We tell stories. That’s what humans do. It helps us process the events of the world around us. If you don’t tell your own story someone else will. I have told my fair share of doozies over the decades. None were told without hype. I cook my meals with seasoning and I tell my stories with spice.

Five storytellers joined me on February 24 at the Lakeside Theater’s Kitchen Table to share their own personal tales, and all five stories seemed to have been woven with a similar thematic fabric, commitment to a cause. Brittany Wetherill got the night underway when she told us about the road she took to becoming a librarian. Her devotion to the written and spoken word was simultaneously endearing, witty, and instructive. She left no doubt that language is her salve, her friend, and her compass.

Brent Quimby followed by telling of a recent encounter at the Canadian border on his way to visiting with his daughter and her family for their traditional pre-Thanksgiving feast. His turkey forgot its passport so it was left to spend the night in the woods until Brent retrieved it on his way home to Rangeley. He did what he had to do.

From left: Jeff Zapolsky, Brent Quimby, Marie Sutherland, Brittany Wetherill and Tina Falasco

Next up, return-storyteller Tina Falasco took us all 32 years back to when she started skydiving. She was committed to landing on a tiny target, after falling 13,000 feet, both in the day and at night. The movie screen behind her on the stage projected an image of her walking on the runway after successfully parachuting back to terra firma, wearing all her gear. She looked like a swaggering Chuck Yeager after breaking the sound barrier for the first time. Her story landed perfectly.

Marie Sutherland, after her unexpectedly long convalescence, at last returned to Rangeley, and to the Lakeside stage, where she regaled us with her love letter to Bob, her dearly departed husband, and their, and grandson’s, dedication to the Celtics. What we all learned from Marie was, ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you are sitting when watching a Celtic’s game but who you are sitting with, even if that person you are sitting with is one seat behind you.

Finally, Jeff Zapolsky let us know what it takes to get out of jury duty, accidentally. You get to know your fellow passengers on an elevator really quickly when that elevator gets stuck between floors with too many people on board. He said it was like a 12-pack box of Crayola crayons with a 13th crammed in. Finally, they all climbed up a ladder and out to freedom, women first, the overheated bailiff last, to be relieved of jury duty by the judge. Now we know.

The Kitchen Table will be hosting more events this coming summer. To see this episode, and all the others, go to youtube.com/@tstraubster. A sincere thanks to not only all the storytellers but, also, to all the story-listeners.

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