It was one of those perfect weather days. I was out of the house early because when it’s December and sunny and 64 in Western North Carolina, it’s against the law to be inside. I think it is anyhow. It certainly should be.
I met a friend in Newton and we did the usual antiquing and lunching and gossiping and telling our dreams of the future even though we’re both older than dirt. I thought I knew her pretty well, so I was mildly surprised when she asked if she could rehearse in the car. “Rehearse what?” I asked. “A story,” she replied. “I have a performance tonight.” “A performance?” So without further ado she started her story.
I almost wrecked the car. Here she was, now with a different voice, different tone, different inflections, even a different decibel level, banging out this story as if she’s told it a thousand times, which she may have for all I knew. I was so hooked after the first minute, I didn’t want to stop for gas, and I wouldn’t have except I was past “E” for empty and clearly on “W” for walk.
She’d stop speaking while I pumped, and once finished I reminded her exactly where she was in the story, not that she’d lost track and needed the prompt. Without missing a beat, she continued through two more stops and at least a half-hour in another antique shop.
The story is not the story (though this one was about a creepy old woman who lived on a hill above a village, where everyone hated her, and a “star child” who appears at her door on Christmas Eve) but the storytelling is. Apparently she’s been telling stories forever. You can hire her, or you may find her at a coffee house walking about, telling a story, drawing you in. Then she passes the hat. She says this is very worth her time.
She also “dresses” the part now and then. And she’ll find a story just right for her audience, whether, as her card reads, you are “three or one-hundred and three.” So for anyone who’s local and reading this, write to me and I’ll give you her information. If I was looking for party entertainment, especially for a child’s birthday, I’d choose her over a clown. Clowns scare children. She’ll captivate them.