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  • Perin Stifel

MO-TELL's St. Louis Tellabration 2023

What a wonderful time we had at O'Connell's Pub in St. Louis, MO on November 15th at 7 pm for Tellabration! We were upstairs on the second floor in Jack's Joint. The room was filled to capacity. Our dynamic emcee, who set the mood, was Ken Wolfe. Everyone felt comfortable and relaxed. Ken surveyed the audience and discovered there were at least a dozen first time story listeners among us.

Our tellers were Perrin Stifel of Webster Grove, MO, Sue Henkel of Pacific, MO, Jackie and "Papa" Wright of University City, MO, and Ken Wolfe or St. Louis, MO.

Perrin told the cowboy poem "Reincarnation" by McRae. He also told two estate sales stories. They were both stories about wonderful "finds." The first story was called "The Discovery," which was made by his 16-year-old grandson, Blake, who is now 24 years old and was in the audience. Perrin's second story was "Some Day You'll Know the Value." The setting was in the very room where we were, Jack's Joint. Jack Parker, the deceased owner of O'Connell's Pub and Jack Parker Antiques, was present in spirit. Perrin said, "I felt like we were in front of an audience in Jonesborough, Tennessee when you knew the audience was in the teller's palm or their hand. And not only as I told, but also when I was in the audience. It was a great feeling!"

Sue told "The $100 Bill." It is a story that was passed down from her husband's John's grandfather, then to John's father, to John, and then, he told the story to Sue. It seems that everyone in that story owed somebody a hundred dollars. Sue also told "It Came in the Night," a children's story she adapted for adults. The story tells you to think twice about what you ignore. Sue said, " I thought the evening went very, very well, loved the diverse tellers, and the variety of stories."

Jackie told "Stop the Coffin," which had the audience wondering just how that lone rider was going to get rid of that "coffin." Her next story was "Heaven and Hell." Do you know the difference between heaven and hell? Well, we all found out at MO-TELL's Tellabration 2023. "Papa" added color and texture to both stories. He even demonstrated a couple of his percussion instruments to the audience. Jackie & "Papa" said, "What s wonderful evening of storytelling!"

Ken told "Gearshift," a story about nicknames and a childhood friend who made sounds like he was driving a race car. For his second story, Ken did one round of "Stories & White Lies While-U-Wait." He asked a young man from the audience to create a drawing on a dry erase board and then Ken created and told a story based on the drawing. When Ken finished the story, he erased the drawing with a pad and gave the pad to they young man and told him he could take the story home with him. To close the program, Ken sang "The Scotsman." Ken said, "It was a good night, to be sure."

Comments Perrin heard from the audience members:

"We loved the tellings and music by Jackie and Papa. Delightful!"

"I love Sue's voice, her delivery, and timing."

"Ken was the perfect host. And he is so funny. I laughed so hard which I haven't done in ages."

"It was the best Tellabration ever."

A $20 gift card to Board Walk Café in Webster Groves, MO was taped under one of the seats in the audience as a door prize. Aaron Donavon of Spanish Lake, MO was the lucky winner. He happens to be an aspiring storyteller and former student of Jackie Wright.

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