Tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see. (Contact: LoiS-sez@LoiS-sez.com .)
Please also let others know about this site.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Shelter in Place - week 2: Cornplanter/Canfield - The Origin of the Violet - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Last week I showed my "Beast" a.k.a. "Malamutt", but, now that grass is again started to grow, he's also a "Malamoot" enjoying the pleasure of something fresh and growing.  Similarly, since walking him is allowed under Shelter in Place, I've seen something else that is wild, starting to grow, and that people can eat . . . violets.  What you didn't know that?  Grab a copy of Stalking the Wild Asparagus by that long ago forager, Euell Gibbons.  That was the first of his efforts towards showing the bounty of wild plants that grow without people doing anything more than knowing what is edible.  I learned long ago that violets taste like the sweetest of lettuce.  Can't say I ever went to the bother of harvesting those flowers and making jam from it, but was delighted to see them popping up at the edge of wooded areas.  If you decide to try them, be sure you don't take them roots and all so they can recover.

Just as those dog walks and food are needed, stories are, too.  Earlier this year on February 1, 2020 a story, "The First Winter", from The Legends of the Iroquois, officially listed as being written by William W. Canfield, but he attributes the source to "The Cornplanter", a Seneca chief who died in 1836.  We certainly hope Winter (and our reason for Shelter in Place) is going to end as soon as possible.  From that same book comes today's story about "The Origin of the Violet."

The story includes a young Iroquois warrior falling in love with a maiden from an enemy tribe.  Right about there I can just picture the story being told backed by the Native American flute.  Back in December of 2016 I devoted three weeks to the Native American flute.  It traditionally is believed to have originated as a means of courting, so I can picture it for part of this story, but the story is filled with adventure and so much more.  The Native American flute may have started with courting, but what it can play is limited only by the person playing it, so the other parts can give the animals, battles, and elements I don't want to give away.  Let the story form a soundtrack in your mind, changing as the story changes.

For a graphic to open the story, I want to add this page from a 1906 dictionary owned by Julie J. who offers many wonderful Public Domain images on her website.  This graphic from her https://olddesignshop.com gives flowers for every month.  March is the violet and I did indeed start seeing it on March 30th and April's showers will help them grow.
I'm sure you always wash your produce, but doing it in vinegar is both cleansing and a bit of salad dressing.  Now may this bit of spring brighten your own time to Shelter in Place.
Also from https://olddesignshop.com
******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Shelter in Place - week 1

It's been a strange week at Lake Wobegon.  Woops!  Wrong lake, Michigan's a pair of peninsulas surrounded by Lakes  Huron, Michigan, Erie, and, above our Upper Peninsula, Lake Superior, but it has been a most unsuala week.  On March 23 I posted this on my Facebook page (which is public and open to all to see)
Michigan's governor cancelled as of midnight tonight all activities not necessary to sustain or protect life. https://Michigan.gov/coronavirus .  This, combined with all the other uncertainty, has made 3 (so far) programs rescheduled. I never put a cancellation clause in my Letter of Agreement. My flexibility is something I offer. (One of those cancellations would have had me drive up to Lakeview for live streaming. They have a grant and we'll reschedule, but this made the trip impossible.) I also value the flexibility storytelling allows in how it can be presented. We'll work together yet to have some High Times once we get past these current crazy Dry Times, just trust this Prohibition doesn't last as long as Prohibition did.
LoiS(urely we can all drink to that...with mocktails or otherwise!)

In the meantime I've been doing as much as I can related to our local area trying out the same idea we've seen coming from Italy with people singing.  We have a local site called NextDoor that covers a lot of territory.  A topic popped up called "Play music each night at 6pm."  I said: I'd love to do this, but we're high up on a bunny slope of a hill in a neighborhood where none of us are near enough to hear.
 
https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles/play-music-on-the-porch-to-combat-coronavirus-fears

A member, Angela, suggested: 
Since we all have acreage and the houses are not near each other, we gather at my moms house (5 houses away from mine). My mom stays on her porch, some stand in the yard, some in the driveway. (social distancing). We sing the song on the day, chat/catch up for 5 minutes, tell everyone we love and miss them and then we all go back home.❤️

O.k. I wish I had seen it in time to do "Amazing  Grace" since my favorite musical instrument is the mountain dulcimer, but I started the next day when the song was "Sweet Caroline."  My reply was:
Guess the end of our driveway works. Need to find lyrics & possible chords &/or dulcimer tab as I'd like that, but a capella would probably be easier than guitar or dulcimer standing there. UPDATE: Fairly complicated song. Only guitar tab available, but folks might find a search worthwhile including that there are 2 stories about how it came to be. As a storytelling friend of mine, Loretta Vitek, uses as a signature at the end of her emails: There's always a story; it'd be a shame not to tell it!

Here's what happened:
No other driveways had singers, but I started anyway. Along came a jogging couple. She smiled & waved & I did, too. They kept jogging (not necessarily a review on my playing & singing, but confess I came darned near tears & became slightly choked up -- hey, I'm a storyteller, not a musician!)

Side comment here, that's always my standard excuse since I sometimes say I play like an Oriental Rug where there's always a flaw in it.  (The idea, I'm told, is the same as with the Amish -- proving the maker isn't claiming deity.)  

The next day the song was Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" which let me use my preferred instrument, the mountain dulcimer.  Two teenage boys came by, with one carrying a fishing pole from the nearby pond.  Can't say they were 6 feet apart, but maybe they were from the same family.  At any rate they did what teenagers do when they think grown-ups are crazy, irrelevant, or whatever. . . they ignored me.  Sang anyway and figured it was as much for me as for a possible eventual neighborhood event.

Thursday the song was Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."  As with "Sweet Caroline", the only online information was for guitar, so that's what I prepared with what time I had between Zoom conferences and other things that needed doing.  Again YouTube let me know the song a bit better.  I'm a classical music lover, know lots of show tunes, and my musical playing these days is mainly folk music.  Got all ready only to come to the door with guitar and music in hand and stop!  It was raining!!!  No way was I going to take my precious instrument and play outside in the rain.  At least with my mountain dulcimer I could play it inside my car with the windows down or at least cracked open.  Once again I figured the playing or at least the preparation was for me.  I can understand the words offer encouragement.  (Muttering to myself: just wish it would stick with folk music.)  At least people in locations with porches could still play, just not my neighborhood. 

By the way WWJ radio, which posted that idea of Play Music on the Porch to Combat Coronavirus Fears said:
Play a song. That's it. Tonight's song will be posted at 8 a.m. every morning on our social media.
Play it loud and proud to spread the message. This isn't the end. We're together in this and we'll get through it.
Have a guitar? Play it. Can you wail? Let's hear it. Break out your high school band clarinet.
Hell, just step on your porch and wave at the neighbors so you feel like part of a community again.
Not a musical bone in your body? Hold up your phone with the song playing on itunes or You Tube.
Somehow I think it has all been worth it, just wish I had a longer time to prepare and the songs were less pop music, but then what do I expect, Beethoven's Fifth?  That would be what I hear on my radio.

Right now I'm sure we all would like  reason to smile and here's my favorite Beethoven story.

While strolling through the Währing cemetery in Vienna a tourist noticed a large hole in the ground.  Looking closer he saw steps leading down into the earth.  He decided to see where they went.  Down, down he went until he saw a bit of candlelight ahead.  Going to it he was surprised to see Beethoven himself, surrounded by papers, and scratching away on them.  The tourist asked, "What are you doing?"  To which a grumpy Beethoven replied "Decomposing of course!"

Stop that groaning!  Let's take our humor however we can find it.

On Friday I felt as grumpy as old Ludwig himself.  The song was our national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner."  All right there are lots of good stories about that song, but I knew I'd be singing it a capella.  Then when 6 rolled around the national briefing was just beginning.  I hate settling for a selection of what was said, rather than seeing the whole thing and making my own decisions about it.  Instead I sent a grumpy comment to the radio station.  No, I didn't state my preference for type of music, just how it went out in the "boonies" where I live and that the timing might be the reason there haven't been more people out at 6.  

I know one size never fits all and this week's "Shelter in place" is bound to be different in all types of locations.  For my family I phoned some special girls and told them two stories to match their requests.  My favorite mermaid tale was posted way back on March 12, 2014, the first of three stories presented here and collected by Thomas Crofton Croker of Irish stories.  The other story was requested to be spooky.  Again I chose my favorite and it, too, is Irish.  I'm still searching for a Public Domain version to give here, but so far I've only been able to find "Mary Culhane and the Dead Man" in the 1973 book by Molly Bang with the fairly innocuous sounding title of The Goblins Giggle and Other Stories.  The title is misleading.  Finally I guided them in making a story using bits they contributed.  An appointment was made for next Friday and I suggested they help their mother with their school work since "she's been out of school a long time!"  Then I gave them all a bit of an extra assignment in Government, saying we've been hearing their working on school from home might not help them move to the next grade and/or they might have to go to school in the summer to make it up!  Suggested they look up their Michigan State Senator and State Representative (not their U.S. Senators and Representative) and request something be done to avoid these problems, possibly by testing out of their grade.  Of course I also mentioned the many stories to be found here!





Beyond all of this, I'm grateful for that Executive Order allowing me to walk my Beast, a "Malamutt" who's got the best of the genetic background for a Malamute and a Siberian Husky.  The other day we were still able to hike that golf course I mentioned last week at the introduction to the story of "The Coming of Spring."  We were parallel to the nearby road with the leafless trees & bushes forming a separation.  Two women walking apart were picking up trash on the road.  Saw my boy and shouted across how gorgeous he is.  He always gets those comments from "his fans" when he's seen.

Even with "Shelter in place" it's amazing how many cars passed us on the dirt roads Friday.  (The traffic is precisely why that golf course is so appreciated.)

And now to close with these words of wisdom found on the internet:
"If you self-quarantine for your family's safety, please be smart. I can't afford to buy fifteen baby shower presents in December."

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Parker - The Coming of Spring - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The vernal equinox started in the U.S. Thursday, March 19 making it official, spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere with day and night roughly equal in length.  The Old Farmer's Almanac's website tells us the last time spring appeared this early was 1896, but don't get too excited, it's always either March 19, 20, or 21.  Three options, but it's also interesting that it won't happen again on March 21 until 2101.

Different people have different ways of feeling that spring has arrived in their area.

Alexas_Fotos / 21121 on Pixabay
This week I saw one in front of me.  I live near a golf course, but am not a golfer.  That course has been great for walking with my dog while winter closed it to golfers and days have been short.  Looks like I won't be able to walk it much longer as the lawns were looking green, flags were out at the holes, and the grounds crew had obviously been busy.  I guess you could switch the quote from The Field of Dreams to "If you groom it, they will come!"  Since a foursome is under the current suggested maximum of ten for social distancing, I suspect golf fanatics, known for even risking being struck by lightning, will take to the course.  Can't say for sure, but there's a snow and/or rainstorm working its way across the country.

Robins are often pointed to as a sign of spring.  Since they arrive even while snow still returns to Michigan, they're not a very reliable sign.  Michigan's first people, the Anishinaabe, also eagerly awaited spring's return to our mitten-shaped state.  Henry Rowe Schoolcraft  recorded some of those stories and the link to him here takes you to some, including one about our official state bird, the robin.

Stories travel.  The Anishinaabe tale of "Peboan and Seegwun" is such a favorite I've given it here twice!  Did our area's First People over on the western end of the Great Lakes influence the Seneca,  who were the farthest west of the eastern First People of the Iroquois Confederation.  The Seneca were located south of Lake Ontario, at the opposite, eastern end of the Great Lakes.  Did the Seneca influence our own "People of the Three Fires?"  I know the two nations weren't always friendly, but there's obvious similarity to our area's story in the tale recorded by Arthur C. Parker from Aurelia Miller one probably chilly January day in 1905 and published in his Seneca Myths & Folk Tales.  Whether you compare it to "Peboan and Seegwun" or not, I believe the imagery of the Seneca characters will stick with you because we all hope winter is ending and we are seeing "The Coming of Spring."

If you're looking for educational value, comparing the Seneca tale to "Peboan and Seegwun" is great for kids, but really that sounds like school.  Why spoil it?  Let's go back to that Old Farmer's Almanac article which asks "How Do YOU Celebrate the Vernal Equinox?" then answers it with Observe nature around you! and comes up with seven ideas to do it.

Their ideas aren't incompatible with "social distancing" and even work if you are in quarantine.  Then when spring showers (or late snows) start, come back inside and read as March is Reading Month!
******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Croker - Fairies or No Fairies? - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I'm writing this on "Friday the 13th", it will be posted on "Pi Day" (3/14), then comes the "Ides of March" -- not Julius Caesar's favorite day, I'm sure there's some sort of a designation for the 16th, but it's not well known, and then on the 17th is St. Patrick's Day.  With the current cancellation of St. Patrick's Day parades and all the remaining chaos connected with the Coronavirus, COVID-19, we could use a bit of humor, maybe Irish humor.  I prowled the works of Ireland's pioneer folklorist, Thomas Crofton Croker, and can just imagine him gathering this over a pint at a 19th century pub in southern Ireland.  (It comes from his Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland.  If you want the whole book, which I've earlier featured in two stories here, that link is to the book on Project Gutenberg.)
Photo by Jared Burris on Unsplash of a bar in Galway, Ireland and probably similar to 19th C. 









My copy of Croker's work didn't include this concluding drawing, but the Project Gutenberg edition is from the 1844

A New Edition.
WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS, AFTER DESIGNS OF THE AUTHOR AND OTHERS.


So have a drink of your favorite beverage, watch out for mushrooms, and don't lose your sense of humor whether you are Irish or Irish for the day!
*****************

This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Public Gatherings vs. Coronavirus?

This week Grease opens!  (I'm also publishing this early in case YOU can come.)
I look forward to friends seeing a truly epic show.  It has a large cast complete with a rocking band at a very flexible facility.  If you saw the movie, you will enjoy seeing it live!  If you didn't see the movie, expect a delightful trip back in time.


Added to this I'm in another show, Godspell, the 2012 version, whose rehearsals must wait for some of us to get back to it.  

I limit my time involved in shows to stop it taking away from my storytelling business and, yes, it is a business and one where I frequently am a time traveler bringing "History as viewed by the 'average' person."  (Note to self: the slideshow on my Historical Programs page seems to have disappeared.  Re-do it with a new pictorial format a.s.a.p.!)

I strongly believe there's a HUGE difference in the impact of LIVE performance and recorded shows or storytelling.  It's because of this I'm taking seriously some of the ways Coronavirus is starting to impact our travel and gatherings in theatres, schools, churches, athletic events, and more.  I really don't want to indulge in scaring people, but even the Olympics may be affected.  Digital conferencing is taking the place of meetings and conferences.  The stockmarket, always reacting to any potential impact on business, has magically transformed Bulls into Bears.

On Storytell, the email list for storytellers, hosted by the National Storytelling Network, the discussion has begun with two interesting posts of articles by doctors.  As with anything potentially flat out fiction or misleading, I went to Snopes.com and searched Coronavirus.  The topic already has more pages than can show on one screen.  I strongly recommend using the Search feature there on whatever you may hear before spreading misinformation which can be the internet form of a pandemic. 

The pathologist whose information started the conversation was indeed correctly attributed to James Robb, "who described himself as 'one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses.' "  The letter itself provides common-sense solutions to preventing disease transmission, but what garnered the most attention was his recommendation for zinc lozenges.  Snopes confirmed his writing it, but the intention was for close friends and family only and said:
His history with coronaviruses is accurately recounted. In the late 1970s, as professor of pathology at the University of California, San Diego, Robb published some of the earliest descriptions of coronaviruses. He also published a book chapter on this class of viruses for “Comprehensive Virology.”
While Robb does recommend zinc lozenges (of any brand, he told us), he would not describe the product as the silver bullet solution to the outbreak.
 Here is his letter:
Dear Family and Friends, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

       Note:  This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them  to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be.  Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. Good luck to all of us.

James Robb, MD FCAP
Some of that, stocking up on masks, gloves, and sanitizers, is not currently being recommended, but Doctor Robb surely was intending the information for "close friends" who were in the healthcare field.  I also found it interesting Snopes says the common cold " is caused by a virus also classified as a coronavirus."  My own punctuation for that would be "!"  They also give this tip sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Prevention & Treatment, but the link has a sidebar that can take you to all aspects and summary of the latest information, yes, even travel information on this virus.

I mentioned two doctors were cited in the Storytell discussion.  Doctor Robb is retired, but Juliana Grant is currently working as an infectious disease specialist.  That link is to her full blog article on the subject, but she compares it to the 1918 Flu Pandemic.  None of us were around then but can recognize it as it's often called the Spanish Flu and Doctor Grant notes the critical difference between the two is the Spanish Flu particularly affected children and young adults, while Coronavirus is most severe for older adults.  (I would add also most severely affected is anyone with an immune system deficiency, a condition that can include, for example, people in cancer treatment.  I also recommend the full Wikipedia article on Spanish Flu as it points to more effects than the somewhat simplistic comparison Grant gives in a necessarily short article.)  Her summary is what is most important here:
What can we expect?
This is not the zombie apocalypse. Core infrastructure (e.g., power, water, supermarkets, internet, government, etc.) will continue to work, perhaps with some minor disruptions. 
There will be significant economic disruption: a global recession is very possible and there will probably be significant shortages of some products. The healthcare system will be hit the hardest. The number of people who are likely to get sick is higher than our healthcare systems can probably handle.  
Daily life will be impacted in important ways. Travel is likely to be limited and public gatherings will probably be canceled. Schools will probably be closed. Expect health departments to start issuing these orders in the near future, especially on the West Coast.
The acute pandemic will probably last at least for several months and quite possibly for a year or two.
What can we do?
We can’t keep COVID-19 from being a global pandemic but the more we can do to slow the spread of the disease, the less severe the impact will be. With that in mind, here are the things you can do:
Stay calm but take it seriously. This will likely be bad but it’s not the apocalypse.
Stay home if you’re sick or someone in your house is sick. 
Leave medical supplies for healthcare workers. You shouldn’t be stockpiling masks or other medical supplies. They are needed in hospitals to keep our healthcare workers healthy.
Wash your hands. Get in the habit of frequently washing your hands thoroughly and covering your cough.
Minimize your exposure. Now that we’re seeing community transmission in the U.S., it’s probably time to start cutting back on your exposure to other people. Depending on your circumstances, consider:
  • Canceling non-essential travel
  • Avoiding large-scale gatherings
  • Working from home if possible
  • Minimizing direct contact with others including hand shakes and hugs
  • Reducing your trips out of the house. If possible, shop for two weeks of groceries at once or consider having your groceries delivered. Stay home and cook instead of going to a restaurant.
Remember, keep calm and prepare. This is likely to be bad but if we respond calmly and thoughtfully we can handle it.
So why am I adding to what might seem hysteria?  That final minimal exposure section may affect the live and in-person aspects of storytelling and theatre.  A videoconference or YouTube performance does not equal live productions.  At the same time I find myself remembering the time a mother said to me after a program, while with two of her children, "I hope you don't mind that I didn't bring their brother, but he has mumps."  At the time I had never received a mumps vaccination (did it even exist then?) and my glands tended to be affected by my allergies.  I backed away and said, "Then I hope you don't mind if I don't get too close to your family."  Yes, she minded.

Frankly Dr. Robb's seven points for his initial precautions feels right for the present level, so I'll try them for now (they are common sense health measures even in the ordinary cold and flu season) and hope we don't have to change "large-scale gatherings."

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Stead - The Feast of the Lanterns - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

 
Great lantern photos at Flickr with Creative Commons photos by Anyar Changtong.

I've heard January 29th called "The Impossible Day."  When I started thinking about it I remembered people born on it have birthdays that really only happen every four years, although I imagine they celebrate on either the day before or after on non-Leap Years.  While it might seem eventually wonderful to eliminate 3/4 of your years, it got me thinking about the many stories where someone unknowingly stays young while their family at home ages.  It's a common theme from Rip Van Winkle to the Irish tales of Tir Na Nog, or tales of going to kingdoms under the sea, and I think I've found the perfect one.

Today's story was in the 1909 Tales of Wonder Every Child Should Know edited by Nora A. Smith and Kate D. Wiggin, but it's only in the publishers' acknowledgements that we discover the story was found in the British book Books for the Bairns by W.T. Stead.  The Table of Contents identifies the story as being Chinese.  Not having the book available, I can't check to see how, if at all, they might have adapted it from Stead's story nor if any other attribution occurred in the British book.  I can only presume the story is derived from Chinese folklore.  Tales of Wonder Every Child Should Know is the fourth and last of Smith and Wiggin's excellent Fairy Series which each earlier had slightly different emphasis in The Fairy Ring, Magic Casements, and Tales of Laughter.

My own copy is a paperback reprint, so to save its binding I'm reprinting the Project Gutenberg.org copy of the story, reformatting it to match the original, but that link would let you enjoy the whole book.  All but Magic Casements can be found on Project Gutenberg.  I'm not sure how they missed it, but you still can read that book online, too, at the Internet Archive.  The sister team of Smith and Wiggin brought stories everyone, regardless of age, should know.

There are indeed Feasts of Lanterns, both in Asia and in the U.S.  I'll put a little bit about that after the story.

The Feast of the Lanterns

Wang Chih was only a poor man, but he had a wife and children to love, and they made him so happy that he would not have changed places with the Emperor himself.

He worked in the fields all day, and at night his wife always had a bowl of rice ready for his supper. And sometimes, for a treat, she made him some bean soup, or gave him a little dish of fried pork.

But they could not afford pork very often; he generally had to be content with rice.

One morning, as he was setting off to his work, his wife sent Han Chung, his son, running after him to ask him to bring home some firewood.

"I shall have to go up into the mountain for it at noon," he said. "Go and bring me my axe, Han Chung."

Han Chung ran for his father's axe, and Ho-Seen-Ko, his little sister, came out of the cottage with him.

"Remember it is the Feast of Lanterns to-night, father," she said. "Don't fall asleep up on the mountain; we want you to come back and light them for us."

She had a lantern in the shape of a fish, painted red and black and yellow, and Han Chung had got a big round one, all bright crimson, to carry in the procession; and, besides that, there were two large lanterns to be hung outside the cottage door as soon at it grew dark.

Wang Chih was not likely to forget the Feast of Lanterns, for the children had talked of nothing else for a month, and he promised to come home as early as he could.

At noontide, when his fellow-labourers gave up working, and sat down to rest and eat, Wang Chih took his axe and went up the mountain slope to find a small tree he might cut down for fuel.

He walked a long way, and at last saw one growing at the mouth of a cave.

"This will be just the thing," he said to himself. But, before striking the first blow, he peeped into the cave to see if it were empty.

To his surprise, two old men, with long, white beards, were sitting inside playing chess, as quietly as mice, with their eyes fixed on the chessboard.

Wang Chih knew something of chess, and he stepped in and watched them for a few minutes.

"As soon as they look up I can ask them if I may chop down a tree," he said to himself. But they did not look up, and by and by Wang Chih got so interested in the game that he put down his axe, and sat on the floor to watch it better.

The two old men sat cross-legged on the ground, and the chessboard rested on a slab, like a stone table, between them.

On one corner of the slab lay a heap of small, brown objects which Wang Chih took at first to be date stones; but after a time the chess-players ate one each, and put one in Wang Chih's mouth; and he found it was not a date stone at all.

It was a delicious kind of sweetmeat, the like of which he had never tasted before; and the strangest thing about it was that it took his hunger and thirst away.

He had been both hungry and thirsty when he came into the cave, as he had not waited to have his midday meal with the other field-workers; but now he felt quite comforted and refreshed.

He sat there some time longer, and noticed that as the old men frowned over the chessboard, their beards grew longer and longer, until they swept the floor of the cave, and even found their way out of the door.

"I hope my beard will never grow as quickly," said Wang Chih, as he rose and took up his axe again.

Then one of the old men spoke, for the first time. "Our beards have not grown quickly, young man. How long is it since you came here?"

"About half an hour, I dare say," replied Wang Chih. But as he spoke, the axe crumbled to dust beneath his fingers, and the second chess-player laughed, and pointed to the little brown sweetmeats on the table.

"Half an hour, or half a century—aye, half a thousand years, are all alike to him who tastes of these. Go down into your village and see what has happened since you left it."

So Wang Chih went down as quickly as he could from the mountain, and found the fields where he had worked covered with houses, and a busy town where his own little village had been. In vain he looked for his house, his wife, and his children.

There were strange faces everywhere; and although when evening came the Feast of Lanterns was being held once more, there was no Ho-Seen-Ko carrying her red and yellow fish, or Han Chung with his flaming red ball.

At last he found a woman, a very, very old woman, who told him that when she was a tiny girl she remembered her grandmother saying how, when she was a tiny girl, a poor young man had been spirited away by the Genii of the mountains, on the day of the Feast of Lanterns, leaving his wife and little children with only a few handfuls of rice in the house.

"Moreover, if you wait while the procession passes, you will see two children dressed to represent Han Chung and Ho-Seen-Ko, and their mother carrying the empty rice-bowl between them; for this is done every year to remind people to take care of the widow and fatherless," she said. So Wang Chih waited in the street; and in a little while the procession came to an end; and the last three figures in it were a boy and a girl, dressed like his own two children, walking on either side of a young woman carrying a rice-bowl. But she was not like his wife in anything but her dress, and the children were not at all like Han Chung and Ho-Seen-Ko; and poor Wang Chih's heart was very heavy as he walked away out of the town.

He slept out on the mountain, and early in the morning found his way back to the cave where the two old men were playing chess.

At first they said they could do nothing for him, and told him to go away and not disturb them; but Wang Chih would not go, and they soon found the only way to get rid of him was to give him some really good advice.

"You must go to the White Hare of the Moon, and ask him for a bottle of the elixir of life. If you drink that you will live forever," said one of them.

"But I don't want to live forever," objected Wang Chih. "I wish to go back and live in the days when my wife and children were here."

"Ah, well! For that you must mix the elixir of life with some water out of the sky-dragon's mouth."

"And where is the sky-dragon to be found?" inquired Wang Chih.

"In the sky, of course. You really ask very stupid questions. He lives in a cloud-cave. And when he comes out of it he breathes fire, and sometimes water. If he is breathing fire you will be burnt up, but if it is only water, you will easily be able to catch some in a little bottle. What else do you want?"

For Wang Chih still lingered at the mouth of the cave.

"I want a pair of wings to fly with, and a bottle to catch the water in," he replied boldly.

So they gave him a little bottle; and before he had time to say "Thank you!" a white crane came sailing past, and lighted on the ground close to the cave.

"The crane will take you wherever you like," said the old men. "Go now, and leave us in peace."

So Wang Chih sat on the white crane's back, and was taken up, and up, and up through the sky to the cloud-cave where the sky-dragon lived. And the dragon had the head of a camel, the horns of a deer, the eyes of a rabbit, the ears of a cow and the claws of a hawk.

Besides this, he had whiskers and a beard, and in his beard was a bright pearl.

All these things show that he was a real, genuine dragon, and if you ever meet a dragon who is not exactly like this, you will know he is only a make-believe one.

Wang Chih felt rather frightened when he perceived the cave in the distance, and if it had not been for the thought of seeing his wife again, and his little boy and girl, he would have been glad to turn back.

While he was far away the cloud-cave looked like a dark hole in the midst of a soft, white, woolly mass, such as one sees in the sky on an April day; but as he came nearer he found the cloud was as hard as a rock, and covered with a kind of dry, white grass.

When he got there, he sat down on a tuft of grass near the cave, and considered what he should do next.

The first thing was, of course, to bring the dragon out, and the next to make him breathe water instead of fire.

"I have it!" cried Wang Chih at last; and he nodded his head so many times that the white crane expected to see it fall off.

He struck a light, and set the grass on fire, and it was so dry that the flames spread all around the entrance to the cave, and made such a smoke and crackling that the sky-dragon put his head out to see what was the matter.

"Ho! ho!" cried the dragon, when he saw what Wang Chih had done, "I can soon put this to rights." And he breathed once, and the water came out his nose and mouth in three streams.

But this was not enough to put the fire out. Then he breathed twice, and the water came out in three mighty rivers, and Wang Chih, who had taken care to fill his bottle when the first stream began to flow, sailed away on the white crane's back as fast as he could, to escape being drowned.

The rivers poured over the cloud rock, until there was not a spark left alight, and rushed down through the sky into the sea below.

Fortunately, the sea lay right underneath the dragon's cave, or he would have done some nice mischief. As it was, the people on the coast looked out across the water toward Japan, and saw three inky-black clouds stretching from the sky into the sea.

"My word! There is a fine rain-storm out at sea!" they said to each other.

But, of course, it was nothing of the kind; it was only the sky-dragon putting out the fire Wang Chih had kindled.

Meanwhile, Wang Chih was on his way to the moon, and when he got there he went straight to the hut where the Hare of the Moon lived, and knocked at the door.

The Hare was busy pounding the drugs which make up the elixir of life; but he left his work, and opened the door, and invited Wang Chih to come in.

He was not ugly, like the dragon; his fur was quite white and soft and glossy, and he had lovely, gentle brown eyes.

The Hare of the Moon lives a thousand years, as you know, and when he is five hundred years old he changes his colour, from brown to white, and becomes, if possible, better tempered and nicer than he was before.

As soon as he heard what Wang Chih wanted, he opened two windows at the back of the hut, and told him to look through each of them in turn.

"Tell me what you see," said the Hare, going back to the table where he was pounding the drugs.

"I can see a great many houses and people," said Wang Chih, "and streets—why, this is the town I was in yesterday, the one which has taken the place of my old village."

Wang Chih stared, and grew more and more puzzled. Here he was up in the moon, and yet he could have thrown a stone into the busy street of the Chinese town below his window.

"How does it come here?" he stammered, at last.

"Oh, that is my secret," replied the wise old Hare. "I know how to do a great many things which would surprise you. But the question is, do you want to go back there?"

Wang Chih shook his head.

"Then close the window. It is the window of the Present. And look through the other, which is the window of the Past."

Wang Chih obeyed, and through this window he saw his own dear little village, and his wife, and Han Chung and Ho-Seen-Ko jumping about her as she hung up the coloured lanterns outside the door.

"Father won't be in time to light them for us, after all," Han Chung was saying.

Wang Chih turned, and looked eagerly at the White Hare.

"Let me go to them," he said. "I have got a bottle of water from the sky-dragon's mouth, and—"

"That's all right," said the White Hare. "Give it to me."

He opened the bottle, and mixed the contents carefully with a few drops of the elixir of life, which was clear as crystal, and of which each drop shone like a diamond as he poured it in.

"Now, drink this," he said to Wang Chih, "and it will give you the power of living once more in the past, as you desire."

Wang Chih held out his hand, and drank every drop.

The moment he had done so, the window grew larger, and he saw some steps leading from it down into the village street.

Thanking the Hare, he rushed through it, and ran toward his own house, arriving in time to take the taper from his wife's hand with which she was about to light the red and yellow lanterns which swung over the door.

"What has kept you so long, father? Where have you been?" asked Han Chung, while little Ho-Seen-Ko wondered why he kissed and embraced them all so eagerly.

But Wang Chih did not tell them his adventures just then; only when darkness fell, and the Feast of Lanterns began, he took his part in it with a merry heart.
Spades Park hosts the Feast of the Lanterns. Image: courtesy Jill Pierce
Anyone who has ever gone to places where they used to be, but have been away for a while, can certainly understand the disorientation and other feelings Wang Chih experienced when he returned to the formerly familiar place that had been his home. 

As for the Feast of the Lanterns, it still happens, even in the United States.  Each year in late summer in Indianapolis, Spades Park hosts the Feast of the Lanterns.  The event is hosted by the Near Eastside Community Organization.  Historic Indianapolis readers already know the history of this festival, which dates back to 1908.  Visitors are invited to listen to live music, enjoy delicious food, and soak up the last of the season’s halcyon days. 

Pacific Grove, CA has a site about their own Feast of lanterns that dates back to 2016 and is quite detailed.

While we've already spent a lot of time recently talking about Chinese New Year, also called the Lunar New Year, the website, Christmas traditions in China, goes beyond Christmas into the lunar New Year mentioning "The greatest spectacle takes place at the Feast of the Lanterns, when everyone lights at least one lantern for the occasion."  Right now the world wishes we could change much about this year's gathering and its role in the dispersal of Coronvirus, but at least this story lets us enjoy this long overlooked Tale of Wonder from the book, Tales of Wonder Every Child Should Know, that surely deserves to be better known and told.
******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!