The most renowned storytellers in the business have passed through Southeast Missouri while performing at storytelling events in Cape Girardeau during the last five years.
Their stories are famous among devoted fans of the art form, but it’s the tales that center around the storytelling events here in Cape Girardeau that resonate with me.
Here’s a quick story about the Ross family, a group of storytelling devotees who have centered family reunions and gatherings around Cape Girardeau’s storytelling events for several years.
“(My husband) David and I, having lived in Tennessee before moving to Missouri, always heard of the huge storytelling festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee, but were never able to attend,” says Susan Ross. “When we heard that Cape Girardeau was going to bring storytelling here, we jumped at the opportunity to see first-class tellers right here in town.”
Susan says that, after the festival’s inaugural year, she invited family members to experience the event for themselves. Ten family members came to storytelling events that year, some from as far away as Lawrence, Kan., and Chattanooga, Tenn.
In addition to making storytelling events in Cape Girardeau family affairs, the Ross family has included their church group. And last year, family friends from St. Louis joined them as well.
“Storytelling events have now become occasions on the family calendar much like Thanksgiving,” Susan says. “It is a weekend we try to gather together as family and visit. Going to hear stories has brought out the storytelling in our own family. We always laugh until we cry, and we all look forward to the event because we never know which stories from the past will come up!
“In this hyped-up tech-driven world we live in today, to put all the gadgets away and just sit around and talk is so wonderful. That is what storytelling has brought to our family.”
Learn what storytelling can mean to your family with “An Evening of Storytelling with Donald Davis and Dolores Hydock” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18. The event takes place at Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. Tickets are available for purchase at RiverCampusEvents.com or by calling 573-651-2265.
Written by Stacy Dohogne Lane, director of public relations for the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau.