10/08/2009

Thursday

SHOWCASE

The Showcase for the Public Schools in Montgomery County was this morning. I had considered taking a "bye" because I am still not feeling 100% but decided showing up was part of my job.

When I saw the line-up I shuddered and wished I was at home in bed. I was following a Mad Scientist and a 4 - dog act - both acts were quite good by the way. They use props and music and I come armed only with a wooden stool and a story. I had doubts about following those two.

The dogs - 4 rescue dogs - were well-behaved and well trained and their human handlers used a very easy patter along with the dog antics. I was sorry I had left the camera at home. The handlers opened with a good dog safety tip on petting a strange dog - ABC's - Ask the dog is you can pet he/she. Be slow - take it easy, no sudden moves. Chin and chest - the safe places to touch the dog. Patting the head is a no-no. Startles the dog and can lead to biting. I am going to try this approach with our dog, a ferocious - to me - 10 pound Shih Tzu, Princess Leia. Leia is known to be male-favoring (to Jim). This may be just what I need to coax her into a relationship with me - - along with a piece of boiled ham.

Well, watching the Mad Scientist and the dogs I was feeling a bit uncertain but there was no going back. I under-rated storytelling. I was showcasing Uncommon Threads, my piece to encourage family storytelling - in the family - in which I tell the story of my father leaving home - to WWII - the day I started the First Grade - prefaced by a touching 1895 letter of how an adult grand-son missed out on his grand-father's stories - - so had none to pass on to his own children.

Well, the children were mesmerized and the adults had tears in their eyes. Another example of the power of the spoken word. Yes!

I am so grateful I am a storyteller.

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