The Joy in the Story


Who remembers the features in which CBS news correspondent Steve Hartman interviewed ordinary people in towns and cities across the country? He threw a dart at a map, selected a random telephone number from the local directory, and interviewed a member of that household.

There were 123 installments of “Everybody Has a Story” completed during its seven-year run, and they ended approximately ten years ago. Presumably, Mr. Hartman’s goal was to show just how very interesting even ordinary folks are. He also wanted to show the “real America” by talking to people from all parts of the country.

I wonder if we take the time to hear and comprehend the stories of everyday people in our local communities and the larger world. I think not. We are all so fascinated with celebrity; we know way more than we should about the stars of screen, radio, stage, and reality TV. And, we communicate at a feverish pace with countless “friends” daily, but do we really know their stories?

I shared with you last week that my mother is a fine example of a person who exercises moderation. Today, I am sharing that my father was really good at learning (and, remembering) the stories of others.Scan_Pic0011

Dad was not a natural extrovert. My father worked hard at being outgoing and engaging. He had great interpersonal skills. He made others feel he was interested, and he was. He asked questions of others, whether it be about their work or their family or their history.

One time we visited a nightclub in Soulard, which is a neighborhood in St. Louis. This was some years back, and a guitarist named Billy Peek was performing at The Great Grizzly Bear. Billy, who still performs locally, has an illustrious musical background, having played lead guitar for Rod Stewart for over five years. When he took a break, my dad approached him in that way he had and learned a whole lot about the industry from Mr. Peek.

In preparation for last week’s posts, I spoke to local business people. I learned one business (All About Home) is owned by Chicago-to-Troy, Missouri transplants, Lori Akins and Greg Schmidt. Their business is housed in a historic building of Troy, which the Odd Fellows built in the late 1800’s. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a global altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization; they historically cared for orphans and the needy. The space is now used for weddings, meetings, photo shoots, and more. So interesting!

I may have to consider writing my own collection of “stories,” because it is fun to learn about and from others. Would this be something you’d enjoy reading? Share your thoughts with me!

Links to explore:

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!



3 responses

  1. thx for prayers. feel free to link up tomo on O, Taste& See – still learning along with you!

  2. HI, was just talking about the value of storytelling last week at a women’s retreat in So. Calif – and I heard some great stories – great thoughts – asking and listening are wonderful characteristics! Thanks for sharing!

    • So nice to hear from you! I am finding the blogging group very helpful and encouraging, but I believe many are far more schooled on blogging techniques than I am. I look forward to getting to know you and your work, as well as others there, better. Thanks for commenting!