Storytelling highlights value of listening

Published 3:00 am Friday, January 27, 2017

For years, the Pike Piddlers have brought world-renowned storytellers to Pike County.

And for years, these talented folks have captured our hearts and our imaginations with their ability to weave words into laughter and tears.

The festival, which returns this weekend, is the passion project of a handful of dedicated volunteers in Brundidge. Nurtured under the auspices of the Brundidge Historical Society, the Pike Piddlers’ Festival has drawn state, regional and national acclaim.

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Legendary “tellers” such as the late Kathryn Tucker Windham and now Donald Davis, the “Dean of Storytelling,” have graced the stage at the We Piddle Around Theatre and at Troy University’s Crosby Theatre. New faces, like Adam Booth this year, will mingle with stars on the stage. Just consider that Grammy winner Josh Goforth is returning again to Pike County, Alabama, bringing his unequaled musical talents to the stage along with his stories. Fans who saw Goforth perform the first time he came to the festival still talk about the magic of those performances.

Michael Reno Harrell, the fourth headliner this year, is a talented and enchanting storyteller as well, bringing his unique voice to the stage once again.

All of these performers specialize in what some might consider a dying art. Storytelling is as old as man’s ability to communicate orally, and it was the primary vehicle for passing down history and traditions from one generation to the next. Today, for many in this digital age, storytelling is a novelty – a brief escape from the constant assault of information. Storytelling hearkens back to simpler times, slower times, which we knew the value of time spent talking, and listen.

We can’t think of a better way to spend time this weekend.27