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Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes

PJ Tour Notes #4

7/3/96 Sunrise to noon at Pipestone, Minn.

If you ever get the chance to sit, watch, and listen to the pipestone carvers, try it. Not talking. Not asking. People keep coming up and asking the same questions, over and over. After an hour or so, you'll know more about the process than the average tourist. They ask three or four questions and move on to the next thing. But looking at the exquisite cravings of days gone by is nothing compared to watching the struggle of the artist finding the right piece, and cutting it from the earth. Or taking the piece and learning its nature before the carving starts. Or the process of taking off the parts to reveal the art work within.

Sitting and watching until you know what questions to ask to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. To learn about the things that cannot be seen. And maybe, be a little more appreciated for the deeper interest or at least for asking new questions

4th of July, 1996 in Barrington, Illinois

This was my first visit to the Chicago 'burbs. Neat little blocks of houses surrounding field-like parks. I was told that in the spring the fields fill with the melting snow and become ponds for awhile. But on the Fourth of July, one of the neighborhoods throws a party. One of the houses becomes a restaurant. It is set up with a huge multi-level deck and what would have been termed a Summer kitchen a hundred years ago in my part of the world. There the owner grilled over a hundred pounds of burgers, hot dogs, sausages, whole chickens,... at once. Another neighbor set up game after game for the children. The kids didn't fight or argue. And when someone said, "It's time for the Storyteller." The children surrounded me, dropped to the ground, and gave me their undivided attention. I was amazed. Perhaps even more amazed when an hour and a half later, when I finally walked away, to find how long we had been sharing stories. "It's time" whether to start or to end, they where ready and willing, no problem.

The rest of July in the East

The next few weeks are a bit of a blur. Too much driving, not enough sleep. Sue left the tour for awhile to try and catch up on the office work (someday, we must get that lap top). My youngest son, Josh kept me and Tasha Tripod company, but at4, he couldnt take a turn at the driving. So I really can't remember much about my visit to Wayfarer Tomm, the story circle at the NSA conference, or the shows in Hartford, Conn. Luckily, there are many others on this List to share the conference sights and sounds. I do remember enjoying the visit to Tomm's and it is always a pleasure to talk with Theresa. Oh , I do remember that Theresa is doing some great work with the kids in Summer School. Important work as it is always kind of dispiriting to be going to school when the rest of your peers are off enjoying the Summer.


Pax & Amicitia,

Papa Joe

Date: Sun, 08 Sep 1996 10:31:51 EDT

From: mcgoffnee@uhavax.hartford.edu

To: storytell@venus.twu.edu

Subject: Papa Joe in Hartford

Just wanted to add a tag to Papa Joe's journal of Hartford visit. (I know I still owe you that letter!) The children were involved in some oral testing the following week. days after hearing Papa Joe they not only described him to the people conducting the tests - they began to repeat his ENTIRE PERFORMANCE!!!!

Prior to that as they wrote down what they wanted included in a letter to Papa Joe - all mentioned something he had done or said that had been in direct relation to him/her. Each child felt the piece/program was for him/her individually.

So... although we may not feel we have all the energy we want at any given moment - the heart we bring to storytelling reaches out - IMHO

Thanks, Papa Joe!

Theresa McGoff Ferreira


"May the telling never end!"

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