The Storyteller’s Legacy

18 Jul


A long time ago, gosh, back before I decided I wanted to be a writer, maybe twenty years ago, I wrote a short story called “Sam’s Legacy.” I think I published it on HubPages, where is promptly died a slow death, and then I published it on NIUME, or some other site, where it also died a slow death.

I wrote that story about a next-door neighbor of mine when I was a little kid.  I was only about five when we moved into the home on 18th Street in Tacoma, and our neighbors were Sam Witherspoon and his wife Delores.  I don’t know how old Sam and Delores were when we moved next door to them, but I do know that Sam came across the Oregon Trail when he was just about my age of five. Well Sam and Delores told me some incredible stories over the years about life “out west” during the second half of the 19th Century, and I’m sure my love of history came from those stories that they told me about covered wagons, Indians, barn-building, drunken fights in mining towns, and the hardships and victories attached to life in the west way back then.

Yes, I was at an impressionable age, so obviously their stories were fascinating, but it was also the way they told their stories that helped them to come alive.  I could smell the smoke from the teepees on the Great Plains.  I could imagine gathering bison pies under the broiling sun in order to start a fire for cooking after covering another fifteen miles on the Trail.  I understood the fear they experienced, the bone-weariness of it all, mixed with the wonder of seeing a new land for the first time.

They were great storytellers, and their storytelling greatly affected me.

And now I’m a storyteller, and it is my hope that one day my stories will greatly affect another little boy, or girl, and they will decide to become a storyteller.

It is a noble undertaking we have chosen.  We are the storytellers of our generation.

Treat your calling with respect and reverence.

Be the best damned storyteller you can be!


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

34 Responses to “The Storyteller’s Legacy”

  1. Janine Huldie July 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Love this so much Bill as you most definitely are an amazing and awesome storyteller, who I have no doubt will inspire others as they are growing up to be writers. Thanks for always being just you and have a wonderful Tuesday once again now!! 🙂

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

      Aww, thanks Janine! I learned from some of the best. I appreciate you!

  2. froggy213 July 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    It is all about the story. People love stories. Thanks for the reminder Bill.

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

      Thank you, Greg! It is a rich tradition that needs to be preserved.

  3. susanzutautas July 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    You’ve turned into a great storyteller Bill and you’re one the best I’ve met over the years.

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

      You are very kind, Susan. Thank you very much.

  4. Linda Lum July 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    Bill, you are certainly a story teller; one of the best. I am certain that there is a young person reading your articles, or your novels, who will pick up the baton. Have a great Tuesday my friend.

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

      Thanks so much, Linda! I hope so, my friend.

  5. Sageleaf July 18, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

    The older I get, the more I want to tell stories. Ah, man…writing. It’s the life. It’s not the easiest, but it’s the life. #freedom

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

      It really is, Lil Sis! Where would this society be without The Arts and writers?

      Have a great Tuesday,,,hugs from perfectly-sunny Olympia

  6. Ruchira Khanna July 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm #

    I agree with your thoughts…gotta make an impact on somebody’s mind or maybe just make someone’s day by the words we create/type.

    The impact of words is powerful…thus allowing us to always ponder upon them before we type them 🙂

    Great post, Bill

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

      True words, Ruchira. There is a great responsibility in being a writer. Thank you for sharing that.

  7. Graham. July 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi Bill. You demonstrate the story teller in this short piece. All good stuff.

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

      Thank you sir! Greatly appreciated.

  8. Sarah Potter Writes July 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    I fear that storytelling, of the oral rather than written kind, is a dying tradition. Yes, we can read history in books, but to hear stories told from first-hand experience, with all the drama and emotion behind it; that’s something else. …The thing is, somehow you manage to bring your fiction alive in the same way, so keep storytelling and inspiring us all, Bill.

    • Billybuc July 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      I tend to agree with you, Sarah! I don’t see much of the oral storytelling happening, and I find that very sad.

      I’ll keep on doing it as long as possible, Sarah. Thank you for your very kind words.

  9. 1authorcygnetbrown July 18, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    I love this! It is something that I have also been embracung. When I think about my life, it’s littered with stories that I feel compelled to share. I started telling stories that I heard back before I can remember. Storytelling pre-empted my love for reading and subsequently my writing. Storytelling was the original source of all history.

    • Billybuc July 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

      It was indeed, Donna, and probably one major reason why I love history so much. Thanks for being here.

  10. rollyachabotbooks July 19, 2017 at 4:04 am #

    Hi Bill:
    Story telling is a gift that you have. Keep it alive my friend, never stop.

    Hugs from Alberta

    • Billybuc July 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

      I appreciate that, Rolly! Thank you sir, and hugs coming back atcha from Olympia.

  11. Manatita July 19, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Nice one, Bill. A great story-teller indeed!!

    • Billybuc July 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

      Thank you Manatita! I’m shooting for great; I’ve got a ways to go, but thank you.

  12. MartieCoetser July 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    Very encouraging post! One day I will have enough time again to write short stories. In the meantime I guess I should awaken my dead stories in HP and elsewhere.

    • Billybuc July 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      Martie, I hope that day is sooner rather than later. Thank you for finding the time to visit.

  13. phoenix2327 July 19, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    I do my best, Bill. Thank you for keeping us inspired. Good night to you, sir. (It’s nearly 10pm here.)

    • Billybuc July 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      And good morning to you, Zulma, and thank you! The first rain in 34 days has arrived. It feels wonderful.

  14. ericdierker July 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    Bill, of late one of my favorite things is when I launch into a story about my “olden days” with my kids and they interrupt and finish the story for me. Of course it comes with some “yea dad who already told us that story 100 times”. Well that is as good as it gets. And so the circle will be unbroken.

    • Billybuc July 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

      Excellent example, Eric! They will remember it, and tell it, and indeed, the circle continues.

  15. Michael Milec July 21, 2017 at 12:54 am #

    Indeed, you are a great storyteller a narrator, my friend. The one connecting those broken pieces of symbols giving them exquisite sense of life connecting to the readers spirit, – definitely it does to my and I can hear your voice though you might be physically a great distance, close to my soul.
    It is a blessing knowing and following you.

    • Billybuc July 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

      Michael my friend, the feeling is mutual. It is a great friendship and I cherish it. Thank you sir!

  16. Andrea Stephenson July 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    Very inspiring Bill, something to remember when we doubt ourselves.

    • Billybuc July 21, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

      I’m glad to hear that, Andrea! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  17. Mike August 6, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Hello Bill – The best part of being a story teller (besides the fame and fortune) is being able to open a door and bring the reader through it to something unkown or glorious. You do that.

    • Billybuc August 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

      Aww, thanks, Mike! I’ll let you know when that fame and fortune kicks in. 🙂

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