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ABCs of DMW: F is for Fairy Tales
Posted By Ken On June 9, 2009 @ 10:35 PM In People | No Comments
This is a chapter from The ABCs of Dan M. Wilson .
If I had to guess what your favorite trait of mine has been throughout your entire life, I’d say that it would have to be my ability to tell stories. Actually I’d be willing to bet that a lot of my friends would pick this attribute as their favorite of mine as well. And how did I learn to tell stories so well? Big shock, I learned it from my father.
Back in the day, bedtime for me came at nine o’clock. I remembered that whenever I’d hear the theme song for the TV show “Baretta” I knew it was time to make my way upstairs. Coincidentally, the opening line of the theme song had Sammy Davis Jr. singing “don’t go to bed with no price on your head.” On most nights, Grandma Pat would come upstairs and read me any story I picked out from the books on my bookshelf. On rare occasion however, Grandpa Dan would come in and be in charge of story time.
“Let me tell you a story…”
Now what made his bedtime stories so much better is that he completely made them up as he went along. He’d allow me to give him a simple plot line and the main characters – I’d naturally become the star and all of my friends would make up the supporting cast. I remember being unable to go to bed after he’d finish up telling me his tale as I was so excited. His stories were riveting and I would beg and beg him to tell me another. Those requests were denied each and every time because I had to go to bed after all.
“Let me tell you a story…”
I loved hearing Dad tell any story. The context of the story didn’t matter in the least. It was the way that he told the story – complete with different voices and sound effects – that had me hanging on every word. He was engaging, animated, and truly brought the listener into the world he had concocted. You literally felt like you were there. Sound familiar?
It became apparent over the years that Dad had a knack at adding a little bit to his tales of real events, embellishing facts here and there to get a laugh or to make the story more interesting. We may never know if Grandma Pat truly did get up on a table and sing “Dixie,” but Dad did such a great job at taking us into the story that we can all see it in our heads to this day.
Here’s what I learned from Dad in the realm of storytelling:
I couldn’t even begin to count the number of stories that Dad and I have told throughout our lives. Larger still would be the number of people who have listened and loved hearing our tall tales, you being among them.
We’re looking to you to carry on this Wilsonian tradition as you journey through life. It’s definitely something with which you’ve had ample experience.
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URLs in this post:
 The ABCs of Dan M. Wilson: http://www.kenthinks.com/2009/05/27/the-abcs-of-dan-m-wilson/
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