STORIES TO THE STORYTELLER

Usually people will say to the daughter she will turn into her mother, and for the son, the father. I do find this to be true in many cases. My little brother is not only the spitting image of my dad, I really think he’s a clone.  

Instead of turning into my mother, though I know I have many of her traits – like creativity, sewing, organization and a love for science – I actually find myself with many dad traits, but namely, his gift of gab.  My mom could work a room, for sure. She was just careful who she spent time talking with and careful with her information. My dad, on the other hand, will talk to ANYONE and he will talk about ANYTHING.

Not long ago, after talking to a complete stranger about about gluten free cookies, another about my breast cancer diagnosis, and yet another about seasoning sweet potato fries – all during the same grocery store run – I got into the car and realized, in this way, I am just like my dad.

Years ago my parents visited during the rodeo and I took them with me to a Winona concert. My tickets were across the Astrodome from them, and I watched them through my binoculars. My mother sat with her arms folded, taking in the sights, while my dad talked to everyone around him.  He later reported that he was certain the lady that sat behind him told him she was a hooker from New Orleans. He had a great time.  Another time, my flight was late to Ft. Wayne and my mother said my dad talked to everyone in the waiting area, telling them about me, the daughter from Houston, and making friends. It actually didn’t surprise me that when I arrived, my dad was saying goodbye to his new friends.

Back in 2007, I began making an effort to talk to at least 10 strangers during events I attended.  During one minor league baseball game in Sacramento, I had a great conversation with the stadium’s organ player.  On the same trip, my best friend and I had an enlightening conversation in Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe with a scientist who told me everything I would ever need to know about photosynthesis and his daughter, the wine taster.  

I have met countless people since, all of whom I know random facts about because I struck up conversations with them. Most people are receptive to the random question or smile.  If I encounter someone having a bad day, I try to lift their spirits a bit. I’d rather talk to strangers than cloak myself in silence because I don’t necessarily know them.  I actually find it fun to meet new people.

Mostly, as a storyteller, I enjoy hearing other people’s stories.  Not a bad way to be like the old man.

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