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If you find yourself at the National Storytelling Festival, and the first act you plan to see one day is Donald Davis, make sure you get there early.  Really, really early.  Emma and I learned this the hard way this morning, when we showed up to the Courthouse Tent at 9:30 for the 10:00 show only to find that it was standing-room only.

After a bit of wandering and a bit more grumbling, however, I discovered the grassy embankment behind the tent.  No view of the stage, of course, but the sound was excellent, and there was something about being in this small town that brought out the mischevous streak that seems to run through anybody who grew up in a place where making your own fun was a rite of passage.

And if anybody knows about creating your own fun and getting into trouble, it’s Don Davis.

I won’t attempt to do his stories justice because it just isn’t right.  But suffice it to say–he will make you want to pressure your parents into telling you all the dirty details of the really stupid stuff they got up to in high school.  I know I looked over at Emma–twice, at least–during Davis’s hour and mouthed “My mom/dad did that once!”

Other highlights of the day:

  • Learning the backup vocals to “Build Me Up Buttercup” with Bill Harley.  Then singing them.
  • Blowing bubbles as the train passed by during Gay Ducey’s segment.
  • More fascinating interviews with Festival attendees for The Heritage Foundation and the Library of Congress
  • Getting sufficiently creeped out by inanimate objects thanks to ghost stories at the Gazebo
  • Exploring the shops that line the main street in Jonesborough, and trying out some fabulous headwear (pictures included):

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Tomorrow’s half-day will feature more interviews and the universal life lessons of Sacred Tellings, which I personally am looking incredibly forward to.  And as much as I’d love to reflect more on what I’ve seen thus far, Emma has just informed me that the hotel room smoke detector is going off and the room may or may not smell like burnt toast…I may need to go diffuse a situation.

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