Thursday, March 28, 2013
Every story paints a picture, don't it
I shared judging duties with GCSC associate professor Jason Hedden and Judy Cooley, a member of the Bay Storytellers. The event was supported by the GCSC Student Government Association and was open to all ages — “the young, the old, and in-between,” said Pat Nease, a member of the Bay Storytellers.
“In a nutshell, a story slam offers anyone with a 5-minute story a chance to tell it and wow the judges,” she said. “There's usually a theme — something that must be included in the story — and you take your chances on being one of the lucky ones whose name is drawn to tell.”
The theme on Friday was “odd,” and the word had to be used in the story. The winner, Mike Russell, engaged the audience with his light-hearted tale of a carpenter bee that became his helper guiding cars through the car wash where he works.
Second and third places went to Mary Washborn and Lina Crowe, respectively. Washborn told of becoming a peace officer and then returning to college after being shot on the job; Crowe read a scary story about a mad artist. Tammy Hess, who talked about training her dancing horse and then sang an original song a capella, received honorable mention.
Members of Bay Storytellers have been sharing stories in and around Bay County for nearly 20 years, according to information on the group’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/BayStorytellers), telling at senior centers, schools, festivals, civic organizations and seasonal events. The group currently has four seasonal events: Winter Tales, A Sprinkle of Stories, Ghost Story Concert, and Tellabration.
However, storylovers and storytellers are welcome at the group’s monthly meeting, held at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Bay County Public Library, 898 W. 11th St., Panama City.
I’ve known Pat about as long as I’ve lived in this county; she was the librarian at a district school when I was the education reporter for the News Herald, starting in 1994 — the same year Bay Storytellers formed.
She describes storytellers as “folks well-versed in the cadence and rhythm and wonder of language, folks who relish traveling with their listeners and bringing them safely home, folks who communicate eyeball-to-eyeball and heart to heart.”