Storytelling Festival kicks off with food, fun

Published 11:00 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

BRUNDIDGE — Drucie Bundrick and her sister, Annette Phillips, have been to all but one Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

“It was the first one and sold out,” Bundrick said of the missed opportunity.

The sisters always have a good time. In fact, Bundrick could not choose a favorite story or a favorite show shared at the We Piddle Around Theater.

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“Oh, I like all of them,” she said. “The stories are so good. The food is so good. The fellowship is so good.”

Butch Bryan took his wife, Gloria, to Friday’s storytelling, a first for both of them.

“I’ve always wanted to go,” Gloria said. “It’s my Valentine’s present.”

For the eighth year in a row, Pike Piddlers threw on aprons proclaiming stories as “the real soul food” and served up dinner, family-style.

The Benton Brothers and Company crooned old-time favorites like “By and By” as guests dined on fried chicken with all the trimmings. Even the blessing over the food was a song.

The festival’s reputation reached Barbour County’s Shiloh Church. Winelle Teal invited more than a dozen church friends to join her for her first storytelling experience.

“I had some friends of mine tell me about it,” she said.

Lois Dykes has lived in Brundidge for 61 years and says she’d never made it to a storytelling before Friday night.

“We just decided we wanted to come,” she said.

Friday night was Pike County native Anne Carter’s first storytelling festival, too. She made the 50-mile trek from Eufaula just for the event.

“I’ve been wanting to come back home for this for years,” she said.

Piddler Mernette Bray said Friday’s event was a showcase of all four festival storytellers.

“It’s the top storytellers in the nation. That’s the ones we get,” she said.

Guests were treated to Bill Lepp’s tall tales and Barbara McBride-Smith’s stories of home. Dolores Hydock shared her reputation for talking to her plants and Donald Davis rounded out the night of laughs.

Those who missed the show may not get to hear why Lepp loves his “born-again” dentist or the secret ingredient to the “carmel” pie McBride-Smith’s mama made, but today’s shows will have a new set of unforgettable stories from the quartet of storytellers.

Concert times for the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival at the Trojan Center Theater today are 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($10 each) and 6:30 p.m. ($15). The 2 p.m. show is sold out. Thirty minutes before show time, a band will perform.

For more information about today’s shows, call 334-735-3125 or 334-670-6302 or 334-685-5524 or visit