Waiting for Sandy

Sandy, the storm called the Frankenstorm, is on the way. Weather gurus predict sustained high winds for the Washington area which means a high likelihood that the power will be out - possibly for days. It has happened before. My sister Kathy and my daughter Karen took on the job of battening down the wood pile and getting anything else in the yard under cover so they won't "take off" in the winds. We have brought in water, batteries and other necessary supplies. We are charging all the electronics. We will shortly plug in the blow up beds so that we can settle in comfortably in the basement if we need to. We have a plan Jim developed years ago so its just a matter of following the 1 - 2 - 3. It seemed timely last night, when I was telling for a storytelling concert, so I changed my story and told this:


Sisters Visiting

My sister Kathy came up from Georgia for a visit - and we are having lots of FUN. Talking and talking about this and that - just like sisters do. We have done sight seeing and thrift shopping - where we found a few treasures. We have even been late-night grocery shopping to make sure we are prepared for the approaching storm, Sandy, in case it sweeps through here and the winds knock out the power. Kathy has charmed our dog Leia. She is completely spoiling her. But sometimes its good to have some spoiling going on.


NEW INTERVEW: Joel Markowitz, Editor and Publisher DCMetro Theater Arts

Recent entertaining and informative conversation on Stories in Focus with Joel Markowitz, Editor and Publisher of the popular internet news site, DC Metro Theater Arts.

Don't miss Joel's suggestions on getting Discount Tickets. 


VIDEO: Halloweens on the Way

The Blue Lights There is a Pumpkin Patch in Kensington and seeing it today reminded me to think about Halloween - then and now. Hope these memories prompt some of your own and that hearing this story will encourage you to ask your friends for their ghost stories. You could be surprised.


NEW VIDEO: Granny Makes a Cake

Granny Makes a Cake. Ellie Hall Keasler Baer was my mother's mother. She was very important to me from my earliest memories. Tomorrow I am telling a new story about Granny - so I thought I would post this story tonight. In a few weeks I will post Granny's Bed, the new story. Working on it took me back to bittersweet memories.


NEW VIDEO: Interview with Jessica Piscitelli Robinson

Recent interview with Jessica Piscitelli Robinson on Stories in Focus, Channel 16, Kensington, MD


NEW VIDEO: History Repeating Itself

My new kitten, now named Angel, came to me by surprise recently - as had other cats we have had - so I told her story for Stories in Time, Channel 16, Kensington, MD


NEW VIDEO: Sally Strackbein - Story Coach

Recently Sally Strackbein was the guest on STORIES IN FOCUS, Channel 16, MMCTV.org.
which resulted in this enjoyable and informative conversation.

Learn more about her and her work on her website.


Recording with Story Corps

October 1 - the day my son Jim and I were scheduled for an interview with Story Corps. As we drove into the library parking lot in Arlingotn, VA we saw the trim air-stream parked at the curb. Inside it is outfitted as a spiffy recording booth with wonderful sound equipment and a comfortable place to sit for conversation. The women in charge and the surroundings establish a very friendly environment that puts you right at ease.

Jimmy was the interviewer and I was the storyteller. We did not pre-script our 40 minute conversation but rather let it roll after he asked the first question - which was "so how did you become a storyteller?"

We talked of storytelling, family stories, genealogy, and how storytelling can restore the family storytelling that once took place at the lost dinner table. I talked of "finding gus" my one-person show of finding my lost grandfather and he asked me about my trips back to Charlotte, NC to retrace my childhood foot-steps. And we spoke of Jim and how his interest in genealogy had been a catalyst in firing my interest in investigating the family stories.

Jimmy and I laughed as we remembered our trip to Hallenberg, Germany where Jimmy and his wife Monica and Jim and I touched base with the roots of the Schoettler family.  I particularly remembered seeing Jim and Jimmy sitting with cousin Josef and a Schoettler elder, Edvouard (80ish) and noticing that the four men all had the same hands. Its an image that stands out in my mind because it gave me such a glimpse of the fact of family relatedness.

Jimmy was a wonderful interviewer and our conversation flowed freely and easily. We had wondered if 40 minutes would be too long - it wasn't - in fact it was not long enough. 

At the close of the interview we signed permissions for broadcast if they found anything interesting in the tape and they gave us a cd to copy for our family members. Another copy will be given to the Folklife Archives at the Library of Congress.

For me - I was grateful for sharing the experience with my son and for having this lovely recording for our family.

With Jim's passing in March I am so conscious of missing the sound of his voice that it is a comfort to have a recording of mine in conversation with Jimmy.

My recommendation - if the Story Corps air stream comes to your area by all means apply to schedule an interview. Share your story.