When I was a little girl, my beloved grandmother told us a favorite bedtime story every time we slept over. I loved listening to her silvery voice tell us the old-fashioned tale "Cozette" so much that I asked for a tape recording for my 25th birthday. Grandma also told us silly stories about our dad when he was growing up: how he got a baby chick for Easter and named it Hallelujah. How he put two kittens in the fridge, and a duck in the dryer, and rode a horse bareback. How he misbehaved. We LOVED this youngster image of our dad that only Grandma could share.
My grandpa told us stories that would raise the hair on the back of your neck: How he and his friends spit on a horseshoe for good luck, then he tossed it over his shoulder and sent it crashing through the school window! How he had a part-time job playing the organ at the silent movie theater. How great-grandpa Cort once shot a bear right between the eyes. How his father outsmarted a town official in order to gain restitution for a Japanese immigrant who’d been swindled. And how he himself spoke out against the Japanese internment camps during World War 2.
My grandpa on my mom's side used to SING us his stories. He loved the Christopher Robin songs by A. A. Milne and delighted us over and over with his adorable boyish renditions. It was pure magic to hear him sing these timeless stories.
My mother told us stories of her own family: How she was raised by her grandmother, whom they affectionately called Marmee (Marmee, like the character she was nicknamed for, was a strong young widow with four spirited daughters); How her youngest brother spit out a now-famous string of the naughtiest words he could think of: P.O. Poop Out Stinker Bum!; how her father took them sailing on the Great Salt Lake, sang solos in the Messiah, had his own radio show; how her mother worked at an advertising agency in Los Angeles and how Grandpa called her his Happy Heart; how she wrote magazine articles under a pen name, and authored a children’s book.
Mom also read to us night after night...The Cookie Tree and Miss Suzie and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, plus timeless classics from her own childhood: Epaminondas and Thunder Cave.
My father told us stories of his own childhood adventures -- ones I’m sure he never told his mother: How he and his friends found a dead body on the capitol grounds; How he found a leather pouch full of money under a tree and inadvertently interrupted an FBI stakeout; how he and his friends let the air out of the tires of a whole fleet of police cars parked at the capitol building one night; how an unstable kid named Ikey threatened to kill him; and how he discovered a hermit cave—and the hermit who lived there! Dad also made up hilarious bedtime stories about spaceships and astronauts.
My husband is the King of Story. He writes screenplays, teaches screenwriting, directs movies, creates webisodes, and exhausts every possible outlet for storytelling (as evidenced here). He reads wonderful books out loud to the family -- The Tale of Despereaux, Walk Two Moons, and Watership Down. He also makes up fabulous stories about our kids and their friends and their secret superpowers. He lives and breathes story.
Which is why he’s been invited to speak at this conference: http://www.cherishbound.com/blog/storyathome/
It’s presented by Cherish Bound. http://www.cherishbound.com/
And hosted by FamilySearch. https://www.familysearch.org/
March 8-10, 2012.
Save the date, and I’ll save you a seat!
--But wait, there’s more! (No Ginzu Knives...)
I’m presenting there too. I’m speaking about balance. Or rather, how to juggle a lot of dangerous
objects projects without maiming or injuring yourself. Something along those lines.
I believe there are few things as powerful as STORY to unite us at home. I’m so
excited about this conference and a chance to explore something so important and
entertaining and beloved. I hope to see you there!