Old Meets New

One of the pleasures of being the young, energetic new member of the storytelling guild is being the advertised contact.

I was called this morning by a storyteller in Toronto who collects storytelling books. A book given by one of the founding members of our small local guild to the local library had joined his collection, via the States.

As usual, the conversation drifted and included pros and cons of putting our history on the computer. He still uses Netscape, so you can guess his overall opinion, although he obviously likes used bookstores to have an online presence.

(My position is the more tools in the toolbox the better we will be able to preserve and use our history. Also, the latest tool, while better than the old ones in some ways, is also worse in others. You have to look at the current need.)

I also mentioned that the first story I ever told was chosen because I have both physical and electronic copies.

In 1920 or so, my grandma’s uncle gave her a copy of Kipling’s Just So Stories. It’s an oversize volume bound in blue, with coloured illustrations, and tissue paper inserts over the drawings. When I was a young teenager, Grandma gave it to me.

When I got my first handheld, I loaded it with old favourites, including Kipling. Later that month at the cottage, those stories were handy, so I read those stories to my kids.

A few weeks later I took a beginning storytelling course. Rather than pick a story from those laid out on the table, I chose The Sing Song of Old Man Kangaroo.

My love for the stories are from that blue book Grandma gave me, how we clean our hands and the table first and are careful to cover the pictures with the tissue paper.

My love for telling it as a storyteller combines that with the convenience of having the entire book in my purse.


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