Telling tales

Published 12:57 pm Saturday, April 4, 2009

By Staff
Storytelling, whether it’s an 88-year-old retired farmer telling tall tales or a 5-year-old telling her version of what happened during her first day of kindergarten, is both entertaining and educational.
Vail Stewart Rumley wants to capture those two elements of storytelling by way of a project she is spearheading.
Rumley, daughter of former Washington Mayor Stewart Rumley (there must be some stories he can tell her), will spend part of today collecting stories about Beaufort County as part of the project, called “The Story Tree: A Tall Tree of Little Washington.”
During the inaugural Beaufort County Traditional Music Festival, Rumley and Carolyn Kund will record interviews in the nature room at the North Carolina Estuarium, but they won’t stop there. Other opportunities for recording oral histories and stories about the county will be provided in the coming months and, possibly, years.
The interviews have two main goals: collecting stories about the county and recording the various accents of county residents.
As journalists — storytellers, if you will — the writers at Washington Daily News can’t help but encourage Beaufort County residents to participate in the project. It should be a fun way to preserve the county’s history, heritage and culture.
Rumley deserves credit for developing a method that should make the storytelling experience enjoyable for more than just the storyteller.
That method should result in people making connections, and that’s what storytelling is all about: making connections with the past, present and future.
A photograph is worth a thousand words, according to the old adage. Photographs, though, can’t tell a story the way a voice, perhaps with a bit of the high-tider (pronounced hoy-toyder) accent found along the Old North State’s coastal areas, can tell a story.
Beaufort County folks should help tell Rumley’s story, because she’s working to tell their stories.
Without a doubt, there are bound to be some doozies out there. Let’s hear ’em.