell me a story in honor of national Tell a Story Day.
He’d chuckle and gladly weave a tale.
Contact me at Dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or Deborah Baldwin.net