Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch’s summer story series returns this month to Jubilee Community. Stories from the Mountains to the Sea presents six professional storytellers taking turns spinning tales on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Wilma Dykeman Legacy, the events are free and open to the public and donations are welcome. The participating storytellers will be Sherry Lovett, Frederick Park, Nancy Reeder, Spoon Lady Abby Roach accompanied by musician Chris Rodrigues, Pat Stone and Donald Sweeper.
Lovett, who will perform July 14, began telling stories as a middle school teacher 20 years ago. “I tell a wide variety of traditional stories,” she says, “many focused on the Appalachian region, and including Celtic fairy and folk tales and the old ballads known as the love songs.”
Part of storytelling’s appeal, Lovett says, is how it connects people to each other. “It allows us to look into the eyes of another and have a shared experience that may make us laugh or cry or think and, most definitely, will leave us with a deeper sense of community and humanity. Our world can use a lot more of that.”
On July 28, Pat Stone, a storyteller for “nigh onto 50 years,” and a whitewater canoeist for longer than that, will take the stage. “I mostly tell Jack and other Appalachian tales because I love them,” he says. “They are such an exuberant part of our heritage and it’s a joy to help keep them alive.” With the theme being outdoor stories for his designated time for this event, he will share “a true whitewater paddling adventure,” one, he adds, “which felt like it would be the last Pat Tale!” Stone’s achievements include being the first person to paddle the Nolichucky Gorge and creating and editing the magazine The Weeder’s Digest.
“Storytelling is the most intimate, personal way of sharing experience,” he says. “Your heart, mind and funny bone connect with a storyteller more directly than when you read a book or watch a movie.” Other presenters are Roach (July 7), Park (July 14), Sweeper (July 21) and Reeder (July 28).
Jubilee Community is located at 46 Wall Street in downtown Asheville. For more information, call Becky Stone at 828.692.1902 or 828.243.9259.