Off to a good start…
The initial meeting of Your Good Life Storytellers was a success. Beginning at 1:30 in the afternoon, the meeting lasted 90 minutes. Nine people sat in a circle socially distanced and wearing a mask except when telling. The guidelines were discussed at the beginning. All would have a chance to tell. Those willing were asked to declare at the outset with the understanding that there would be an opportunity for everyone. Stories would be up to 10 minutes and told in the first person.
When each teller finished, listeners could comment on the positives of the story. This gathering was meant to be an opportunity to learn more about our neighbors and a chance to say something about ourselves.
The stories dealt with the following:
A young lieutenant at Vandenberg Air Force Base insisted a three-star General have “proper identification” only to have a sergeant receive a commendation for the difficult but appropriate action taken by the lieutenant.
Another story described the adventures of a young student nurse driving her aunt’s car to Florida. She, along with five friends and their luggage packed in the car, encountered a bear while camping out and finished the trip in the bridal suite of the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami.
Another teller recalled his mother saying his first words were spoken in French informing his playmate he wanted to keep his own favorite toy. His own first memory was being terrified by snakes when his mother took him to a New York zoo. This aversion to snakes in any form persists.
A teller shared her experience trying to communicate in Chinese using the only 40 words she knew. Not having the words to say “no thank you” resulted in her having two dinners and stuffing herself to be polite.
Another teller related an unsettling experience for his wife starting with a train that stopped unexpectedly. It was in Eastern Germany before re-unification, and the scene was slovenly. Passengers were removed and loaded on a bus without explanation. Her husband made a quick trip to the “necessary” and while doing so the bus took off with his wife who was terrified. He caught up with her on the next bus and the story ended happily but remained an indelible memory.
A hilarious recounting of ski lessons by one teller told of multiple misadventures on the ski slopes for him but the beginning of a love affair with skiing and the Colorado mountains for the rest of the family.
A rosy cheek china doll head on a corncob handle was a “show and tell” treat highlighting the description of a unique family auction to distribute prized possessions while distributing the proceeds equitably.
Some bizarre advice from his chairman about how to stretch money by only spending half was the topic of the final story. The teller concluded by making the point the best way to make money last longer is to have more of it.
The tellers had a good time and agreed to continue meeting like this. The next meeting would be in seven weeks. The group will include those who choose to continue and new members up to 10. We will continue to learn with the hope of expanding to provide an opportunity for all.
By Savvy Senior
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