In one way or another, we all have listened to storytellers sometime in our lives.
Maybe it was at a family gathering when grownups recalled "the old days" or a bit of family history. Or maybe it was on an airplane when your seatmate decided to pour out his tale of woe and sorrow. Maybe it was your pastor who wove the mysteries of faith into a story of how an ordinary life can be transformed. Maybe it was reading your favorite newspaper column -- one like Little Rock's Paul Greenberg (see below).
Storytelling is as much a part of us as any other form of communication. But we tend to be involved -- as tellers or listeners -- on a hit-and-miss basis. That's about to change the weekend of April 4 to 6 when the first Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival will be held. Four nationally prominent storytellers plus other storytellers from the Midwest will be on hand in three tents, all in the downtown area.
The Cape Girardeau festival is patterned after the National Storytelling Festival held each year in Jonesborough, Tenn. Organizers of the local event have been to the national festival and can't say enough in praise of the experience. Not too long ago, one of the storytellers came to Cape Girardeau to give invited guests a sampling of what to expect. Those who attended say it was both an uplifting and enjoyable experience.
These stories are not made up. They reflect the experiences of the teller. The stories can be funny, educational or sad. All of them draw in listeners and hold their attention to the very end.
Mark April 4 to 6 on your calendar. The Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival will be a wonderful event for the whole family. Advance tickets are available by calling the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau at 335-1631.