This past weekend I had fun sharing my story about Nicola Tesla at the 14th Annual Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival in Pickens.
I also listened to some of the other storytellers recount stories from their childhoods. John Fowler talked about a valuable lesson that he learned from his first grade teacher. Kim Weitkamp talked both humorously and tenderly about her father and family. David Joe Miller told a short story at the end about how he got started with storytelling after he discovered some old family letters and discovered stories about his father, who died young. Listening to David I got to thinking about how I got started with storytelling.
The inspiration to tell stories and not just write them down, came about a decade before I actually began, when I was about eighteen or nineteen. I listened for the first time to a recording of Lord Buckley, who retold many familiar stories in what he called “hip semantic.” Lord Buckley, like me, was enamored with Jazz and the lingo of the Jazz musicians of his time, the 1950’s.