Tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see. (Contact: LoiS-sez@LoiS-sez.com .)
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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Macmillan - Rainbow and the Autumn Leaves - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The first trees turning to spectacular autumn colors had just begun here in Michigan, when summer temperatures decided to torture students stuck in school.  Those two trees on the road near my house are always earlier than all others, but I'm seeing the purple and golden wildflowers hiking with my dog, so I think it's time for this story even as it comes from further north in Canada where the season may come even a bit later. 
illustration from Canadian Fairy Tales by Marcia Lane Foster
Today's story comes from Cyrus Macmillan's Canadian Fairy Tales, but that 1922 title is misleading as it's from his collection of what would now be called First Nations tales.  Some of those First Nations include the same people in Michigan's Anishinaabe, but while Professor Macmillan did a thorough job of traveling and recording tales from the Micmac in the east and then proceeded over the prairies to the pacific coast, unfortunately he didn't identify the nations telling the stories.   The animals in this story are woodland animals and could easily fit in our own mitten-shaped state where today's borders don't match the traditional movement of our North American native people.

Linking animals with the start of  autumn is not unique to Canada's First Nations tales and even the blood of bear is attributed to the color change in the tale "Why the oaks and sumachs redden" in Katherine B. Judson's Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes told by the Meskwaki (named the Fox in the book).  The story is very bloody and is not the version I would tell, but that link lets you choose as it, too, is in the Public Domain. 
*******************
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, September 7, 2019

'Tis the Season. . . no, not Christmas yet!

Last week, the Labor Day weekend, I said "Here in Michigan public schools, by law are not to start until after Labor Day, although a district can request a waiver.  That waiver has been increasingly requested.  The intent was to help our state's recreation and travel industry."

Michiganders have now returned to school, BUT that recreation and travel industry hasn't closed up for the year.  Not at all. Go to the state's official travel and tourism site, Pure Michigan, to see what I mean.  The current theme is "Fall in Real Time" complete with the usual categories to get you doing something.  Somehow nothing seems to catch everything.  You may want something specifically  local like the events section of the Oakland County Moms site which has been around since 2005.  Right now for autumn it also lists hayrides, cider mills, farmers markets, and is already looking ahead to Halloween.  Similarly the online version of the MetroParent newspaper found in libraries has a weekend event section for the metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan area separate from its calendar.  They even already have an article on  Best Fall Michigan Color Tour Spots . . .(listing both area parks and free drives).  It all can be a bit overwhelming although online searches should be able to link you up with something to do.  Newspapers, both the major dailies and the local versions, also list events and activities.

Thompson School on Fisk Farm grounds
For organizations wanting to inform people it's also a bit overwhelming.  A perfect example is this weekend I'll be part of the Fisk Farm Festival.  It's held annually by the White Lake Historical Society every year on the weekend after Labor Day.  Their very site is part of  Historical Society of Michigan's site.  H.S.M. has its own calendar, but the Fisk Farm Festival wasn't on it.  In fact the MetroParent event section is the only one where I found it. 

Then I remembered the local newspapers.  For White Lake think "Spinal Column"!  Yes, it's an unusual name for a newspaper, but their Popular Categories lists 16 events including the festival.  It's listing for the festival shows a hodgepodge of activities, crafts and craft booths, various entertainment, food, raffles, rummage sale (including a library book sale), pie eating contest, arts and crafts sale, living historians, pet adoptions, building tours -- in other words it's no wonder the Historical Society has a hard time figuring how to spread the word. 

While North Oakland County Storytellers started there, they no longer hold meetings, but will continue telling stories -- storytellers are like "herding cats", they don't always stay organized.  Carolyn Graves and I each will have sessions at the festival, possibly in the Thompson School, also long-time White Lake Historical Society member and promoter, Ron Hinman plans to teach how ropes were made on the farm.  The three of us keep history and storytelling living. 

Maybe you want to find even more.  Thompson School is called a One-Room School, but there's now a meeting room and some modernization beyond the classroom. The label of One-room Schools has been used many times here and, of all the sites about such schools, the one with the most to offer is One-Room Schoolhouse Center.  Like most large sites, some links have become inactive (to find old sites prowl the Wayback Machine's  https://web.archive.org/), but there's still a lot to be found and enjoy.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Remember the Rubber Band!


Image by Iris Hamelmann from Pixabay
At the risk of bouncing into a bit of personal story, today I want you to "Remember the rubber band!"

First of all a bit of history of the rubber band:
According to Wikipedia's resources, "The rubber band was patented in England on March 17, 1845 by Stephen Perry."   If you want to know more, I put the link in there to let you know as much or little as you may want to know.

This weekend is the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. and also the unofficial end of summer.  Here in Michigan public schools, by law are not to start until after Labor Day, although a district can request a waiver.  That waiver has been increasingly requested.  The intent was to help our state's recreation and travel industry. 

I'll not debate whether or not it helps anyone to start before Labor Day BUT that unofficial ending of summer has a tendency to reach deep into our psyches shouting: THIS IS THE LAST, THE VERY LAST OF SUMMER!!!
Image by Donna O'Donoghue from Pixabay
I've had many people recently talk to me about vacations and this brings up a ball of thinking, using the rubber band analogy.  The U.S. leads the world in unused vacation days.  The figure of 768 million went unclaimed according to a recent study of 2018.  The study gives all kinds of rationale for using or not using time off -- primarily financial for not using and the regeneration or recharging that comes with a vacation as its biggest benefit.

from PinClipArt.com
All this makes me think of the time I inherited a former supervisor's desk.  She had unused, dried-out rubber bands and also many rubber that were in use could no longer bounce back.  In many ways not using vacation or recognizing a holiday, sad as that is, seems like that desk with its sad rubber bands. 

There can be very personal reasons for not taking this weekend off.  Some people must work and may be given time off at a different (and less hectic) time.  It doesn't even have to be something special, just a time to stop the usual work.

"Staycations" was a fairly recently invented word, but even it implied doing something different and special, just in your home area.  What about doing something you like and never have enough time to do? -- gardening, cooking, sewing and crafts came to my mind, but feel free to add to that list.  For crafts, remember these?  I found them on Etsy.
https://www.catchmyparty.com/vendors/product/loom-fun-boys-cute-digital-clipart















(I love the name of "Catch My Party" for the seller of the boys version of the craft.  I'm sure you noticed both kits are essentially the same except that the girls kit is pastel-colored.)
https://www.etsy.com/nz/listing/172396932/loom-fun-girls-cute-digital-clipart






















Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Since the holiday has been changed so that it always includes a weekend, possibly you remember David's use of an early rubber band in the slingshot.  Just remember, the Old Testament includes a decree of a Sabbath and even a "Sabbath year" for resting fields.

In the musical, Godspell,  there's a song, "Learn Your Lessons Well", that talks about the 10 Commandments and other parts of the Bible:
First you gotta read 'em, then you gotta heed 'em, 

You never know when you're gonna need 'em.
 I'd give more of the song, but hope that little bit is acceptably brief yet lets me make my point about the need for rest.

Summer never seems to last long enough here in Michigan . . . it's why we're filled to overflowing right now with fun things to do.

After all, there's one use of a rubber band has its limits -- ultimately you can't take it with you, so Remember the Rubber Band and take a break!
from Clipartwiki.com


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mitchell - Biting Marion - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Digger at top of our hill
The bigger the boy, the bigger the toy is the saying.  Little boys love earth moving machines and some never grow out of their love of them.  I'm grateful to have found one of them, Tom Purves, who grew up in his father's excavating business (so it still says A. Purves Excavating). He's not big on having a website, too busy digging, but that link includes my unsolicited five star review.  We've had him on an earlier smaller job and now he's replacing our septic field.

My husband's groaning over "my poor torn-up yard!" That was his title for the photos he sent me.
This shows both the digger off to the right and truck down in the valley with gravel and sand just dumped.

Here's where the septic tank sits and the pipe starts down to the field over the hill.
This is just the start of the chaos!  I've seen a neighbor's septic field and know that gravel, sand, and the box of pipes are just the beginning of "my poor torn-up yard!"  It won't be quick, it won't be cheap, but I'm happy the "mole" digging up our yard is the same boy my yoga teacher knows as Tommy and he is the one doing it.  Our whole (the pun of "hole" also fits) neighborhood is starting to need "poor torn-up yards."  It's enough to excite a preschooler.  By the way, if my opening sentence seems a bit sexist, today's story is mentioned as being a favorite of a little girl named Lydia.

On a blog called The Earthling's Handbook, the author, 'Becca, in 2016 wrote about 4 Great Poetry Books for Young Children for her daughter, Lydia, who was then two years old.  Today's story was mentioned as a favorite in the first volume of the My Book House series edited by Olive Beaupre Miller, whose work has been mentioned here before.  A few pages earlier is the tale of "The Big Street in the Big City", also by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, with the comment that the
"city street scene looks dated to me, but Lydia’s not yet familiar with the stylistic changes in vehicles over time, so to her this is a story of everyday life and how that traffic she sees is all humming along and getting things done as 'little feet skip and patter and dance' in their right place."
It's true the series shows its age in the illustrations, but 'Becca continues her review with
Lydia also loves “Biting Marion”, a story about a female digging machine who loves to chomp through asphalt and spit big mouthfuls of dirt into a truck. (Luckily, imitating Biting Marion at the dinner table is a game that has not occurred to Lydia.)
I might correct her as "Marion" is the male name and "Marian" is the female form of the name, but what the heck, the story reminds me of the classic picture book, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, first published in 1939 (and definitely not yet in Public Domain).  Mike Mulligan's steam shovel is named Mary Anne and the story was ranked by the National Education Association as one of the "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."

Today's story may not earn that exalted ranking, but the author, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, was an educational pioneer founding the justifiably famous, Bank Street College of Education.  She started out being home-schooled because of  uncontrollable nervous twitches.  Eventually she was able to move on, including graduating with honors from Radcliffe College.  Her fascination with Dewey's Progressive Education Movement led her from being University of California, Berkeley's first dean of women students to founding BEE and Bank Street.  Today's story originated in the school's early days when it was still called the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE).  It's not Mike Mulligan, Burton's story was a Caldecott Medalist, but that medal is for the illustrator of a story that should also be worthwhile.  I think little Lydia shows Mitchell's story matters where it counts, with the young  audience, and, yes, it includes a bit of poetry.
I think you can see why little Lydia loved Biting Marion and how powerful earth movers are like modern day versions of prehistoric creatures delighting the same children who probably also gobble up books about dinosaurs.  

That same age group loves fingerplays and Flint Public Library's wonderful book Ring a Ring o' Roses, has been mentioned here before.  Here's their bit of poetry:

Steam Shovel

The steam shovel scoop opens its mouth so wide
Extend left hand in front, palm up, fingers closed.  Slowly open fingers.
Then  scoops up the dirt and lays it aside.
Lower hand, dig up dirt, move arm to left and dump it out.
Fortunately for our hillside, the equipment isn't steam powered or it really would result in "my poor torn-up yard!"  Our yard again will eventually look like the park my husband tries to make it, but in the meantime lovers of earth-moving vehicles are welcome to look as long as they stay out of the way.
******************** (The fine print)
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, August 17, 2019

Livermore - "Loyal Cows and Hens" - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

A last minute request to do my Civil War program for Cromaine Public Library at the Hartland Senior Activity Center this Tuesday at 7 p.m. sent me reviewing my Civil War material to be sure and meet their program title of "Not Just a Man's War."

I will, as usual, portray Liberetta Lerich Green, whose family were abolitionists operating an Underground Railroad Station in Shelby Township.  Her brothers both were in Michigan Infantry regiments.  Younger brother, Isaac (Ike), was in the 3d Michigan Infantry alongside his brother, Will, in the 5th Michigan Infantry.  I've paid a lot of attention to the 5th, but the 3d was even more decimated so that Ike may have mustered in as a bugle boy, but by the time he finally left the military in San Antonio, he was a major.  Along the way he wound up eventually in the fighting that left the Potomac and went out to the southwest.  I can well believe he had at least a nodding knowledge of the Memphis Hospital where Union Soldiers were treated.

Mary Ann Bickerdyke in 1898
Mary Ann Bickerdyke, known as Mother Bickerdyke for her caring nature as hospital administrator is the subject of today's story written by Mary Livermore, who was a kindred spirit.  Livermore was a 19th century reformer journalist, abolitionist, and early advocate of women's rights who headed the United States Sanitary Commission, a private aid agency  for soldiers in the war who were sick or injured.  Chicago also features in this story because that was where the U.S.S.C. was headquartered.  The paragraph on Women in the USSC is worth reading for a highly condensed view of Women in the Civil War.

Families throughout the Union with sons, brothers, and husbands in the fight were eager to send food to help soldiers in the hospitals.

After the story of "Loyal Cows and Hens" I will add an incident from the Wikipedia article for yet another view of how this woman was an unstoppable force.

The story starts with a few lines that wouldn't size up properly with my scan of Livermore's story.  With so little, it's easier to type the introductory section.

"Loyal Cows and Hens" 

It was more difficult to supply the hospitals with milk and eggs than with any other necessaries.  With the supplies furnished by government, the tea, coffee, sugar, flour, meat and other like articles,

And this paragraph from the opening of the Wikipedia paragraph about her Civil War service:
Mary Bickerdyke served in the Civil War from June 9, 1861 to March 20, 1865, working in a total of nineteen battles.[7] Bickerdyke was described as a determined nurse who did not let anyone stand in the way of her duties.[8] Her patients, the enlisted soldiers, referred to her as "Mother" Bickerdyke because of her caring nature.[9][10][8] When a surgeon questioned her authority to take some action, she replied, "On the authority of Lord God Almighty, have you anything that outranks that?"[11][12] In reality, her authority came from her reputation with the Sanitary Commission and her popularity with the enlisted men.[13]
Wikipedia also tells of the "Loyal Cows and Hens" she acquired, saying General Hurlbut set aside President's Island as pasture for them -- along with permitting her chosen staff of escaped and former slaves to tend them.
********************
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, August 10, 2019

Skinner - Patsy and Jock - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I've used illustrations before from The Old Design Shop, a blog and website I heartily recommend.  Julie posts a wide variety of vintage art and it's worth both strolling through her Gallery of 141 pages, (let your mouse hover over the word Gallery to see the many topics), subscribing to her weekly email of the blog, and going to her Etsy Shop.  I hadn't quite decided what to post this week until I saw her email this week of Girl on the Beach, an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith, which is actually titled: Little Drops of Water.  The image was scanned  from a book titled A Child’s Book of Old Verses with pictures by Jessie Wilcox Smith. The book was published in 1910.

That made me wonder if I didn't have something that would be a good companion to the picture and I found the perfect one!  When I went to put in the names of the Skinner sisters, Ada M. and Eleanor L. plus Jessie Willcox Smith, I was surprised to find those names didn't come up for previous blog articles here.  Whether it's the charming artwork or the stories I know all three of them are guaranteed.

Sticking with the beach theme, today's story of a little girl and her dog are perfect.  I'll give the story, end with the illustration (it was given later in the book, so using your imagination first is perfect) and then mention a few things about telling it.
 
Sometimes the language of a Public Domain story doesn't fit modern ears although here in Michigan I do hear some talk of "bathing suits."  It always strikes me as a bit old-fashioned.  In telling this story I would say swim suit and would have Patsy talk of going wading in the water rather than "bathing."  Also I always tend to make barking sounds rather than say "Bow-wow!"  I've never heard that sound from any dogs I've known, although my previous Malamute did surprise me by actually barking "Arf!" at times.  There's a comedy play called Sylvia about a friendship between a man and his dog, Sylvia, which includes the actress playing Sylvia speaking her thoughts.  I never realized before it how perfectly a dog's bark is saying "Hey! Hey-hey!" 

I recommend both the play and A Very Little Child's Book of Stories by Ada M. and Eleanor L. Skinner, complete with illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith.  I'm surprised I've never given anything by them here before as their reliability is certain.  I'll have to remedy that in the future and give a bit of information about them, but for now I want to head to the beach.  It may be a Michigan inland beach, as Oakland County has so many they might have named it Lakeland County, but summer is fast slipping away and one of my local theatre groups is having their annual picnic and business meeting at the beach home of a member.  Time to enjoy summer before it's gone!
********************
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!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Olcott/Grierson - Burg Hill's on Fire - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This is appearing a bit early to let all able to come to Greenmead Historical Park, 20501 Newburgh Rd, Livonia, Michigan 48152 for the Saint Andrew's Society of Detroit's 170th Highland Games (yes, that's the oldest continuous games in North America!) this Saturday, August 3.  North Oakland County Storytellers officially dissolved in July, but plans to having an annual reunion telling stories each year in the Wee Bairns area of the Highland Games.  It's a delightful time for stories and Scottish heritage and as a descendant of Clan Stirling I enjoy doing it if I'm available.  In the future we'll also let this be a time to get together with longtime friends.

I've given my story here of "Assipattle and the mester stoorworm" five years ago.  It's a favorite of mine.  I also enjoy using audience participation to tell the story of "The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies."  Heather Forest did a delightful retelling of it, but it's definitely still under copyright.  I recommend it to you, but wanted to track down its Scottish roots.  I don't own Elizabeth Wilson Grierson's books, but this has made me interested.  She wrote a great many from her home in the borderland of Scotland.   A favorite author of mine, Frances Jenkins Olcott, gave a version of a tale Grierson called "The Good Housewife and Her Night Labours."  While Olcott calls it a Celtic Fairy Tale, within the story it's clearly stated as Scotland.  Scots Gaelic is mentioned enough in other books I've read that I've decided, if I was ever able to manage a trip to Scotland, I'd have to take a book along to enjoy it.

Fortunately Olcott sees to it this is easily understood and enjoyed.

You may have noticed some of the pages say Halloween.  This was anthologized in Olcott's Good Stories for Great Holidays.

By the way, my prowling for sources of "The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies" sent me prowling and I found this story instead.  Online I've found "Flummoxed" supposedly was found in Thistle and Thyme by Sorche Nic Leodhas.  It's not there, instead Leodhas included it in Heather and Broom; Tales of the Scottish Highlands.   That, too, is under copyright and Leodhas didn't always make it easy to track down her sources.  She calls it a "household story brought from Durris near Aberdeen."  Lacking the opportunity to go to the Aberdeen area, I'm happy to find this version instead of what can happen if you're foolish enough to call out for help and the helpers may be more than you can handle.  Just ask Faust about such deals!
*******************
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!