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Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes

From: Susanna Holstein

To: Storytell

Subject: Re: Papa Joe and good weather

Date: Saturday, August 02, 1997 10:29 PM

He's come, he's gone, and the beautiful weather he brought with him left with him. West Virginia just had its first storytelling experience with Papa Joe, and what a time it was.

Papa Joe arrived here at my farm on Thursday night, and Papa Joe, I'll leave it for you to tell about your escort service ;) He was well settled in when we arrived home from work, and Tasha Tripod and my three dogs had arrived at a peaceful agreement about the separation of powers.

The weather had turned absolutely beautiful that day--low humidity, cool temps, bright blue sky--West Virginia putting her best foot forward. We talked, ate, talked, drank coffee, talked and then it was suddenly midnight and August and work in the morning waiting.

Friday meant a trip to physical therapy (from the car wreck), trip to Clendenin Library to meet with the manager there, back to my library for a brief time, then on to our library system's Summer Reading Finale, featuring storytelling by Papa Joe.

And what a job he did. I learned some things there about working outside, working the audience, what to ignore, what to include in the performance, and that yes, kids can sit still for a very long story when they are part of the story itself. The setting, while pretty, was close to an interstate--lots of noise from trucks--which taxed Papa Joe's lungs I'm sure, and will prompt some study about what we expect our performers to compete against--we'll do better next year.

Then home to talk again til midnight, up at to get ready for work, and on to the library to prepare for the FINAL day of Summer Reading. After a whirlwind summer of programs, I'm ready for it to be over, and what better way to do that than stories with Papa Joe and music with Ron Sowell, music director of West Virginia Public Radio's national show Mountain Stage and children's musician when he gets the chance.

Papa Joe was great. My patrons and their kids were thrilled, so very pleased to have that quality of performer at our small library. Again I watched and learned, loving the way "my" kids were responding to the magic of story. Ron followed with his great selection of songs we all sang with him, then Tasha came in to visit, we all had refreshments, and the Volunteens went downstairs to celebrate with their own pizza and banana split party.

Papa Joe departed to do his next show at Clendenin, and staff there called to say the show was great, their patrons pleased.

And so the Vardo moves on through the West Virginia hills, making its way home at last, and leaving many grateful mountaineers behind. Good-bye, Papa Joe, and good trip --and come back sooner:)

Granny Sue

Papa Joe  ~  Travel Notes

PJ's Travel Notes

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