Nancy Page sent the email below to James and me yesterday morning. And yes, now I feel lame for staying in last Saturday night and missing all the fun.
Hi James and Miriam,
Not only are you the great wordsmiths of Island Books, but you are most importantly the parents of young children and I thought how much you all would have enjoyed the storyteller event last night at the store.
You know that we have been hosting the Seattle Storytellers Guild members for more years than I can remember; I’ve come across 30-year-old story time flyers with some of the same tellers that come around today. I inherited the job of scheduling the tellers about 10 years ago, but long before that, I brought my babies, Emma and Lewis, to sit at the knees of some of the same tellers who are the mainstay of our program. To this day, Emma still recalls Pat Peterson in her colorful pinafore pulling felt animals from her pockets. But over time there has entered a new generation, like Norm Brecke, a guitar-toting kindergarten teacher from Renton, who last night brought yet the next generation of tellers to entertain the little ones and all of the adults too.
Norm’s after school storytelling club has been chugging along for over 3 years and these kids ages 9-11 can tell a story like the best of them, using dramatic hand gestures, changing their voice inflection, and engaging the audience to participate. Each and every one walked off to laughter and hearty applause from the audience. It was one of those moments at Island Books that money can’t buy. In an organic way, in my mind that started back with baby Emma in the circle. Now we find ourselves hosting a young generation of storytellers who have picked up the mantle and carry on the storyteller’s tradition. In part we have continued to host storytellers just because we believe in it and value it, hoping to do our part to keep it alive. I can see that it isn’t going away any time soon. Roger asked if we can have them return some time this spring, so you may have a chance to see them too.
I’ll send you a photo from my phone of the grand finale with Norm and the kids singing.