High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Oct 30 1974, Page 15

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - October 30, 1974, High Point, North Carolina Wednesday october 30,1974 High Point Enterprise the world of a Coheh Adelaide Avo Man i editor and the. Jumped out. Big Bear. At the boy. Storyteller captivates her audiences Young and old by Lolita Hylton Enterprise staff writer wide eyed and entranced the children sit on the edges of their chairs listening intently to every word spoken by the a Story lady a who is narrating one of her repertoire of ghost stories and North Carolina legends. She strolls around the room As she talks her eyes rolling and her voice rising to a higher pitch As she builds up the suspense All of a sudden she flings open her arms and jumps toward her captive audience. A and the big Bear swallowed the Little boy and the Sody Sal Eratus a she shouts. A few of the startled children begin to Giggle and the atmosphere changes As they All Start chanting a Sody Sal Eratus Sody Sal Eratus. And that is the name Many of them Call the talented storyteller mrs. Jacquelyn Torrence who is bringing Back an almost lost Art. A i came from a Long line of storytellers a she says. A i had six uncles and two aunts who could hold anyone s attention. I created some of my own stories but never really got interested in storytelling much until i returned to High Point. A when i moved to Little Rock ark., from North Carolina everyone would say. A How Lucky you were to have lived in such a fantastic state Well i never thought of North Carolina that Way but when i moved Back to High Point about four years ago i decided to read up on the state history especially the Folk tales legends and tar Heel ghost stories. A that a when i realized what those folks were saying was right and i fell in love with North Carolina she admits since she has been Back in High Point Jackie As she likes to be called has been working at the Washington Street Branch Library supervising children s and Young adult services. She is a specialist in tall tales from the appalachian Highlands but is familiar with legends from All Over the state. She has narrated her stories at school classes clubs Church groups the fourth Street Owca and at the Library Story programs she also took part in the High Point arts Council s a Day in the Park Quot at City Lake Park How is she Able to dramatize her stories and How does she remember the multitude of stories she tells a i attended Livingstone College in Salisbury and was the first student to receive an achievement award in dramatics she says proudly. A i remember playing the part of the Mother in a Raisin in the Sun and never did feel nervous. In fact i often improvised when on stage and somehow the other actors seemed to know just what to do at the right time. I d always give them a Cue sometimes i did about drive the director crazy she chuckled Jackie lives at 307 Boulevard with her 6-year-old daughter Lori. A Lori is a strange child a she says she loves the stories but gets bored sometimes however when friends visit she always wants me to Tell them a Story. She can already hold a crowd with her own tales. A the Way i got started in storytelling for groups was when a Friend called and asked me to speak to an English class of seniors at Andrews High school she said i could read up on ghost stories or some such thing. A Well i just love people and i Felt pretty confident that i could do it but the students were dubious i could Tell right off. A it Wasny to Long until they caught up with the Story. One boy got so absorbed in it that when i touched him As i walked by he jumped out of his seat. A my tales Are from a tar Heel ghosts and legends and i gear them to the age of my audience. I Tell the Little ones about Friendly ghosts and the older ones scarier stories. Having Access to the Library helps me in keeping up with the tales and adding to my list of stories and he ate him Ali up a bewitching halloween tale a live told stories to Over 600 students in one month. You believe the adults that love to hear them. I be had College students ask me to Tell them a Story and when i do i have actually seen the hair on their arms stand up from fright. A i have to feel free to walk around As i talk and often i touch someone in the audience even though it scares him almost out of his skin. That s what they love a to feel completely involved. A a often a child will recognize me and expect me to remember him. One Day a Little boy flew Over to me on the bus and then stopped Short and shyly waved. He told his Mother a that s my storyteller. I remembered who he was when he pulled at my skirt for he had done that at the Nursery school where i had spoken. A you would t believe the letters i receive at the Library from children who remember me and my stories. Half of them address me As Sody Sal Eratus the favorite tale of the younger ones. A Many remember the slightest details of the stories and Tell me in a the nicest person they have Ever met a from the letters it is evident that most of the children have never heard anyone actually Tell them stories like this before and the personal touch that Jackie puts into her storytelling is very meaningful. They All ask for her to come Back and Many say they want to know her better and Hope she will like them too. Some of them close with a a Devil yours or a ghostly yours. One Little girl wrote that she was going to sleep in her brother a room because of the a scary piano Story a but she still wanted to hear More. A you said you could Tell stories All Day i believe i could listen All Day a Jackie says she treasures these letters and notices that the children seem especially surprised that she enacts the stories a and does no to just read them from a Book a one letter was very colourful with red hearts drawn around the Page showing the affection the children feel for their a Story a my Hobby is Antiques and i sell them at the Flea Market when i can. Well the children find me there too a seems like they always know me a she says As she flashes a Broad smile. A even if they Don t know me they still seem to feel my love for them. A some friends and i were out in the country when our car broke Down a and it was really Rural children and dogs everywhere. A the kids nudged me out of the group and Hung around me. Well i catch everything and these kids were covered with a purple Medicine. When a Little girl asked if i knew any stories and i said i sure do they All gathered around and she climbed on my Lap Medicine and All. A when i looked at those big innocent eyes i put her Down. I did what i love Best i told them All a Story a i be caught colds and even flu from kisses and hugs Given me by the Little ones but that does t Stop me when i know How much the closeness Means to a i was she As a child but i have no trouble now. I done to even have any hangups about my weight a i feel a lot of children Are starved for attention and in a giving it to them it makes me feel so tomorrow evening it might be harder to recognize the children s favorite storyteller As she will be working with the Library and the Parks and recreation dept at Blair Park. A we will have a halloween horror theater and Between movies i will be narrating ghost stories including the one about Lydia the Jamestown ghost who was picked up at the underpass taken Home and vanished into the fog. A there will be the appropriate props and at the proper time the ghost of Lydia will appear. We also expect to have count Dracula with us a she adds. The demand for the talented storyteller s time has been so great that beginning in november she will be working in the children s department of the High Point Public Library on main Street where she will be telling her stories to the children who come there to hear her a i wish i could talk with More adult groups too. Everyone should know More about North Carolina legends ifs part of their heritage. But whatever the age of the audience one thing is sure a when the a Story lady starts her tales no one will be wanting to leave before the last Story is finished and the last gesture photos by Mark Austin an Sonny Hedgecock a i. I is i i

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