|Donald Davis is a Master Storyteller|
She offered her backyard for the first festival and put together a committee who worked tirelessly to create a local venue for magic.
That first festival drew a couple of thousand people.
The 2018 Timpanogos Festival brought in more than 10,000 on the just the two Laughin' nights alone.
The tellers come from across the nation and across the ocean including longtime favorite Donald Davis (who tells stories from his childhood in North Carolina and from his lifetime of experiences from riding a mule down the Grand Canyon to standing beside his beloved wife Merle as she succumbed to complications of rheumatoid arthritis), Kevin Kling's witty descriptions of watching a Demolition Derby with his mother's Chevy Nova in the competition, Bill Harley's recounting of a T-ball season and Irish teller Clare Murphy's vivid tale of three women trying to make fools of their husbands for free rent.
Each is a master of words, of gesture and of expression.
There's no easy way to describe what the festival is.
I've tried for years as I've written advance stories for the Deseret News.
It's been somewhat frustrating as there's really no way to convey how it works and what happens without somebody actually being there.
I felt better when one of the tent hosts said she never could explain it either.
It's magical, real and unique.
After two days hosting and helping make sure people found their way into the story tents this year, you'd think I'd be weary of storytelling.
But, actually, I came away Saturday night marveling at the complexity and simplicity and creativity of the human spirit.
I realized that as different as the stories were, there was a common thread.
Every story and every teller recognized the value of people, the value of sharing experience and laughter and life.
They celebrate making and learning from mistakes.
They revel in falling in love and the triumphs that come from surviving mishaps.
A storytelling festival is art, reality and tremendous warmth.
I wholly recommend it.