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Do Tell Story Summaries - June 2019

A sweet summer evening was made more so by stories of personal experiences, a classic tale and even a bit of historical interest.


Diane Baines started us out with her story of escape from the Santa Rosa fire 2 years ago. The terrifying sight of the burning landscape around her was made worse because her mother was missing. This began a desperate search. At the end of her search she found her mother safe and calm enough to say, “Don’t spill my chili” when her daughter embraced her in relief and thankfulness.

Katy Mangan's story, “Surprises” chronicles the series of events that kept coming along as Katy and her husband moved from one rental to another while they wait for their house to be rebuilt. Expectations and found objects play a part in this tale.

 Gerry Runz’s story was of her family’s adopted dog. It grew into a very big dog. Even when the family expanded with a baby, a cat and a second dog this dog was gentle and sweet. However, that didn’t make the vet that cared for the dog feel any less nervous.

Elaine Stanley told a wonderful “spring” story about a batch of newly hatched snakes that get into trouble with a neighbor for “hissing in her pit”. A very funny story with lots of word alliteration, this is a story to be heard and enjoyed many times.

Laurie Reaume’s story ,”Parallel Universe”, told a story many can relate to: learning to parallel park a car. Her father, described as a man without much patience and a perfectionist, was the designated instructor and had high expectations. However, when Laurie bumped the car behind in her attempt to squeeze into a tight parking space, he advised her to “Pull out quickly”! 

Anne Marie Cheney’s story could have been titled: “How to go to Chicago for under $30”. Very much wanting to go to a class where she would join others in dinner and drinks and also need transportation, Ann Marie found a way to do it all for her budget of $30!

Hal McCown told us about the life of Thomas A. Dorsey, 1988-1993, who was known as the father of black gospel music. From a strongly religious background, Tommy dedicated his life to God. But he questioned his faith when he lost his wife in childbirth and soon after the son she bore. Finally, coming to peace with God, Dorsey spontaneously sang “Precious Lord, Take my Hand”, one of the most beloved hymns of all time.

Kelly Pullman described her job helping clients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Even through the difficulty of the circumstances of these clients and her own work, amazing things occur, funny things are said, and humanity shines through.

Sharon Elwell had a sweet story of finding a home for a very large orchid. Working the desk at the hospital, a woman left the orchid after declaring she did not want it. People who came by were interested but just not right for the plant. Finally, a woman came by and exclaimed over the orchid. She was from Paradise and had lost her prized collection of these plants in the fire. It was an adoption made in paradise itself.

Elishiva Hart remembered her father and what it was like to be very young. Going outdoors without shoes was one of the very nice things about summer. But when she got into a patch of stickers, she had to be rescued by her dad. I’m sure we all related to the image of the big strong man plucking his little daughter from that patch of thorns.

Robin Whealdon told of a friend who used a new technique to make shirts with images on them that reflected his creative interest and talents.
Elaine Stanley told the tale “Luck or Intelligence” about a man who shows much intelligence but also has luck on his side. The tale shows how a bit of brashness, hard work and cleverness can take a person form the brink of catastrophe to their highest dreams – with a combination of luck and intelligence!

Sharon Elwell closed up the Swap with her tale of Stubby Smith, a vagrant that wanted to get arrested so he could spend the cold night in jail. But no matter what he did, he couldn’t manage to get anyone to believe him. This story had humor and life lessons all in one.
​Submitted by Meg Brown

Please join us for more stories and friendship on Tuesday, July 9th. 

Do Tell Story Summaries – May 2019

We were so pleased to have Kenneth and Patricia Foster as guests at our May Swap. Kenneth is the co-founder of Do Tell Story Swap along with Elaine Stanley. He and Patricia now live in Washington State. A consummate storyteller, Kenneth opened the Swap with one of his early stories about pollywogs. Sharing his memories and adventures of summer pollywog collecting, we were transported into a time and place many of us remembered from our own pollywog experiences! 

Sharon Elwell admitted that her taste in music is out of date. This was well known to her middle school recidivist math students. So when she challenged them to rap about math, she had their attention. And when she delivered her own math rap, she had their respect. 

Brandon Spars is participating in one of Cathryn Fairlee’s epic story events. His part is about Mohammed’s Uncle. Brandon’s tale encompassed battles, theft, divine declarations and more to form a wonderfully action packed tale.

Rosemary Hayes recounted a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where she found herself looking into a huge tank with a starfish plastered to the glass. As she watched the starfish move it’s “arms” she began to move just like it. A group of young children found it very funny to watch the old lady dancing with the starfish.

Laurie Reaume admitted she is always looking for coins; when she is walking, in the bank or anywhere. For a while she never found dimes. When there was a recent run of dimes turning up to be found, she began to speculate on the nature of the random.

Pat Krenke loved telling stories as a Kindergarten teacher. One of her favorites is about a pick pocket that marries another pick pocket and when they have a baby, it has a deformity of having it’s fist clenched and rigid against its chest. The cure came from an unexpected event: the baby let go of the midwife’s ring in his fist to grab the doctors gold watch!

Hal McCown had early lessons from his Uncle Val who was a real people person and got along with everyone. And as Hal applied these lessons to situations in his life, especially of a stressful nature, he always found kindness, thoughtfulness and patience brought more than adequate rewards. It even got him a free tow when his car broke down. Most of all Uncle Val’s lessons reminded Hal of our late friend and fellow Swapper, Cal Johnson.

Meg Brown closed out the Swap with a story of young fisherman, and their pride at bringing home bucket of fish to their mother to cook. Since she was busy the boys had to scale and gut the fish. After she cooked up the fish the boys found that the bony, very small fish didn’t make a good dinner. But Mother said if you are going to take a life you should eat what you kill. That principle guided the boys into life as they became professional fishermen. (This story was modified from “The Whale that Lit the World” by Josh Churchman. If you have ever wondered about the lives of fishermen off the Sonoma/Marin coast, this book is for you. Buy it!)

We are all looking forward to summer! Join us for more stories to tell or listen on June 11 at Oakmont Gardens! 
Submitted by Meg Brown






 Sharon Elwell
Elaine Stanley 
Robin Whealdon
Laurie Reaume