Kathryn Tucker Windham - R.I.P.
Ms. Kathryn as many called her was an extraordinary storyteller, beloved far and wide by any that heard or knew her. She carried the knowledge and experience of many generations and shared them through her stories. She was 93 when she died this week.
Last year (2010) on Monday after the National Storytelling Festival ended Jim I were still in Jonesborough and stopped in at the Cranberry Thistle for lunch. At the neighbor table Ms. Kathryn was one of a group enjoying lunch. When she got up to leave I asked her if she would honor me with a picture for my record of the 2010 weekend. She smiled patiently and agreed. We exchanged a few words and she left on her way to catch a plane. I am glad I asked.
Since the word of her death came storytellers have been posting comments about their memories
of her and her impact on them. To me, this NPR program someone posted on Facebook meant the most because it includes her, her voice and that wonderfully rich Alabama accent. Hear it on this link:
I did not know Kathryn Windham. Only ever exchanged a few words with her in an elevator at the Storytelling Center when she said, " I wonder about continuing to come." in a very tired voice. I answered that I was sure she would know what was best for her - but if she ever was not there -
"I will miss you." And, sadly, I will.