Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Wildacres Conference Center, in Little Switzerland, NC is situated near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It sits atop the mountain; Pompey’s Knob, at 3300 feet elevation and is one of my favorite get-a-ways. While attending the Wildacres Fall Gathering at the end of October, I was greatly inspired by meeting and talking with various artists there– painters, potters, quilters, musicians, and writers, just to name a few. The mountain is constantly filled with lots of energy during this week. My goal was rewriting and learning several Appalachian legends for two upcoming programs I had booked. I also wrote a family story that was percolating in the back of my mind.
I can say that what I accomplished has certainly paid off in the past couple of weeks. These new stories were applied during several storytelling events. I anticipate that they will continue to be added to the list of my favorite stories to tell.
Winds blew in a big surprise the first evening and the next day at Wildacres – snow, beautiful snow. Brrrrh, but it was so cozy to sit before a huge glowing fire in the fireplace of the lodge. Though most of the snow blew further down the mountain, it was still snowing with a beautiful “dusting” on the ground, a delight to see the following morning.
Sylvia Payne, a North Carolina Storyteller, comes from a diverse background of Scots Irish, English, and German ancestry. She grew up in the North Carolina foothills listening to family stories told by her mother. A graduate of High Point University and a former children’s librarian, her repertoire includes world folktales, stories of history, legends and family stories. With more than 30 years’ experience, her animated style, and her stories captivate and transport the listener into an imaginary world. In addition, she conducts workshops for parents, teachers, and college and university students. She serves on the North Carolina Storytelling Guild Board and is editor of the Guild’s bi-annual publication, Journal of Tar Heel Tellers. Sylvia has studied with such storytelling masters as Donald Davis, David Holt, Tim Lowry, Connie Regan-Blake and Donna Marie Todd.