For the tenth year in a row, Milligan hosted the Buffalo Tales with the Guild on Sept. 15 in the Gregory Center, an event where students come to hear professional storytellers.
Hosted by Professor of Communications at Milligan and member of the Buffalo Creek Storytellers Guild Dr. Bruce Montgomery’s storytelling class, Buffalo Tales with the Guild is used to show the students how professional storytellers tell their stories.
Montgomery opened up the night by welcoming the students and members from the community who came to the event.
The first storyteller was former police officer Jeff Stratton. He opened up the night with a lesson in learning. His story involved going overseas with his wife and getting in trouble in a Dutch airport, where he said something that got taken the wrong way as he was trying to come back to the United States. He learned the hard way to keep his mouth shut at the airport.
The second storyteller was Marci Nimick, a demo singer from Nashville, Tenn. Her story was about a man, Lance Rigsby, that she wanted to demo one of her songs. She spoke about Rigsby’s fear of people, especially women, from eastern Kentucky because they sing a lot of songs about killing people. Nimick is from eastern Kentucky, so she sang a few songs she had written that, of course, were about murder. She sang the songs while the audience laughed.
After Nimick, Jerry Muelver took the stage. He is a part of the Crumbly House, which brings storytellers to hospitals to spin stories for patients with brain injuries. His story was one about Dancing Loon, a story from his Native American background about a young man learning how to create a whistle to speak to his wife and son who had passed away.
Tony Marr, a Milligan graduate from Las Vegas, Nev., was the last storyteller before intermission. His story was about the time he and his roommates bought a snake and kept it in their room. It was a four-foot-long ball python, which they called The Snake. They also bought a mouse, which they called The Dinner, for the snake to eat. However, The Dinner was never eaten by The Snake. Instead, The Snake became popular and people would come to see The Snake and The Dinner. Everything was fine until, one day, The Snake got out of its terrarium.
“There was mass hysteria. The school basically shut down. Classes were cancelled and everyone was looking for The Snake,” Marr said.
Marr and his roommates had to do 300 hours of community service, and they faced a threat of expulsion. Marr ended his story with saying that The Snake had never left their room but had gotten behind its terrarium, and that he and his roommates released The Snake outside of Webb Hall.
During the intermission there were giveaways of T-shirts, mugs and for the grand prize two tickets to the International Storytelling Festival.
The last two storytellers were Marjorie Shaefer and Bob “Mountain Man” Phillips.
Shaefer is nicknamed “Mother Goose,” and she is a mentor for the new storytellers. She has been coming to the Storytelling Festival for 30 years. Her story was about going to her great grandmother’s farm and receiving a quilt from her. The moral of her story was that, no matter where she is in the world, she is home because the quilt is pieces of fabric from her family.
Phillips was the final speaker of the night. This was the first time in a long time that he had been able to speak at this event, because he has been ill. His story was about how not even garden snakes are good. He ended the night with a poem about an outhouse.
Later in the semester there will be another Buffalo Tales where the storytelling class will perform their stories.