As the Story Capital of The World, Jonesborough knows a thing or two about the importance of sharing stories. And we're not just talking about during the Storytelling Festival. On November 15-17, the Jonesborough Senior Center will present We Were So Young, a brand-new play based on the stories of its members. This new play celebrates the remarkable Baby-Boom generation and their indomitable, individual spirits. From Peace Corps Volunteers to Vietnam Veterans, miners in the coal fields at home and travelers on a distant journey, the brave spirit of these unique life stories shines through.
Actor Phil McPeak exclaimed after he had been cast in the role of Rounder. It tells the story of a sixteen-year-old who, in 1944, decides to leave Jonesborough by train, go out west, and get rich, only to reach the other side of the country friendless and homesick, and in a hurry to get home. “I did the exact same thing! Saved up money, bought a suitcase and hat to make my fortune and then learned in a hurry how the world worked” he laughed.
If you take a walk down Main Street Jonesborough during the week of the National Storytelling Festival, there's no telling who you might run into. Donald Davis, one of the most loved storytellers with roots running across the Appalachian Mountains, can always be found taking in the ambiance of Jonesborough in early October. On this particular sunny, but cool day, Donald was simply enjoying the company of his wife and a cup full of JJ’s ice cream.
Stories abound at the Storytelling Festival each year, and I’m not talking about the tellers. While I was in the Courthouse Tent listening to Corinne Stavish, I took a moment to look around at the crowd. The tent was filled with sixteen hundred people. It occurred to me that those sixteen hundred people were all listening to the same story, but they were all listening for sixteen hundred different reasons.
Its Humble Roots A hay wagon was pulled in the shadow of the Courthouse in 1973 and a day filled with bbq, live music, and storytelling followed. Its roots are simple, but that’s what’s so beautiful about its foundation.