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Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes

PJ's Tour Notes

The tour actually starts years ago, with a sense of purpose. (Yes, Tomm. I see your point. The words are important.) To teach communication skills to the next generation of storytellers. That's what the program is really about. Teaching skills to current tellers, speeds the purpose along. As for entertainment and fun... shouldn't that just be.

Our Vardo is a 1980 Datsun mini pickup truck with a 1.6 liter engine and a four speed transmission, carrying one of the smallest complete RV bodies ever made. It has a toilet, shower, hot & cold running water, refrigerator, stove, oven, bed, everything. It's just got the smallest of everything the builders could find. That's a good thing. We need to fit into small places. And it doesn't cost much to operate. The paint job creates a presents, not many people miss. You have to see it. I think the best part of being a Turtle and carrying your home on your back is that you're always home. Even at a rest area on the side of the highway.

The crew includes: Sues, my wife, copilot, sanity. And our two dogs, Tasha Tripod and Zaque.

Two weeks of 16+ hour days of preparations. Closing down the cottage, moving the office to Kerry's (our business partner), and setting up the Vardo. Followed by two days of steady driving brings us to:

Omaha, Nebraska 6/3/96

Sues, Tasha, Zaque, and I, arrived to a warm reception from Storytell's Mary Heise. We enjoyed showers and a Syrian dinner not quickly to be forgotten. In the evening, several of the storytellers of OOPS (Omaha Organization for the purpose of Storytelling), came to share stories. While I can't remember what stories I told, Diane Cox shared a tale I can not forget:

You'd Better Write It Down.

My grandparents were getting on. Their memories being to fade. My grandmother was always trying to get my grandfather to write notes to himself. He forgot things so often.

One day he came out to the porch, looked at my grandmother and said, "Honey. I was thinking about getting a little bowl of ice cream. Would you like some?"

She said, "Why that would be nice. But you know how your memory is. You had better write it down.

He said, "Write it down? It's only two bowls of ice cream. I can remember that. I don't need to write it down."

"Yes, but I was thinking. Do we have any hot fudge? If we have some Hot Fudge, I'd like that on my ice cream."

"I think we have hot fudge. I'll put it on your ice cream."

"You'd better write it down."

I don't need to write it down. I can remember two things, ice cream and hot fudge."

"Yes, but I was thinking. Some whip cream would be nice. Do we have any whip cream?"

"We have whip cream. I'll put it on your ice cream."

"You'd better write it down."

I don't Need to write it down. I can remember three things, ice cream, hot fudge and whip cream."

"Yes, but I was thinking. Some walnuts would nice. Do we have any walnuts?"

"We have Walnuts. I'll put some on your ice cream."

"You'd better write it down."

I Don't Need to Write it Down. I can remember four things, ice cream, hot fudge, whip cream, and walnuts."

"Yes, but I was thinking. I'd like a cherry on top. Do we have any cherries?"

"We have cherries. I'll put one on your ice cream."

"You'd better write it down."

"I DON'T NEED TO WRITE IT DOWN! I can remember five things, ice cream, hot fudge, whip cream, walnuts, and a CHERRY on TOP!"

"You better write it down."

He stormed into to the kitchen and what followed was twenty minutes of slamming pots and pans. When he came out, he set down two plates piled with scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, and toast.

She said, "I told you you should've written it down. You forgot to butter the toast."


Many thanks, Mary. We had a great time. And keep up the great work for our Art.


Pax & Amicitia,

Papa Joe

Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

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