If you have participated in One Book One Valley before, you know that the night with the author is the grand finale after several smaller, related events all around town. I contacted the gentlemen who appear on North Woods Law, hoping they would come talk to us and got no response. I emailed Tim Cotton, a police officer in Bangor and author of The Detective in the Dooryard, he was willing, but not available in October. I even tried to talk my dad into telling us stories.
He has some great ones. He grew up in the woods and worked as a forester for... well, a long time. His former partner is the town forester right here in Jackson. I was raised on stories of the local woods. Dad tells one about riding his snowmobile in the spring and watching a sleepy bear rise out of the snow. There's another when a bear he had just shot for our winter meat, turned and ran toward him! He has several with a paranormal slant too. We suspect a bit of embellishment goes into his stories, but we keep quiet because, well, a good story is just that, isn't it?
I begged and pleaded and offered to ply him with adult beverages for courage - he still declined... but gave me an idea. We live here, don't we? We know the woods better than most. We know how to spot poison ivy and what to do if we encounter a moose on the trail. Why not collect our stories?
I would like to invite you to send me any story you are moved to tell in any format... as long as it involves the woods.
- You could put on your best NPR voice and use your phone to make an mp3.
- You could make a video showing props or photos.
- You could write it down and email me.
- Or *drum roll* you could offer to come and tell it to a live audience during a program.
I'm hoping to collect enough stories to make some kind of program. Maybe written ones in a photocopied book to check out. Maybe a bunch of videos and audio files edited together. Or maybe we'll find we have enough storytellers to host a Zoom event. Please email me your story in any format or your interest in participating in a storytelling event.