Do Tell Story Swap
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Do Tell Story Swap Summaries

September 2022

Our line up of story tellers outdid themselves on September 13th with stories that were classic, imaginative and a joy to hear! 

Beth Wakelee let us walk those dreamlike and dark forests that can only exist in classic folk tales, with three brothers and a conniving witch as your guide. “… that hot breath at their backs…” No spoiler alert here, you’ll have to check it out!

Vicky Ness told a tale within a tale involving the everyday lives of those living in a small town in the 1950’s. Escape from daily dramas comes courtesy of a sheik and sexy princess who usher the townspeople to exotic lands and long ago times via the magic of a drive-in movie screen.

Laurie Reaume, a gardener, proves that growing compassion, generosity and neighborhood connections are some of the most important things to tend in the garden. Giving gifts of ourselves, along with strawberries, flowers and herbs, nurtures us all.

Katy Mangan tells of a young girl who takes a journey into the powerful. mystical and magical spirit of the natural world around us. Walled gardens, rich forestlands and shimmering waterways speak to her through the touch of the earth on her bare feet, the visual beauty of a heron and the lyrical soul of song.

Genevieve Franklin offers some pre-Halloween goosebumps in a personal story of a scary night vision, the claustrophobic world of secrets not shared and the sinister echoes of the past. It all gets tied up in the end, not with a comforting “happily ever after,” but with a shocking twist.

Brandon Spars lets us relive, at a safe distance, the humorous and utterly horrible first date of a 16 year old boy. It just keeps getting worse. And funnier. And even worse. And, believe it or not, even funnier. You have to hop in the car with this particular teenager and go along for the ride to understand. 

Laurie Reaume closed the session with another garden story that reminded us again of the life giving effects that generosity in the garden, casual kindness and a little effort can make in another person’s life. 

August 2022
What a great night for stories!

Beverly Schwarz joined the group from New York tonight to share a story about meeting David Ballard, who found the shipwrecked Titanic. Ballard shared a story with Beverly about an artifact that seemed to be signaling to them to let them know where to find the ship.


Edgar Rider visited the group for the first time, and delighted us with a fable involving a convenience store, a dinosaur, a cheeseburger, a kitten, and a can of Seafood Surprise. 

Pete Moffett told of a vacation trip to the Yucatan. He had left the resort to go for a run. Stopped by signs that said KEEP OUT in several languages, he kept running to adhere to his training regimen. He came upon an ancient pyramid, and was looking around in wonder when he saw a uniformed policeman. He was afraid he would be arrested, but the policeman had a different – and very surprising – request. 

Elaine Stanley responded to a request to share “A Tale of Tails” about a coyote who is consigned to the coat room during a party for all of the dogs in the world. When the coyote learns that the tails on the coats the dogs have left in the room are detachable, he decides to take his revenge. The result is still with us today.

Sharon Elwell told the story of an orchid – the prima donna of the plant world – who is cast aside and then finds the perfect home.

Alicia Retes shared her poem about her mother – a remarkable woman who traveled by plane, canoe, camel, ocean liner, and every conveyance imaginable on field expeditions to learn and to teach about the world around her.

Katy Mangan told a personal story about a frightening retinal tear that caused the vision in her right eye to go black. She took us all through the experience of going from blackness to color and restored sight.

Vicky Ness delighted us with a dream about squirrels delivering precious moments of joy into a day that seemed dull and disheartening. 

Genevieve Franklin dressed quickly for a memorial service for Mary Turner, a storyteller who left us this year. During the service, Genevieve realized that in her hurry she had put on her dress inside out. What to do? 

Do Tell Story Swap Summaries 
July 2022

Pete Moffett began the evening with a story of family summers in Florida. The fathers were serious fishermen, and the inlet where they liked to fish had a pass to the Gulf of Mexico, so they were able to do both fresh and saltwater fishing. One summer a storm created a strand that blocked the pass, and the fishing was terrible. The fathers challenged the boys to take shovels and dig a trench to let the water flow again. They promised an evening at Goofy Golf and Angelo’s Steak House if the boys succeeded. Try as they might, the trench the boys dug was not nearly long enough, but a lucky storm came through and added to their efforts to blow the pass open. They saved paradise!

Vicky Ness told about a house filled with memorabilia collected from all over the world. At night, the furnishings would come to life. One plain bench was not part of the museum-quality household, but found its place outside, where a child put her tea seat and used her imagination to create a world of her own.

Elaine Stanley told of a senior snake who was teaching junior snakes to hiss. Mrs. Potts had a perfect pit, but she didn’t want to allow the snakes to hiss there. 

Meg Brown shared a true story of ten-year-old boys in the mountains who wanted to camp in a tent by themselves. During the night, the many sounds of owls, coyotes, and a mountain lion’s scream scared them enough to send them back to the grownups. They were taught a lesson about respect for the habits and habitat of wild creatures, and that lesson was inherited by their families.

Sharon Elwell told a folk tale she learned from Pam Faro about a little old woman who craved an apple dumpling, and had to go through many trade interactions to get it.

Upon request, Elaine Stanley told an old favorite about Señor Coyote, who had an unfortunate encounter with four dogs. He was boastful about all that his paws, eyes, and ears had done to save him, but when he rejected his tail as useless, there was a tragic outcome. 

Pete ended the evening telling about a parking lot situation where he waited for a car behind him to back out. Each time his brake lights came on, so did the brake lights of the other person. When he took his foot off the brake and waited, so did the other person. This process went on for some time, until Pete made a surprising discovery. 

​Do Tell Story Swap Story Summaries
June 2022

Sher Christian touched hearts with a poem in honor of our dear Mary Turner, who died this year. Then Sher added a story about Mai Tai, her cat of 13 years, whom she missed dreadfully. When a psychic told her that her beloved cat would return after three months in another form, she was not completely surprised when a friend’s cat had kittens in that time frame. When the new cat performed a trick that Mai Tai had done, Sher happily came to believe that Mai Tai was back in her life.

Pete Moffett – whose real name is Robert Parker Moffett Jr. – told about becoming the father of an unexpected twin. Robert Parker Moffett III was the name for the expected child. What would they name the boy they didn’t know was coming?

Vicky Ness gave us her take on the fable of the ants and the grasshopper. In Vicky’s version, there is a much happier result all around – for the listeners as well.

Sharon Elwell told of a situation she observed while working the reception desk in a hospital. She didn’t get to see the end of the story, of course, which had the advantage of letting her make up the ending she hoped for.

Katy Mangan took us to the village in England where Shirley Anne, our favorite character who talks to trees, was confronted by grumpy Mr. Smithers with surprising results.

Genevieve Franklin told of undergoing surgery on her vocal cords, which left her unable to communicate with her husband, who had lost his sight. She was required to be completely silent for six weeks. They developed innovative ways to communicate, including clapped signals. She learned that “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”


Do Tell Story Swap Story Summaries
May 2022
Thank you, Vicky Ness, for providing us with your really wonderful summaries of the stories told at the May Swap. Every one describes why storytelling enriches our lives. You can watch the May Swap on YouTube: 

Brandon Spars, Beth Wakelee, Alicia Retes, Pete Moffet, Beverly Schwartz, Genevieve Franklin were our tellers.  

Brandon Spars
Brandon heads to the bush of Liberia, joined by his wife, his friends, their African guide and an ever-present cardboard Jesus. Accidents happen… lives are changed… and not a few miracles occur.

Beth Wakelee
The wonderful tale of Old Joe and the Carpenter. Told with quiet humor, this story tells of discovering, almost against our will, the power of forgiveness and generosity of the heart.

Alicia Retes
A love story about an amazing mother, told with music, poetry and stories. Alicia combines a history lesson with the biography of a beautiful spirit who lived a long and remarkable life.

Pete Moffett
Where can a passion lead you? Pete tells us of his love of flying and adventures of taking to the sky. It’s a universal story of courage and the power of facing your fears.

Beverly Schwartz
For the love of a chicken. Beverly tells a culinary tale most fowl, as seen through the eyes of a young child.

Katy Mangan
Where can a book take you? This particular book takes us along as it ventures out into the “real world” to find its voice and the stories it wants to tell us. 

Vicky Ness
The silence and solitude of a small but stately museum is challenged by an adventurous cleaning lady and a mouse.

Genevieve Franklin
By walking into the spirit of a painting, one can discover the stories waiting to be told, the otherworldly wonder of the imagination and the universal call for healing.


Do Tell Story Swap Story Summaries April 2022

Wow! A great night with a variety of stories.
Sharon Elwell started the evening with a liar’s tale told by a wife who had driven her husband to madness by singing to him constantly.


Vicky Ness had her imagination in high gear with a story of an animal who constantly pleaded with Mother Nature to change his characteristics. He started as a fish who wanted to fly. When he became a cormorant, he wanted to be able to run, so changed into an ostrich. Then he wanted teeth and water. But after changing to an alligator, he finally became a frog – who never stopped grumbling.

Genevieve Franklin told a story about her husband, who was fascinated with the Civil War and studied it constantly. After he died, she promised to follow the famous phrase and “long remember.”

Beverly Schwarz told about seeing her father for the last time before his death and compared those tender moments to the suffering of Ukrainians in today’s war who must say goodbye to their dear ones. She quoted, “There will be peace when the power of love is greater than the love of power.”

Alicia Retes honored her mother with a poem she had composed with her brother about their mother’s wide range of interest and many adventures. 

Elisheva Hart also honored her mother’s cleverness, saving her from a St. Patrick’s Day of being pinched because she had nothing green to wear by supplying her with a surprise green to wear. 

Katy Mangan ended the evening with a beautiful story of Eduardo’s trip into the Deep Woods to communicate with a great spirit. 

Be sure to join us next in May for more fun and entertaining stories from our great Do Tell storytellers! 
























































2022 Virtual Story Swap via Zoom sponsored by the Storytelling Association of California (SAC). 
Our host Brandon Spars