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.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Bailey - The Pie That Grew - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Thanksgiving in 2020 definitely will be different.  Whether you call the current pandemic Coronavirus, Covid-19, just Covid, or even the overly cutsie 'Rona, it has brought changes and a new way of talking.  Personally I disagree with some terms, such as calling it "The New Normal" as it really should be called the "Temporary Normal."  While there may be some truth to saying we are keeping "Socially Distant", I believe, with the need to fight loneliness and depression, it would seem better to keep "Physically Distant."

Here in my area I'm seeing Christmas lights appear on houses already.  Usually that waited until the Thanksgiving weekend.  This may be due partially to a few unexpected but brief warm spells.  My bet is it's also an attempt to brighten what is looking like the start of a dark gloomy winter.  The holidays usually get the darkest time of the year off to a brighter start.  This year the question of how to enjoy them has become a major news item.

While "Physically Distant", families are figuring out ways to avoid truly being "Socially Distant."  Zoom calls, Facebook, Skype, even the good old telephone will be some of the ways to do this.  While I'm not eager to eat in a Zoom call and watch others eat, I do hope to have time for all my family to talk with each other.  I've already been asked to tell a story and maybe some of you will choose to tell a bit of family history.  I plan to tell the following story by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey and then see if we, as a group, can use it to make our own story.  I'll say more about that after her tale.






Some of you may be familiar with the idea of a Cumulative Story.  It means something keeps getting added to the story, while repeating the earlier elements.  That's an easy tale to create.  Whether everybody in the group has to take turns or it's left to members volunteering an answer, the "bones" of the story is easily able to be used to make a whole new story.

First decide the time when the story takes place.  Bailey chose Thanksgiving, but it could be Christmas, a birthday, summer, whatever is volunteered.  Then who is delivering the "goods"?  Who will be getting them?  Start with somebody giving an item to be delivered.  How will the item be delivered?  (Bobby had a bicycle but who knows how your delivery will happen?)  Have that delivery get interrupted by someone else, but they have to add an item.  Keep adding interruptions and items until someone finally gets everything delivered.  (Possibly collapsing while finally delivering it all?)

There's no limit to how this could happen.  It doesn't even have to be delivered by people.  Imagine, for example, a pony is hitched to a cart with the first item and maybe other people or animals keep adding to it until finally the cart is full and reaches its destination.

Don't worry if the story gets silly.  It's not likely to win an award although Bailey did win a Newbery medal in 1947 for the children's novel, Miss Hickory.  She also produced many anthologies and this one is from The Wonderful Tree.  

As a storyteller friend of mine, Loretta Vitek says, "There's always a story; it would be a shame not to tell it."  Whether your stories are true or created from imagination, I hope your Thanksgiving adds only pleasant stories to look back at this very different Thanksgiving and the rest of our holidays.

************************

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 the late 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!

Friday, November 13, 2020

Powers - How Giving Evil for Evil Ends - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

November for the United States has traditionally been a time of elections.  Being primarily a two-party system, it has sometimes felt like the swing of a pendulum.  If you tend to think like Edgar Allan Poe in "The Pit and the Pendulum",  that swing can be dangerous.  I went looking for quotations about elections from someone never a U.S. politician, to avoid coloring what was said.  This led me to the late Indira Gandhi.  She was indeed a politician in India and was assassinated.  I won't attempt to gauge her political record here, but was impressed by many things she said listed in Brainy Quotes offering of 40 Indira Gandhi Quotes.  A few fit today's topic looking at elections, starting with "Winning or losing of the election is less important than strengthening the country."

November is also Native American Heritage Month.  Aside from Pourquoi tales, explaining Why something happened or exists, much of Native American tales are teaching tales.  ("Pourquoi" is French for "why.")  Last week I discovered a story I would hope our politicians and all of us after the election could keep in mind as the pendulum swings.



I guess you could call that the other side of the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I intentionally left "THE END" as it was the end of the book, Around an Iroquois Story Fire by Mabel Powers and also fits what the story was saying.  Two other stories from that book have been posted here under that Powers hotlink.  One was at the start of last month about "Why Leaves Turn Red and Yellow", a Pourquoi tale.  I was surprised to see initially I had no biographical hotlink for her first story here.  At that time I did give her endorsement by the Iroquois Confederation and her adoption as an honorary member by the Seneca and mentioned her work in the Chautauqua movement.  I also would like now to recommend the article about her in the Chautauqua Daily, "Mabel Powers: Advocate for Native Americans, Women and Peace" 

Beyond this story, I find myself looking at two more Indira Gandhi quotes.  "This is why we feel that democracy's important: because democracy allows you to have small explosions and therefore avoid the bigger explosions."  She also said, "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."  Right now nobody is shaking hands thanks to Covid, but now is definitely the time to remember, as the pendulum has swung in so many elections, what happens if we store up evil and try to deliver it.

*****************

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 the late 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!

 

Friday, November 6, 2020

McClure - "Pat Was 'Forninst the Government' " - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This election week has led to some calling us the United States of Anxiety.  In looking at how divided the U.S. has been, only two other times seem comparable, when our Colonial ancestors revolted from England and during the election of Abraham Lincoln leading to a war that went by several names.  In the North it was the War of Rebellion and in the South it was called the War of Northern Aggression.  Obviously it was a matter of viewpoint.  Only later did it become called the Civil War.

I do a lot of programs about that war with many names, telling it from the viewpoint of a Michigan family that ran an Underground Railroad Station and the two young men of that family who fought in Michigan infantries.  My next scheduled presentation as Liberetta Lerich Green will be at the Oxford Public Library on January 29 at 2 p.m. to a limited audience with it streamed to the community.  It's an interesting location as Liberetta and several of her family are buried in the Oxford Cemetery.

Because I was thinking about Lincoln and his own election, I went to a book of Lincoln's Own Yarns and StoriesAlexander McClure is only listed as the editor (referring to himself as Colonel A.K. McClure), but he obviously put in a lot of work to preserve Lincoln's "yarns and stories."  McClure has a town in Pennsylvania named after him.  He was a journalist, adjutant general in the War, lawyer, and, at times a politician.  His life had ups, downs (including being wiped out financially in the stock market), and twists and turns, but Lincoln and the war fascinated him enough that he wrote about them several times.  

Today's story goes back to Lincoln's second election and brings a touch of humor to the idea of elections.

I trust my Canadian and Irish friends managed to laugh at Lincoln's knitting together that yarn.

While prowling McClure's book I came across a birthday card from a few years back from fellow library staff at White Lake Township Library which I saved and used as a bookmark.  It does put the tension of the past week into, if not perspective, at least provides a further bit of humor.



 

 

 

Grab your humor wherever you can.  Since my birthday was also this past week, it seems appropriate that I found and again enjoyed that card including all the comments from the staff.  

Until next week's blog, stay well and find at least one reason to smile each 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 the late 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!