A Storytelling Photo Journal

It was a wild ride, and it was fantastic fun. I told stories from pretty much one side of West Virginia to the other, mixing ghost tales, ballads, stories for children with a few side trips along the way.

It started in Ripley. This was the Do You Believe? Ghost Walks in my county's seat, and we started right at the courthouse steps. This year we had between 150 and 200 people come out for the walks over two weekends, even though it was right chilly the second Saturday. Civil War ghosts, town legends, old murders, historic homes, and the town's beginnings in frontier America all contributed to the evenings' tales.

Sunday I packed and prepared for the week's travels, and I was on the road early Monday morning, heading to Saint Albans, followed by Charleston and then Dunbar, telling West Virginia ghost stories at libraries in Kanawha county. No photos, unfortunately, as I was traveling solo so had no trusty sidekick to snap pics for me.

Tuesday morning found me in Clendenin, the home of the first library I managed. It is always fun to return and see how vibrant this library still is in this small community on the Elk River. I left there and headed north and east to Shepherdstown, WV in the far eastern panhandle of our state, to tell stories for the Speak! Shepherdstown series hosted by storyteller Adam Booth. The audience was fabulous for this event--seasoned adult listeners who really support storytelling in their community. After the evening show I drove west and south once again to Weston to be ready for the start of the West Virginia Storytelling Festival that started the next morning.

 This festival, held at Jackson's Mill, was excellent as always.

We told tales to about 1000 or more school children over two days, and participated in an evening storytelling concert for the public. Fun times!

This photo was taken in the WV Building--an unusual building built for a World's Fair and then brought back to WV. It's built of all the hardwoods found in our state.

The exterior of the WV Building, taken in the mist of early morning.

I left Jackson's Mill and headed south and west, taking the scenic route so I could once again visit two favorite places: Falls Mill and Bulltown.

Falls Mill is a small park on the site of a former mill, and Bulltown was the site of a Civil War skirmish.

West Virginia had no huge battles during the war but there were quite a few sizable skirmishes in the state. Bulltown was quiet when I stopped there, with no other visitors. There is an eerie feeling of going back in time in such a place when one is all alone. I almost felt the presence of the soldiers and family there.

Friday was booth day--we worked at Marietta to being new items to our spaces there. I'm afraid this booth was a little neglected lately while I've been on the road so much. It looked fine though, and we added a few new things. I'll post pics in a later post.

Then Saturday I drove to Cross Lanes for the last of my Kanawha county library performance series and then came back to Ripley for the Saturday night ghost walks. I was happy to see two people from the morning's program at Cross Lanes in attendance for the ghost walk--they drove a good ways to be there, bringing several friends with them.

I was kind of sad to see the end of this wild week of storytelling. I met so many people along the way, and West Virginia is wearing its beautiful fall coat so the drives were a treat in themselves.

Yesterday I unloaded my van, unpacked my suitcase, and then went over to Ravenswood to work on the booth there (pics coming in another post). And today? I think it's going to be a bit of a catch-up day, doing laundry, writing thank-you notes, paying bills, and all the mundane things that keep home running smoothly.