Ready for a great story?

Published 11:36 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2010

SELMA — Some storytellers plan which tales to recall at a tale-telling festival. Kathryn Tucker Windham is not one of those storytellers.

Which story will she tell?

“I have no idea,” Windham said.

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She prefers to step onto the stage, look into the crowd, and then speak from her memories.

“I like the family stories,” Windham said. “I try to encourage audiences to go home and tell stories about their families or themselves. We’ve forgotten how to talk to each other.”

Windham is one of the featured storytellers at the 32nd annual Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival on Friday and Saturday at J. A. Pickard Auditorium.

The other storytellers, the Rev. Robert Jones and Connie Regan Blake, will share their tales and The Dill Pickers, a vocal string band from Birmingham, will play between tellers.

“Story telling is the oldest of the arts,” Windham said. “Man told stories before he painted pictures or played music, and it’s probably the most powerful of the arts.”

Windham has told stories every year at the festival.

“It is a rather unique event that not only keeps you entertained for a few hours, but it also gets the art of story telling alive again,” said Candace Johnson, director of the Selma-Dallas County Tourism and Convention Bureau. “Something we do well in the South is entertain by telling stories that are passed down from our grandparents.”

Tellers will begin each night at 7 p.m., but at 5:30 p.m. the stage and microphone are open for Swappin’ Ground, when anyone to tell tales.

“That’s where they get people who are just coming to the event to get up and tell their stories,” Johnson said. “They actually get to be a storyteller. “

Admission is $10 per adult and $5 per child ages 12 and younger.

For more information, contact 1-800-457-3562 or visit