Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Town of the Past

by Philamine, Joyce, Patricia, Maxine, Henry, Margaret, Ellen, Joella, Marjorie, Christina, Gretchen, Anne [Lana]

That's a town -- good, God, it looks like a bunch of women. I can't see worth a flip! I can see it, a country town! It looks pretty sad. It ain't pretty to me. It's busy, they're messing around trying to find something to do. It's a grouchy town. In the sky is a lady of the past with long hair. 

There's wind. Those scrolls at the top, I don't understand what they mean. Maybe a message from airplanes. I've seen wind like that -- strong winds -- the people will get blown around! The little people are picked up, but not the big people. Lots of swirly-dos! After they're knocked down, they have to go home to get out of it. Birds probably fly past the windows, a little bit of everything, all of it. 

The people are getting upset because they don't know what's going on. The wind came from the river in the small town, a big town has an ocean! Out of the river comes fish, minnows, water, and motion. River is moving south, lots of rain, showers, and a little wind. I think I see more wind than that. 

People are in the houses on the hillside. They go to church, they pray, see other people. Feels good, they're all in church. In small towns, they mow yards, play ball, watch animals, they all meet at church to dance and play. Dance the foxtrot, the waltz, then they go home and do whatever they want. They know the big mirror is strong, so they have to get rid of it. 

Naturally, they're all getting ready to leave. It would be deserted, it would be a disaster. They're ready for open air. With clouds in the sky, it looks really bad, but garden has nice flowers. I think it's Maryland. They usually get a lot of turmoil. The lady with long hair could be one of us! We're resting, which I shouldn't. We can stay there or go home. We should be able to do both. 

The people already know, yeah, they know. They're scared. We're good people, but probably bad. We want to be good; we can share! We worry about whether it'll come to us or not. I wish I had everything. Don't let us fall off! The people will think of something else to do. We'll stay in the sky, but not for long -- joined with others. 

Be Careful What You'll Run Into

by Maxine, Ellen, Mabel, Margaret, Patricia, Marjory [Lana]

People going camping is all I see. Five people, they probably camp together. They're carrying what they need for the trip. They're trying to go up into the mountains where they'll camp out. Weather's nice, cool. 
They see different kinds of animals, I would think so. They'll see bears, cats, squirrels -- possums and squirrels! The animals will be nice, I hope they are. 

I'd say two kids, excited, they probably like it. I believe they've seen each other. They might do it often, who knows? They were probably in school, a private school. They're on a trip with a teacher. Showing them what happens with the animals, how they should behave around animals, how the animals survive. 

People in the woods. Beware of the bears! They might hurt them, eat them. They search for food -- other animals, berries if they find them. She stinks, really badly! The cats hunt also -- wild cats! They hunt for food.  And they stink. They have bugs on them, too. So they scratch on rocks with their paws. That depends. The squirrels eat nuts. They like to come to my house, outside. They build nests in trees to hide their young. So another animal won't destroy them. There are a lot of different things out there. 

The kids have learned the way to survive. I don't want to use everything. Stop showing survival. He told them everything good about it, but he didn't want to tell them the bad. They can be attacked. That would be bad because it would be showing bad things -- attacking people. They get smashed up and eaten and bit. They're trying to get away as much as they can. I'm just trying to figure it out.

There are Indians! They'll probably kill them. They'll kill the animals AND the people! They'll go back to their own business, their own survival. I guess that's what I would do. I don't think they finished. They go on with their living, their survival, catching food, sleeping. They catch whatever bugs they can; they eat them! Grasshoppers, roaches, crickets, dragonflies. If they can get real meat, they'd probably eat that, too! Indians? They go to sleep, don't they? Depends on what time of year it is. 

It's fall; the Indians sleep where the season is. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Adventure into the Woods

Earnest, Gretchen, Mable, Joyce, Patricia, Margery, Helen, Ida, Anne, [Lana, Alice]

Talk about something you can make out of it.  They do look like they are trying to make something.  Camping kids and at least six heads.  They’re not emptying anything out.  They’re all working.  Enjoy themselves, build a fire for warmth and food.  Water.  They enjoy going.  Facilities to camp.  Are you camping around here or are you camping off somewhere else?  It depends.  Camping in the Smokey Mountains.  Lovely campgrounds there and facilities for people.  They can go see how beautiful it is, if they’ve never been there.  This looks good.  You haven’t been there.  You need to go.  The trees, flowers, wildflowers that bloom, a stream, lakes, and it’s peaceful.  You’ve got that right.  Squirrels, yes you sure do, lots of squirrels and rabbits, and sometimes a bear.  Be prepared for the bears, get out of their way or get something else to give them. 

Whatever time of day you go there, morning or night.  Shoe for boots.  Fix a snack or something.  Everybody likes to go camping in the spring or fall, when things have changed.  I love them.  It hurts so bad they have to eat something.  Look for the environment and animals.  Beautiful.  It’s uneven.  Warm and comfortable weather.  Mmm-hmmm.  That’s what they put on.  It’s beautiful when you get up there on the mountain top.  Let’s see you mountain climb. 

Exhilarated.  I think so.  They would still be sleeping up there.  They’re not afraid of nothing.  Not yet.  The water isn’t running.  The wrong place.  People who come over there from cities.  Atlanta and any other city close by. They look for another place.  A camping place.  Camping area.  Where they have fires and water.  Do you want to go?   By the water, get drinking water, fix a snack, get ready for bed.  The Smokey Mountains are in the mountains, just above Gatlinburg.   Where they would be.  They’ve been told there was overnight camping, which there was.  They want to be in the wild.  She may have told them the wrong place on purpose.

They went to the wrong place.  Somebody had to be in charge in finding the right campground - all the comforts of home.  Closer to the city.  No.  Get wood for camping early in the morning before it gets dark.  Snack it up.  Sandwiches, fruits, cookies, candy, yeah! All of it!  You want to eat them.  They are thinking about what they can eat without having to build a fire.  It smells so good.  That’s when bears come in.  Bears know where it is.  Oh, yeah.  They’ll go where it is, too.  Come in at night and eat it all up.  Doesn’t the fire keep the bears away?  When we are trying to eat, yes.  Don’t you have a fire tender?  The people all tell stories and have fun.  The fire tenant keeps the fire going.  Fireproof.  The biggest guy we’ve got.  We’ll call him Big Guy.  He’ll scare the bear off. 

What happens in the morning?  I’m ready to go!  Get up at what time or whatever.  I’ll be ready.  Scared.  Don’t you think they go to bed too?  Went to sleep with the cubs.  They’re smarter.  They know.  A while. Look at all the animals, animals all around.  Lots of rustling and all that.  Yawning.  They would be fast going back, then they are going in.  They want to go home, they don’t want to stay somewhere all packed up.  They’re tired.  They are close neighbors and friends, all in the same neighborhood.  They know where they all want to go, and they will all shoot for it.  It’s exciting. 

You’re talking to someone who has never done that.  I’m new.  That’s the nicest part.  Not really.  Talk to experienced people.  Dirty and smelly.  Shower and go to bed, that’s it, that’s me.  I’ve done enough for that length of time.  That’s the truth.  The woman does all the work. Yes.  That’s the best thing to do.  We are all in agreement.  Little tiny red bugs get in your clothes, you can’t get it out.  Get alcohol or peroxide.  Make sure it’s dead.  Get the chippers off.  Good old home. 

The bear didn’t chase anybody.  That’s the nicest part.  Adventure me right in and right out, because I’m a city girl.  It’s a total turn-around.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Roger and Gloria (Part One)

A man named Roger on his way to Heaven.  The lights behind him look like sky lights.  The colors bring him out beautiful, the bare ground is very nice.  He’s looking up and holding the light up in the golden background.  There’s an eye in the foreground that belongs to the one who wants to watch over him and keep track of him.  A beam brings the light, but I’m just trying to pour out what I hear.  He’s trying to get the light in the eyes, because he wants it there. 

It’s glorious!  The light is enough to cover something, whatever you are going to do, honey boxes in the background, a light in his hand.  Roger is touching his own hair.  The shine of the light is a halo on his head.  Red, like a lobster, warm, like a tree, and the bottom of the tree covers his face.  You can hardly make definition of his face.

He’s a dead Job - that’s my brother.  He put his own name, Job, but we’ll call him Roger.  He kept doing that telephone thing.  Roger is a musician.  Music is the whole soul.  Roger plays a violin that sounds like light and imagination.  I don’t think dilly-wamper is going to do it. Get all this together.  It sounds like Heaven, a light musical instrument.  He’s not afraid, dragging through the skull and bones.  It all shows up in the air. 

His sister plays the violin, too.  Her name is Gloria, like glorious, it sounds good.  Gloria is already in Heaven, waiting for her brother.  She has the ability to see him, more than he has the ability to see her, because he’s not there, but she is.  Things happen wonderfully up there, or miraculously, or gloriously, whichever one you want to use.  God’s hand at work, that’s what I think.  He’s in control. 

But the tree upside down on its head looks funny, real funny, and a horse, and a sleigh, and men, and animals, and a tiger in the back outlined in yellow, and there’s a big circle, and his shirt is sticking out, and that handball by his foot - God is not capable of fixing all of that.  God will add to it. 

We need to embrace Gloria, because she is in the story.  The picture needs to get bigger to embrace Gloria.  Will you see coffins and dead people everywhere?  Bring that picture next time, because it shows the story.  The graveyard shows something subconscious.  That’s a good point.  When we get to Part Two, we’ll embellish it from there.  We’ll bring it together, then.

Ellen, Ida, Philamina, Marjory, Anne, Jeannie, Earnest, Brenda

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Last of the Family

By Henry, Patricia, Gretchen, Anne, Ernest, [Lana]

They're all jumping in -- they want to get in the water. It should not be someone I know, a friend playin' in the water, the ocean. They'll get tired of the water.

[What will they do then?]

I write some of these, then erase them. I don't know where it is; I know it's in the South down by the Gulf. I just took mine down today. I couldn't get rid of it any other way. I had six of them. I doubt it'll do any good.

[What's the Gulf look like?]

It's very warm. The water looks hard, like it's standing still The water's going to get out of their way sometimes. They're gonna be very... (storyteller makes sounds for beach waves) hard. Could be anything. We did, we left it back. I think bottom, because if they take it, I'll be sad.

[What are they trying to take?]

I don't know, jewelry or something at the bottom. Somebody doesn't know what we know, not at the moment. They'll put it on the porch at the end of the levy where they take care of each other. A little of each one, I imagine they do because they're so close and are hanging on to each other.

[What will they do with the things they've found?]

Oh, gosh! They'll go down to the coast, and they'll see Indians! Today, my God! They'll join them, go on dry land. I was gonna say, "That's dry!"

[What will the jumpers and Indians do together?]

I've heard things, things like tepees and houses. From what I know of them, they like to be close. I don't know about this lake -- there's five of them! Where were they? They're in the air as well! Six babies, more than that to make a family. These are my families; I love it!

[Will the big group leave the land by the lake?]

These were different spaces. I have no idea, they have to go through us! These kids are three, and there's another three. This is at the beach. No, they're not going to leave. They'll probably just make a place where they can be together.

[How does this story end?]

That's automatic -- they're all going together.

Jack and Tom

By Patricia, Marjory, Ellen, Philamine, Barbara, Gretchen, Margaret, Ida, Evelyn [Lana]

Looks like a bunch of kids. They're very young, too...five, six, seven. Looks like they're getting ready to eat. They're got their fists clenched, getting ready to grab something. Their clothes are suits. Looks like a sort of uniform, some sort of class.

[Where do you think they're going?]

Looks like they're about to start scurrying; big eyes in a box is all I can see. Play, I would assume play. Hide-N-Seek, outdoor games, parents are probably working.

[Why are they working?]

I don't know. They're not supposed to, but they do sometimes. They might not have money. I used to work in a silk mill, stock and sell anything with silk. Probably the same thing.

[What're the kids going to do now?]

The kids will get ready for school, I think. How to read, write, and see about everything else. They're probably happy.

[What time of day is it?]

It's the morning. The parents will come home late in the afternoon probably. The kids will be home, too, I hope. They have supper. That's five children praying. I don't know probably nothing.

[What are they praying for?]

I imagine they're thinking about school, if they got in trouble and are going to get a whipping or not. I have no children, so I can't. I'm just looking at that; two eyes are off and one on. No! Yeah, you're right.

[What happened to the other eye?]

One of the kids (storyteller names him Jack) was hit in the eye, probably by accident by one of the other kids. Tom (the other kid) might have said, "I'm sorry!" He felt bad about it.

[What did Jack say back to Tom?]

What did I say? About eyes? The one working the best, I guess! Mad, Jack felt! Mad about it!

[What happens to Jack and Tom now?]

I assume they were friends. Well, they won't be best friends anymore. I don't think he would. It was an accident; it was not deliberate. He'll (Tom) start with an apology, help him (Jack) do something about it. It's a piled up mess!He'll help Jack get help with whatever problem he has. They'll go to their mother probably. I would think she would take him to the doctor and have an expert check his eyes out. Your eyes are the biggest thing in the world.

[How does Jack feel after seeing the doctor?]

He probably feels better. He forgives Tom, of course. It should heal the friendship. You could say it was a good ending.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Couple Who Grew Up and Almost Got Married

By Ida, Patricia, Dorothy, Mabel, Gretchen, Ann, Margery, Margaret, Maxine, [Alice, Lana]

Some gal, isn’t she?  I’ve got one.  It would be hard for her.  I don’t think she could understand.  I never recognize them.  We don’t know them.  I don’t know what kind of names to name.  Andy.  I can’t say.  Andy.  What can I name her?  My favorite girl?  Rose, I guess.  We have to think?  What a story!  Doing a very good dance.  Dancing, yeah.  I think they’re partners.  They’re very minded about the dancing and very committed.  What else can I say?  [laughter]  What do you think?  She’ll be okay.  They’ll be okay.  Okee-doke. 

I think they’re just happy.  They feel good about themselves today.  I have no idea how long they’ve been dancing.  Lots of times.  They met out dancing. 

[Were they dancing with other people?] Yeah. 

[What did Andy say to her?] “Let’s dance.”  Rose said yes. 

[What kind of moves do they make?] Wide sweeping ones. 

[When did they learn to dance?] 

Night school.  When I got married.  Between grade school and night school.  In the service first.  I don’t know anything about the service now.  I came to find out.  How come they call her Rose?  They dance afternoons at school, when they have an hour for exercise. 

[How old were they when they met?] 

About twenty.  They knew each other when they were ten or eleven.  I wouldn’t know.  I was in the next county.  My sister knows.  I’m still the same Margery she knew. 

[Where did they dance when they were kids?] At school functions. 

[How old do they look in the picture?] 

About seventeen, eighteen, maybe twenty, but seventeen or eighteen at least. 

[How do they feel about each other?] 

They were in each other’s minds for a long, long time.  Part of that time they were close.  They’ve been together since they were kindergartners.  They liked each other quite a bit.  I’m gone too much.  I wasn’t that age.  I would like to make anything up.  They made up and started getting together again.  They were in love.  They started going together.  They were happy going places together. 

School children quite often are.  There are differences between them.  I don’t know for sure.  I’m taking a guess.  As far as I know, he might not have been called Andy.  Relatively know more about that than I.  He was friendly.  The girl was friendly, too.  They used to play together. 

Julia.  Not unless she had another friend named Rose.  I have no knowledge of that, whatsoever.  This is what I talked about, of her, around home.  I don’t want to unfriendly.  Rose is a girl. 

[Andy likes] 

baseball.  I was dizzy growing up myself.  So, no, you don’t sit around and ponder over sisters and brothers too much when you are older.  He was a nice boy. 

[What type of person was Rose when she was growing up?] 

Fell in love.  They did keep going out together.  She was an outgoing person.  She liked to go to the movies.  When they fell in love, they just realized their feelings for each other.

[Now that they are all grown up, what will they do?] 

They go to the playground and play baseball, football, softball.  I would not call them grown, I would call them half grown.  I’m talking about eleven or twelve.  No, I doubt it.  I would say not.  

[Who won the softball game?] 

The boy.  Probably messed up between boys and girls, boys and girls.  Celebrate! 

[Did they go anywhere afterwards?] 

They go home, probably.  I guess they were tired.  They probably played ball from the time they were in recess until the time they were in high school.  They probably were tired at night.  They did go home and do chores.  I know they had chores to do.  Watched TV.  The other children had cub meeting.  My children didn’t have, our children, our boys and girls didn’t have cub meetings until they were quite old.  Drive in to town and back again, after it is over. 

They tell them, “Visit our house.”  I don’t know how to play that.  Um… I’m not so sure about that.  By the time they were eighteen, I was twenty-one.  They talked about it, and they came to my house, too.  They wanted to find out if it was the house that he had written down, if it was good.  I was excited!  It didn’t go into it.  They were just kids.  They’re really not old enough for everything, but they liked to look at the books. 

The ones I just had, they made them in to [unintelligible].  Be together.  Don’t leave, don’t get upset.  He said, “I’ll be upset with you.”  It was a nice piece of paper.  This was the time around when they were giving away all the clocks, persons didn’t have to take it.  They could get in without it.  It was fine afterwards.


was working until midnight.  That late.  Worked late.  I’ve just got to reading them, that’s all.  Yep, they did pretty well.  That’s hard to say.  It is for me.  They have their ups and downs.  Good!  Pretty good, isn’t it?  Boy, I would love to see that one!

They get married and live happily ever after.  They each got married to other people!  We feel that way sometimes.  Not as old as I am.  Her name is Phil.  Phillis.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Man on the Wheel

by Gretchen, Marjory, Anne, Maxine, Margaret, Ernest, Philamine, [Alice, Lana]

[What's your first impression of the picture?]

Not watching where he’s going. With hair on his head, he looks big. He’s not really straight, thinking he’s at that road. That’s a man that did it by himself. I have nothing to do with it. Look at that. That’s what they hand to me. I don’t know who the hell that is! I never saw it! I guess he’s on a pretty big thing. He seems happy. He’s looking at the situation around him to know what he can talk about. I think he’s trying to be a modern bicyclist. He’s younger, not mid-life yet. The bicycle was sent to him so he could do something.

[Do we want to give him a name?]

What’s his name? We gotta give him a name – James, just James. Good God.

[What does he want?]

He wants to get people out. We don’t see any more people. The people there are down below wondering what they’re going to do. Do you recognize that man? He’s the one who was telling everybody about all the good things. Why was I supposed to tell him? I’m not at the present to them. I don’t know him! I don’t want it near me. I’d rather you have it than I do.

[Who are the people?]

They’re just regular people. Friends he meets, issues in their personalities that would decide what kind of people there should be.

[What is your favorite personality?]

Yes, and no, I guess. I hope people are sincere. People want to get out! Sound like a good idea? The people really actually care. They can get out with his help.

[Explain their personalities.]

You’re the one, huh? Well, you’re on the list. Wait a minute, give me your hands. Now pull me! Some place he lives tells what people are like. They won’t all be good people. It seems like there’s always some people that are different. It’s not working. I want you to keep an eye out. Don’t give anything out, something’s not right. We’ll take care of this ourselves. Bring them to my office tomorrow morning.

I don’t know any bad personalities in my family. They weren’t very truthful, misrepresenting themselves. You put your trust in them thinking they were okay, but not really. Hypocrite! Let’s hope there aren’t too many. Why’s he gonna get everybody out? What’ll he use the place for?

[What will James do with the empty space?]

He wants it to go with what he wants to do and feel and think. He covers it all so he can hide if he wants. He might not be thinking that way now. He’s thinking about the beautiful world! Oh, yes! I know it. I just hear things, here and there. I’ll kind of watch out now and then.

[Tell me about the beautiful world.]

 Birds and bees. Christmas is coming! I hear many things. For me, they pass out a lot of things. I went out on and thought it was very interesting. I stayed there a while and had a good time, too. The next time, it was just beautiful. Who can do something and who can’t. beautiful is not tearing down, and they love it. Red. Smells like fragrance. Sunshine. Good weather.

[How should the story end?]

We should have a beautiful world.  The people want permission to build a plan. It’s hard, too.

[What does James really think?]

He has no idea. He’s observant. He wants to be in the future.

[What's in their future?]

Good ideas to better themselves, to do good things. Everything looks good, and everything goes good. I don’t know, the things that are best. You know, the stuff you bring, something to eat or drink. It’s what you want to give them. Be nice to them. Give them things they need, do what they like, smile.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Black Eye

by Marjory, Anne, Gretchen, Earnest, Patricia [Alice, Lana]

[What's happening with this woman?]

She has a black eye. She got hit by somebody.

[How does she feel about that?]

She's feeling pain and discomfort, and she doesn't want anybody to see her. In other words, that's what you worry about.

[Why was she hit in the face?]

She didn't get to finish putting on her face, it's healing. The man in the circus hit her. She upset him.

[How did she upset him?]

She didn't want to see him anymore and had him arrested.

[What does she do when he's in jail?]

It didn't feel good because it was the wrong thing. She goes out somewhere, probably goes home.

[Who's waiting for her at home?]

They're alright, the people that came in. They're from around here. She knows them from church.

[What do they say about her black eye?]

They thought to let her know that it wasn't right. They have to talk about everything. The next day, they all felt better. They're all getting along, but some are hesitant and some feel guilty.

[Are these people close to her?]

They all think they're friends, but she doesn't know if she's guilty or not.

[How do you feel about her situation?]

I'm an adult, a damn good adult! It's a confusing situation and has got her all upset. He (the circus man) shouldn't have done that and he's going to pay for it.

[How long will he be in jail?]

He won't be in jail for very long. He knows people that have been bad often.

[How does the woman feel about him being in jail?]

She thinks he's bad and unsuitable for her. She may feel sorry for him when he's out of jail, but things may change.

[How is her life without him?]

I don't know how her life is going, waiting on you. Oh, my God! He'll get out when his sentence is over.

[What do you think she'll do once he's out of jail?]

She has two opposing thoughts -- she's at fault, and he's half bad. So, they pull each other's hair and I think they get back together.

[How do they feel about getting back together?]

They both feel bad and work through reasoning to fix it, and both keep trying. They have to.

Monday, September 24, 2012

We, the People

by Earnest, Eleanor, Gretchen, Nona, Marjory, [Alice, Lana]

[What do you see in the picture?]

That's a Coca-Cola and that's the one trying to be with it.

[Who's that in the picture?]

I guess that's supposed to be a person. He wants that coke to drink.

[What else do you see?]

It's an empty bottle. An "E" for effort. 

[What's the "person" doing?]

He's trying to fill the bottle but doesn't have anything to fill it with. The thing that's supposed to be a person is another bottle. They are trying to fill the two bottles up with ocean water.

[What's that taste like?]

It's salty, and the only one available. Maybe we're supposed to drink it, or maybe we're suppose to throw it away. Or maybe a little bit of both.

[What will happen if we drink it?]

It's hard to tell what will happen if we drink it. I don't think we'l die. We've got to have water to drink, that's for sure. Drinking salty water is stupid. I've never drank salty water. It would feel rather dull, and it wouldn't sharpen me up any.

[What will happen next?]

We're going to pick up these bottles and trade them back in. We'll get a dime a piece. Maybe a nickel. 

[What will we do with the money?]

We're going to buy more paper for more writing. We're going to start our own (news)paper. That's right! Once we get it all, it's a whole bunch of munch. Oh, yeah, it is, and the baking has to start, too.

[What will be in the paper?]

Maybe a picture of the area. We should see people and something good to look at. If that's what we're looking at, that's what we've got. 

[Do people like the paper?]

Our (news)paper is popular. They need to give everybody one. It's a bunch of junk, it's a newspaper and that's all it is. And that's what he's separating us from.

[Who's separating us?]

People who have stories to tell are separating us with their ideas. 

[What's the name of the paper?]

It could be called "Eleanor's Book".

[Have the people learned anything yet?]

We haven't learned anything yet. We should go ahead and trash it. (break for argument)

Eleanor has a big influence on all nine of us. That should be me. Eleanor keeps on teaching, and we're keeping the newspaper. She definitely tries to bring out the teaching in people. The people are curious.

[What does she teach people?]

She's teaching the people they can do their own things. 

[How do the people feel?]

They feel good. The people are ready. They now appreciate their education. They better take the whole damn thing in there.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Dilemma of Joe's Friend

by Ellen, Gretchen, Maxine, Marjorie, Patricia, [Lana]

[What's happening in this picture?]

The topic is a ball. That's the man.

[What's the man's name?]

His name is Joe. He's a gentleman that stands up all the time. He doesn't like to lay down.

[What's he doing?]

Somebody's showing us how big they are to how big we are. 

[How's that make Joe feel?]

Joe's content with his size. Oh, Lord, yes -- it's good! I thought he would never come, and he's even barefooted.

[Why does Joe have a ball?]

Joe decided to play some ball. He likes to play! It's good. And today, I was so proud of them. Joe caught the ball, trying to win.

[Whose hand is holding the ball with Joe?]

It's me, the other hand. They could be friends.

[How do you feel about friends playing against each other?]

I think I'd try to stop it. Make them competitors, not as friends. But they'll always be friends, it's just a game.

[What will they do after the game?]

They'll talk about the game. Joe's bewildered because he got to keep his friend. Now, they're going to the hospital because Joe's friend is unconscious.

[Why's he unconscious?]

Joe had to take him because he was afraid he'd die. He's (Joe's friend) taking a lot of tests to see if he's okay.

[What did Joe do while his friend was taking these tests?]

Joe decided to let everyone know his friend is in the hospital. He doesn't have the right to decide his life for him. It was paved in a piece of paper. I don't know what it is but it was there all along.

[How's Joe's friend doing now?]

He's probably doing okay. They don't like the hospital, but they needed it desperately. But now they can leave.

[Where are they going?]

They're going home, and they feel good. You never know.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


by Anne, Ellen, Margaret, Earnest, Marjorie, Maxine, Eleanor, Pura, Joey, [Alice, Lana]

[What do you want to call him?]


[What's he like?]

Peek-a-Boo is a curious little dog. He's wearing a towel because he's just been bathed, and he's nice and clean. His owner put the towel on. 

[What's the owner like?]

Apparently he cares about the dog to put a towel on him. Lucinda (named owner) takes good care of Peek-a-Boo.

[What's Peek-a-Boo like?]

Peek-a-Boo is very alert. It's some kind of fun!

[Tell me more about Lucinda.]

Lucinda is a quiet person with a good personality. She's going to adopt Peek-a-Boo. 

[How did they meet?]

Lucinda met Peek-a-Boo in the road. Peek-a-Boo was lost without any caretaker. She'll have to call him. She'll clap her hands and call "Peek-a-Boo!" And he comes naturally.

[What does Peek-a-Boo do then?]

When she picks him up, he will nuzzle to her, very alert. Nice and clean makes you feel good. You know how that does.

[How does that make you feel?]

I want to take him with me. When a child gets in that position and wants to take a dog with him and he can't, that's sad. Who gets the dog?

[Who do you want to get the dog?]

The safest place is with Lucinda because Lucinda will take good care of him and feed him. A child would lose interest. 

[How does the story end?]

A child this big (speaker measures four inches tall on fingers) gets to keep the dog. This is a scary thing because the child is bite-size.

The end.

A Cake Conversation

by Glenna, Margaret, Anne, Gretchen, Henry, Marjory, Dorothy, Philamine, Lorlene, Jean, Earnest, Evonne, Joyce, [Alice, Lana]

[What's happening?]

A little boy is walking in a storm.

[What should we call him?]

Jimmy Carlos Glenn from West Virginia.

[What's happening outside?]

The storm is in Tennessee.

[Where's he going?]

He was taking a trip, going someplace. He's walking there, asking people how to get there.

[How does he feel?]

He's tired, tired. His feet are sore, he's dodging traffic, he's thinking where he's going, soaking wet, cold.

[What should we call the other boy in the background?]

Little Boy Bobby (whose name is Robert).

[How does he feel?]

He is very lonesome because he's gone far away. Who would let a little boy like that by himself?

[Why is he alone?]

His people are sleeping. Why would they do that?

[Where is he now?]

Little Boy Bobby is farther away. There's a big difference. He's got more clothes. Somebody is going to go looking for him. His parents will go looking for him. Sooner or later somebody will find him.

[How will the story end?]

It may be the last one. Or maybe my mind or my miles. Count the steps. See what they say. Take somebody with me so they don't miss him. After the talking's done with children and parents, it went the way the parents said.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mrs. Butler’s Adventure Into Animal World

by Henry, Barbara, Christine, Evelyn, Maxine, Margaret, Barbara, Ellen, Margory, Patricia, [Alice]

[What should we call her?]

Mrs. Butler

[Tell me about Mrs. Butler.]

She’s sitting by the window, got a smile on her face, so she isn’t sad.  She has a good friend she works with, does some television work.  She’s the pleasant hostess of a talk show, very intelligent, and she knows what she’s talking about.  She seems to be that way.  She’s thinking about something pleasant.  Good things going on.  She’s soft spoken. 

[What is Mrs. Butler doing?]

Going out to eat lunch.  She thinks before she starts.  Something light.  Nothing heavy.  She says, “I love them, I tell them anything I want to do, if you get in trouble, you come to me.  Don’t go to anybody else.”  Maybe she’s a helpful person in her own home at the dining table. 

She thinks before she speaks.  I wish I could be like that.  She’s one in a million.  Mesmerizing.  Mesmerizing is what I do a lot, when I’m not busy. 

[Tell me about Mrs. Butler’s talk show.]

Her special guest is someone she knows very well, an ordinary woman with a different view on a question.  Anyone can change their view.  It’s a good idea. 

[What is the question?]

The question she will ask is, “What is intelligence?” 

[How does her special guest answer?]

How your brain operates.  Somebody that’s smarter than somebody else.  Your brain is way ahead of other people.  You’re real smart.  Your brain works real fast.  Brains to go ahead and know what you are doing.  I’ve separated from that.  They have the brains.  She is the perfect one.  She wants to know what she knows now, she’s going to be asking people. 

[What else does she ask her special guest?]

“How does a zoo operate?” 

[What does her special guest say?]

Feed the animals, bring them out, make arrangements for other people to feed them.  A director.  They need water from the lake or the same place where they get the food from.  A pond.  Someplace like that where there’s water.  They have special feeding people for the dangerous animals, with a lot precaution behind a door or fence and not out in the open. 

Mrs. Butler asks her, “What kind of animals?” 

Small and medium assorted animals.  If she can find one and put it down [storyteller is talking about me typing when he says “put it down” - he points to the keyboard], it would be a big help.  She’s taking care of the animals and making sure they are properly cared for.  She showed the people who are interested some of the animals.  She brought them with her on the talk show.  The audience reacts emphatically. 

[How does the story end?]

The story ends pleasantly.  Life goes on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Two Boys' Adventure

by Ellen, Joetta, Earnest, Gretchen, Margery, Henry, [Alice]

You can’t work them, because we knock each other’s elbows.  Elbows over here, can’t we?  It’s because of this thing, or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know.  I couldn’t see right.  What's happening on the ground?  Why didn’t you tell me I couldn’t see right?  You can’t. 

All those windows, that’s not a good idea.  Why not one big window?  This one tiny one on top, it’s an afterthought.  Big at the bottom, little at the top.  That’s not much room.

[What are your first impressions of the photo?]

I have two or three impressions at first.  A kid falling down, a kite up above.  Was the boy on the kite?  It won’t come up in our area.  You’re going to have to move me.  I’m not impressed.  [One storyteller asks another:] What is your opinion of it?
It would be tough to get over that thing right there [storyteller is referring to the building].  That big thing, it’s tough to get over top of it. 

I don’t know what to think.   I don’t like it, because I’ve been in places where people sit outside and holler for somebody, and nobody can hear them.  They were trying to give instruction to them.  The neighbor hears not either.  Either party was talking to the other.  They are short of leaders.  They need both. 

Where is this?  Stanton? Greenville? Chicago?   We don’t want the city to be too small.  The big cities are out of order. 

It was just about that tall.  One, two, three, four, but one is not the right size.  It doesn’t look right.  That’s what it is and not a lot of nonsense.  Five floors, and I can’t sit in that seat.  It slams.  It narrows down.  How do we do that?  Take a chance on falling, that’s how.

[Can you tell me more about what “narrows down”?]

Joy, as usual.  What is that joy?  Does it mean much?  I just wondered it.  Joy wasn’t very showing here [in the picture].  Mine is a little slower.   Stairs aren’t safe on a slope like that.  They are in high school, a lot of work to do.

[Who is in high school?]

An Irish climber named Buddy.  He’s a little bit weary of day camp.  He said, “How would anybody get up there?”  And he was concerned about the children.  But there’s no place to get lost over there.  They have quite a few toys in Chicago.  And boys will want to climb up the building.  Go there and look.  They’ve got a good start.

[Tell me more about the children.]

You wouldn’t dare leave two kids, any kids, or two dogs.  The boys have glasses.  The kids, the boys, get up top, but people are not going to let them.  One whole area is too young by far. 

Generally, two boys get in trouble.  The boys were trying to fly a kite.  It took off!  It wasn’t anchored very well at all, tied to the wall, no actual anchor.  Two boys with toys.  You better get two men together, because it looks pretty close between the windows, a pretty weak situation.  That one behind the window is not wild; he has playing to do. They already punched holes in the kite.  Then they are going to have to separate for grades, and that will be hard.  A different room. 

[Tell me more about the Irish climber named Buddy.  What is he doing?]

He already came and gone. 

[Where did he go?]

Go into the first floor, find the landings, climb the stairs. That would be safe.  It can’t move on a slant like that.  The stairs were how big?  If you get them computed, you can call a lot of sanding, a lot of trouble.  I need help with them.  Leave it and let’s see, but don’t force it.

[Will Buddy help the boys get their kite?]

Get a fire-broom with a rope, a fire department.  They are going to have toys all their lives.  The fire department has a lot of toys, they bring in their things and use it together.

[Did the fire department get the kite for the boys?]

The fire department said, “No way. You need to talk to your family.” 

The fire department let the kite go, but saved the boys.  That’s typical fire department.

Are they expanding?  One big window.  The window isn’t the issue, the fact is that the boys want to climb up after a damn kite that costs a couple of dollars.  Better than take a risk of losing their lives.  That is a lot of height among kids.  One, two, three, four, five.  Nobody but young kids would try it. 

Let Buddy take the kite home and show it to his kids.  Buddy will be at the top, dizzy, in danger of climbing.  Now what are they going to do?  I don’t think that’s quite right.  Nothing more than our instigation climbed a ladder and got scared.  He’s very interested.  Father thinks I’ll fall off and get hurt.

[What happens next?]

We wallpapered that one and that one on this side, but we didn’t touch the top door.  The school is too old for them to spend money.  Washed the windows with a hose.

I did all I could, washed four windows.  They guy left.  He’s gone.  Are these conditions in our notes?

[Yes, I’m typing everything you say.]

Is this happening in the near future, the expansion?  It’s a six year old building.  I was trying to get deals, they were growing too much.  I don’t think you can fix it.  Don’t do it!  Too late now.  [One storyteller asks another:] Do you think it can be fixed? 

On a big highway?  Uh-uh.  A big street?  Uh-uh.   They must be growing and demanding more information on how much space they have.  A good thing.  A very good thing.   

[How does the story end?]

The firemen take the boys home, and it ends happily.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stay Together

by Anne, Evelyn, Earnest, Henry, Patricia, Evonne, Lois, [Alice]

Good!  [Storyteller points and laughs.]  Two kids talking to each other.  They are playpens.  

[What is happening?]

It just went through the air.  Maybe there’s no glass in the two windows.  

[Who are these girls?]

On the left is Linda, on the right is Betty.  We’re putting them together [two storytellers set their pictures side-by-side].  

[What happens next?]

Heavy rain.  They are surprised, they weren’t expecting it.  

These aren’t your children; they are truly Japanese.  I might have a little Japanese running around if my son went to Japan and they set him up with some girls.  

[Are they concerned about the heavy rain?]

The way the water is approaching, coming into a shower all dressed.  Maybe they are looking to go in.  It’s been a long time since I had anything to do with when I was young.  I used to have some from school, I might have some from home, I don’t know for sure.  

[Tell me more about the water.]

The water is approaching very fast in Japan.  I couln’t tell you how fast.  Tsunami from the ocean.  I just read about it.  I didn’t really see it.  But I was pretty close to where the water was running.  I was working there.  

[What will Betty and Linda do about the Tsunami?  Do they have a plan?]

Betty and Linda should get together and make a group, that way they couldn’t split.  Stay together.  From the edge of the water, where the water splashes, the kids keep running around, and they don’t do no damage.  

I’m just going to put this in a photo album.  I’m not a big picture collector.  

Either am I [another storyteller agrees].  

[What happens next?]

Stay in a circle, close to each other.  

I have a friend, which reminds me, I am ashamed of myself.  She is Japanese.  She moved to New Orleans, and we became good friends.  We lost track of each other.  I’m going to call her.  She said her father hit her with a belt and insinuated that she had sexual relations with him.  What kind of father would do that?  She’ll be surprised when I decide to call her.  That’s not typical Japanese.  

[Are Betty and Linda safe now?]

Betty and Linda will hold hands in the water.  In a tidal wave it will be alright.  

[Another storyteller objects...] The last time I saw it, they wouldn’t allow holding hands.  They had to get this deep [the storyteller holds his hand up to chest] in water.  

[How will they stay together if they aren't allowed to hold hands?]

They put them in a room together by themselves.  That’s why they are in this room, I imagine.  I hope they get out, go up on the top, on a group in their age.  

[How does the story end?]

Tragedy.  The End.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lost and Found

by Evelyn, Earnest, Anne, Ellen, Barbara, Gretchen, [Alice]

*[I was unable to post a photo today because one of the storytellers thought it was her grandson and would have been very upset if I took it away from her.  The photo prompt for the story is a baby making a funny tough-guy face and holding up his little fists.]

Someone took my toothbrush, and my house is flooded.  I've got to go get a lawyer. [This storyteller leaves the workshop.]

A boxer, ready to fight.  

That’s precious.  

Great grandchildren.  In the teens they get married.  All their parents work.  Grandma, would you babysit?  Whatever.  I might move out of town.  But that's why you have grandkids!

There’s nothing wrong with him.  [Storyteller holds up two fists and smiles.]  

[What should we call him?]

We’ll call him Charlie, and when he grows up he can change it if he likes.  Sense is making.  

[What do babies do?]

He’ll suck his fist.  Suck his thumb and crawl.  Play around under the bed.  

He’s playing hide and seek.  His mama is looking for him.  Where did she put him last?  

She looks in the closet.  She looks back where Charlie was born, in the nursing home or the hospital.  She’s looking the other way.   She goes to the water to make sure he doesn’t drown.  Keep children on a chain, almost, near the water.  Be careful with the little ones.  You’re right.

[Another storyteller decides to leave the workshop, to help the first storyteller who left to find a lawyer.] 

Check with the workers.  That’s where Charlie would be.

My little grandson is crying.  [The storyteller, who believes the baby in the picture is her grandson, says she wants to take the picture and go cry by herself, because her grandson misses her.  The other storytellers object, saying “That’s not yours!”  I tell them to let her take it.  Everyone settles down again.]

Mama should send out a message, but she doesn’t want to upset all those people outside picking cotton.

You can’t send out a message in the newspaper?  Isn’t that what you should want?  Senior citizens should have access to things.  Her telephone doesn’t work, but she’s an intelligent woman.  She can solve problems that involve babies and communities. 

I’ve been here for 27 years.  I don’t believe that this kind of thing could happen.  You could be picking cotton, and it’s way up there, and somebody needs help and doesn’t have it.  My telephone always works.  When they are off someplace else they [does a motion as if someone were chopping his head off].   There’s only one way out of here.

[Where else does Mama look?]

Mama looks under the bed. 

[The two storytellers who went to find a lawyer come back and join the group.  They explain what happened while they were away.] 

I have hired a lawyer because no one cleaned up the mess in my house.  The lawyers will get with the Federal Government and make them build a new place.  The Environmental Protection Agency might get involved.

[Storyteller whispers in my ear.]  I would like to keep this confidential, but I want to let you know that someone has stolen your baby picture.  You never know what is in her mind.

[I'm just letting her keep the picture.  Does Mama find baby Charlie?]

She should keep looking, start at the beginning, find a connection, a friend. A friend to help her is the main thing, get her another phone is all I can say. 

[So, her friend got her a new telephone?]


[How does the story end?  Does someone find Charlie?]

They do find him.  The mother is happy and loves him and feels a part of his life.  Baby Charlie is happy too, as long as he is familiar with people and spends time with people and slowly gets used to them.