Stories of My Life

The first Story Night is scheduled for July 5, and suddenly something that seemed like a fun idea has turned into a source of "what if it sucks?" anxiety. What if nobody comes? What if too many people come? What if nobody wants to share a story? What if everyone wants to share a story? What if the stories are boring? What if there's an earthquake and we're all trapped in the back room at Rust Belt Books? Ok, that's just being ridiculous. Of course the stories won't be boring. Story Night started out as pretty much what this blog was intended to be: a response to diminishing importance of telling stories in our 140-character-limited society. I was lucky to grow up with not one but two amazing storytellers that I spent time with on a regular basis. One was my grandmother Carocci, the other was my grandmother Amato's best friend, Edith. It only now occurs to me that they were sort of the yin and yang of storytelling. There wasn't much to Edith's stories... an unruly customer at the supermarket where she was a cashier, or an argument she had with her husband. But she could wring every drop of humor, drama ad suspense out of an argument over who should go check the mail. It didn't really matter what the stories were even about. We knew we'd end up laughing until the tears rolled on those endless summer evenings on my grandparents' patio. My brother and I would sip our Kool-Aid, and he, younger than I and not really interested in adult conversation, would wait patiently for me to lose interest and go play cards with him. Poor David... it hardly ever happened. My grandmother Carocci, on the other hand, well, she didn't need to be as entertaining as Edith because her stories had all the humor and drama and suspense in the world. There's no need to embellish a story about your hellion triplet cousins Winton, Quinton and Clinton.

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