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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Talk Like a Pirate Day with a Keeping the Public In Public Domain story and more

AARGH! 

Let me shout AHOY, MATEY!  (Pirate volume always seems to be at shout level.)

September 19 is a great date to tell pirate-inspired tales.

September 19, 2016 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. While you might call it a  pseudo-holiday, since it only began in 1995, it even has an interesting story connected with its founding in Albany, Oregon.  According to Wikipedia two men were playing racquetball. One of the men was injured and called out “Arrr.” The pirate-sounding lament lead to the holiday’s invention, although it didn't hurt (at least not as much as the racquetball injury) that Dave Barry decided to promote it in his syndicated humor column.  To the best of my knowledge there's absolutely no restriction on using the title or the above graphic (unlike a few recent events which have had me grumbling, but I guess, when not shouting, pirates do tend to grumble along with an occasional AARGH!)  Even better, at last check there were a few fast food places dispensing free food to Piratical linguists who also bother to dress the part on Talk Like a Pirate Day: Krispy Kreme gave out free doughnuts and, of course, Long John Silver did something, too.  I've gone to their maps, er websites and haven't been able to verify this is still true, but even a free bit of grog is worth calling a nearby store to be sure the treasure is still out there.  By the way, be sure to check the Wikipedia paragraph about "Linguistic Background", too, for how we came to think pirates sounded this way.

Well this is as good an excuse as any for some of those pirate-inspired tales.  If you look here with the label of Pirates you'll find a lot of ideas as that was the Summer Reading Club theme and my 2013 Summer Reading Club program was "Dig for Treasure in the 398s" complete with my puppy puppet Buzz dressed up as a pirate.  Frankly you can take that mate, make him walk the plank, and I guarantee he'll survive doing, what else?, the dog paddle.  Aaaargh!

If that joke doesn't work for you, be sure to visit that post as it includes some online spots for pirate humor.

I also want to give you a bit of an update to that article.  One of the places I suggested you go was to the blog of my storytelling friend, Karen Chace, who always positively overflows with ideas and resources.
When I let Karen know what I was planning, Shiver my timbers!  -- she went to my 2013 article and verified all her links for you.  She also sent me this newer picture of herself.  It does an excellent job of capturing her spirit.  Speaking of spirit, drop down to the resources in my haunted library which always follows segments of Keeping the Public in Public Domain. Karen is there in the Blogroll of Honor I made listing sites who also have Public Domain stories for you.  As you might expect, my friends there are listed alphabetically by last name as I could never hope to rank them otherwise.  Karen's second there, but her blog started way back in 2008 and she probably takes second place to no one when it comes to storytelling resources.


Earlier we were tossing around a few pirate jokes, but pirates aren't all humor, by any means (especially what passes for piracy nowadays -- but we're enjoying the stereotype here) and some even manage to be perfect for spooky storytelling, too, which is perfect for looking ahead to October.
Today's story is from a journal wanting stories passed along and is short enough to tell in any event.
 

Since that's so short, if you want more I recommend heartily Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates, yes, including a ghost story.  The stories are all too long to post here.  There are various editions, Pyle died in 1911, and I really thought it was overdue for an ebook online.  A Google search said NO, but fortunately I double-checked and Project Gutenberg says YES.  Prior to that only LibriVox dared to record it and put it online.

The title page gives this subtitle: Fiction, Fact & Fancy concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main.  This is the same edition Project Gutenberg used and is from 1921.  It was only as I was writing the subtitle that I noticed it continued: From the Writing & Pictures of Howard Pyle: Compiled by Merle Johnson.  Compiling is a thankless job, but personally I loved the way the stories feature areas where I've been telling stories all over the "Spanish Main."  Of all the places I especially enjoy the Dominican Republic which is roughly half of Hispaniola, sharing the island with Haiti.

Thinking in a ghostly way today, plus various inquiries from venues have me working ahead and thinking ahead.  October here will probably have spooky stories from the Public Domain so I'm free to hit the road.  Hmmmm.  Hope I don't find any urban legend Vanishing Hitchhikers, as that's not one of my favorite stories, but I put the link to Google's search if you like it.  Although there is a local variant dating back to Prohibition here in our area that I do enjoy telling. . .
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Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain
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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!"
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!
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