This entry could also be entitled, "Marathon Storytelling."
I knew that the pacing would be picking up as I neared Halloween, and had rather braced myself. A couple of weeks earlier I had done Lincoln Memorial Gardens' Indian Summer Festival, which leaned very heavily towards "summer" with a mini-heat wave. I was so used to it being cold that I hadn't even thought to bring out my sun hat, but fortunately the Gardens' well-stocked gift shop had one. The show was soon followed by Riverton Elementary School's Fall Fling and Book Fair. This too was a lot of fun, though I will again say, "I need a GPS unit!"
After a brief bit of breathing room I launched into this weekend.
Saturday began with the Elijah Iles Foundations' "Old Settler's Day," which is a fundraiser for the Strawbridge-Shepherd House; this is one of the oldest farmhouses in the area.
The day started off with some threatening clouds, which, after I had just gotten into my civil war era gown, let loose. We all took to what cover we could find.
But once that was done the festival settled into a pleasant rhythm.
Since the rain had delayed any attendees all of the volunteers came in to hear Richard Hart give a talk on the Underground Railroad in Springfield. He kiddingly asked one young lady, who he knew, if she had learned anything at the end of it. And she said, "No. I have a short attention span."
Which didn't reassure me when her mother suggested that both that young lady, and her younger sister, come over and hear stories.
I decided to try "Tam Lin," since it has often caught a young lady's attention.
And it did again. At the end of the story the self-proclaimed restless one said, "I've never heard anything like that. All you find are werewolves, and vampires and stuff."
She then settled to hear "Jack and the Gower," which is a "dragon-slaying" story from Missouri, though the dragon is an enormous alligator in the tale.
All of this led into a pleasant hour of discussing books and pets.
I was only scheduled for a short performance run; this had been at my own request, since I thought I would rest up before Clayville's Haunted House. However, with the day having turned fine, and there being other dogs at the festival, I went back home to get Winston (my 2 year old Coonhound). He too had a grand time greeting many friendly people.
Much later I drove out to Clayville for their "Raising the Dead" Haunted House (http://clayville.org/home).
The moon was full, with a veil over her, and her light was eerie on the ancient stagecoach stop. I had a new Halloween performing costume - a black velveteen "opera coat" with a hood. So I would have been eerie myself - except that I had to keep hold of my coffee mug so it wouldn't get knocked over by the straw bails. I had been stationed by the bonfire so I could entertain those waiting for the tractor to bring the wagon over.
Though adults and children were excited (and scared) with anticipation of the hay rack ride and the house they were all a good audience.
I complimented one young lady (a return member of the audience) on being a good listener. To which she replied, "It takes good stories to make a good listener." (Wise words from a twelve year old, and very appreciated.)
I was also pleased to hear the rave reviews of the haunted tour - the Clayville planners had outdone themselves!
it was a late drive home, and an somewhat early morning on Sunday.
The Rock the Playhouse at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center was a lively scene. I had two half hour, almost back-to-back, performances on their main stage. And despite everything being offered around there were several families that stayed to listen.
This morning I heard that they ran out of tickets twice over, which was very good news for the American Foreclosure and Mortgage Relief Foundation http://www.afamr.org/.
I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.