Last week I watched the movie Big Fish for the first time. It reminded me how much I LOVE meeting someone with the ability to tell a great story. I don't have it! I can write a decent story...or I can tell one if I know it really well or have practiced it a whole lot ahead of time. But to just speak with creativity and hold others spellbound as a natural talent? Nope.
The person who comes to mind as the best storyteller I ever knew was one of my high school science teachers, my very favorite teacher of my pre-college education days, named Mr. (Phil) Nave. First, he was a phenomenal teacher - he made science interesting. He even took my Anatomy & Physiology class on a trip to a nearby university's cadaver lab. Second, he studied philosophy in school and was a person in search of truth, much as I consider myself to be; and when I was in high school I used to carry my Bible through school with me every day, and so Mr. Nave and I used to have a lot of philosophical discussions. He listened to what I had to say and asked questions, even though I was a teenager and, looking back, I really didn't know too much about anything (though I no doubt thought otherwise)! Third, almost every day he would tell us stories. They just came pouring out of him.
One time someone made the comment that they were never quite sure which of Mr. Nave's stories were true and which ones were made up. I guess I have always been gullible and believed anything was possible, because their comment completely shocked me. "What do you mean 'made up'?" I asked. "Aren't they all true?!" My friend looked at me strange. As I recalled that conversation last week, I finally realized why. Some of Mr. Nave's stories were about elves that lived in the woods behind his house. He was just so believable and his stories so flawless and unhalting that it never even dawned on me there really weren't elves in the woods behind his house!! This realization so recently gave me quite a laugh at my younger, wide-eyed, story-believing self.
And I still love a good story.
My dad always used to tell stories. His weren't made up; they were recollections; but still, he could tell them so easily and they were always interesting! I know I have had some interesting experiences myself, but to tell them to you presents me with quite a challenge! Even to remember the details is sometimes hard. Not for Dad.
My grandma is the same way. Before work tonight I called her and asked her to tell me some stories. I have been wanting to write them down or record them in some way for a while now, so I will have them after she is no longer around (not to be morbid or anything). I will be writing some "story" posts in the upcoming weeks...I will record the things she has told me, and probably reflect a little in the posts, too. I may share some of my dad's, too, but for them I will be going on memory.
Have you known any great storytellers in your time?