Monday, May 19, 2014

University of North Alabama Storytelling Festival


Last week was one of those when there is so much to do, one can't possibly do it all. Seems like everyone wanted to play in May. Some of the activities going on were Arts Alive, a rodeo, an author fair at the library, a flea market, Relay for Life, and several other things, including storytelling.

The University of North Alabama Front Porch Storytelling Festival was what I had been waiting on, what I had been looking forward to the most.  There were workshops all day Wednesday, tellers at different libraries and churches on Thursday, and then the festival was Friday and Saturday.

I loved every minute of it.

Dr. Bill Foster was instrumental in starting this festival four years ago.  Friday morning, his daughter, Melissa, paid tribute to him as she opened the festival,  serving as Master of Ceremonies.  I think Dr. Foster was smiling down on all of us.

All the storytellers are unique and good at what they do.  UNA's own, songwriter Walt Aldridge, shared stories behind his award-winning songs before he performed them for us.  He was followed by the storytelling master, Donald Davis, and Bill Lepp, who can make you believe anything!   Diane Ferlatte, all the way from California, was accompanied by Eric Swinderman, and my favorites, Delores Hydock and Bobby Horton, ended the day with a Civil War story that happened on campus, just a few steps from where we were sitting. And that was just Friday.



There were performances Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night. I was worn out, but so hated to see it come to an end.  Plans are being made for the fifth storytelling festival next year on May 15-16. Go ahead and pencil it on your calendars. Better yet, write it in ink.

What is storytelling, anyway?  More tomorrow.