by Candy Calvert
My suspicion is that, as writers, we were each exposed to a memorable storyteller at an early age, whether it was a parent, grandparent, teacher, neighbor, friend, TV personality. . . or whoever. There was someone, somewhere, who cast an incredible spell over us, had the ability to mesmerize with a word or a gesture . . . a delicious beckoning into that world of “What If?”
For me, it was my father, Orville Marley Bramble. And he had my rapt attention from my earliest recollections, because--boy howdy--the man could tell a story!
Some might have called them tall tales, fabrications of truth, even meanderings that bordered on the fringe of certifiable delusion. But for me, they were the purest form of entertainment. I would beg Dad to tell a story and he’d smile, purse his lips, and add a dramatic heavenward roll of his dark eyes, murmuring, “Hmmm . . . Well. Let. Me. See.” And then . . . the words would flow. Subject matter? Anything that caught his fancy: Magic Glow Worms. The Biggest Fish in Oak Lake. How A Dog Outsmarted The Super Flea. Space Ships in the Backyard. The Amazing Mr. Leaf. Anything was game, everything rolled off his tongue. And all were accompanied by wild arm gestures, the hiss of elongated S’s, and a maddening pause at the most critical . . . moments.
Those stories--those wonderful stories-- made every intermission at every drive-in movie, every long, carsick-inducing drive to the beach, every lights-out, stormy power failure . . . as enticing as freshly spun cotton candy.
Sunday is Father’s Day. I will be taking one last drive with my first storyteller--to a beach in Santa Cruz, California. Where, at his request, I’ll scatter his ashes in the ocean he loved to fish.
Dad's brave fight against cancer is over. And I'm glad that I was able to spend time with him toward the end. That I could tell him once more--as I did in the dedication of my very first Midnight Ink mystery--that he was “the supreme storyteller” in my life. To thank him, and to tell him that his imagination and energy will always inspire me.
My blog entry today, is in honor of my father. Thank you for indulging me.
Who was your most memorable storyteller?