Tell Us Something Executive director Marc Moss was professionally trained as an English educator, certified in 1995 to teach English 7-12 in the state of Ohio. He went on to teach in the world’s best classroom, Yellowstone National Park, as a seasonal ranger-naturalist from 1999-2001, telling the stories of the geothermals there, the ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the historical Fort Missoula. He fell in love with storytelling listening to garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion on long drives with his dad as a kid. Upon Arriving in Missoula, he experienced formal personal storytelling for the first time at a live storytelling event at the PEAS Farm, and has been cultivating personal storytelling in Missoula in some fashion ever since. He brings his expertise in storytelling to recruiting storytellers and to the story coaching workshops that he requires of each storyteller before each Tell Us Something event.
In this podcast episode, you’ll hear stories about a rule-following good girl making a stand against injustice, a woman who uses kindness to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation in Brooklyn, New York, successful communication during a near-death experience on a mountain road and a neighborhood coming together to protect songbirds in a time of crisis. Today we feature four storytellers who worked hard during a Tell Us Something intensive storytelling week-long workshop. They shared their true personal stories from their living rooms, their kitchens, their bedrooms — from their homes —  during our first-ever live-streamed event. The theme for the night was “No Excuses: Stories of Hope and Resilience”. We didn’t have full control over the sound quality for all of the storytellers, and some of them are somewhat compromised because of Internet connectivity issues. All of the stories are worth hearing and they are all incredible. Thanks for your patience with the limitations of live storytelling during shelter-in-place. Our first story comes to us from Bonnie Bishop, who encounters a personality at work that has some interesting ideas about what constitutes professional attire. Bonnie calls her story “GREATER THAN MY PANTS”. Bonnie Bishop is originally from Northern Virginia and moved to Missoula 3 years ago (site unseen) after working a few summers in Yellowstone National Park, where her love for wild things took hold. Since then Bonnie has gotten her master’s degree in Public & Community Health from UM, which has fueled her passion for health equity and social justice. Bonnie values authenticity, laughter, empowerment, courage, and swears by blasting Evanescence in the bathtub as the remedy for a bad day. Described by her family and friends as an Earthy Firecracker, she joins us today to celebrate Taurus season through story.” Anna Stene finds herself in Brooklyn New York and is walking home one morning when she decides to explore an unfamiliar neighborhood on the way home. She encounters a man who engages her with a surprising question. Anna calls her story “Can’t You See I’m Wearing Headphones?” (or) “If You Must Know”. Anna Louise Stene is an alumnus of the University of Montana’s Creative Writing program. She is a roustabout who collects stories and, by her own admission needs to get a job. A life long equestrian, she can fly fish off the back of her horse, but can’t manage to catch a damn thing. She currently straddles America with one foot in Montana and one in Brooklyn, casting for a home. Katie Matthews and her friend Katie share a fantastic day out in nature, running up a mountain and swimming in a mountain lake in the wilds of Montana. Their trip down the gravel road turns nearly disastrous as Katie’s car almost tumbles off the side of the mountain. Ride along with the tow truck driver in a story Katie calls “Tow Truck Troubles”.   Katie Matthews has lived in the Missoula community for the past 14 years. She is currently a 6th-grade teacher. Katie loves sharing her passion for science and the outdoors with her students! When she is not teaching, she is guiding visitors down the Alberton Gorge west of Missoula in the summers. In our final story, Becca Frucht rallies the neighborhood to save an important long-standing housing development recently inhabited by some very industrious tenants. She calls her story “Let it Stand”. Becca Frucht is a self-ascribed “Tumbleweed Queen”, whose eclectic personal and professional journey has taken her from the red carpet to the Rocky Mountains. After a decade of big city adventures, she blew up her urbanite existence, to live and work on an 87 thousand -acre ranch, and has been exploring the intersection of open range and open minds, ever since. She is a Program Officer with AMB West Philanthropies, — The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s Montana-based endeavor, where she helps support and evaluate West Creek Ranch, an inspired retreat and think tank space. Becca also moonlights as an amateur cowgirl, karaoke professional, conservation cheerleader, and unicorn believer. Catio with Becca’s cats Aldo Meowpold and Ralph “Waldo” Emerpuss cottonwood tree that Becca helped save
In this podcast episode, you’ll hear stories about a man overcoming his obesity and depression through the magic of MMA fighting, a model who escapes the insidious modeling industry, a volunteer who helps restore an historic C-47 aircraft for the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and a mother making a difficult decision on the day of an important hunt. Note that the quality of the sound is not as perfect as we would like it to be. These stories are really worthwhile and we want you to hear them. Thank you. Dave Boulter is an athlete who can no longer play sports. The resulting depression and weight gain drive him to try a sport he never thought he would try — MMA fighting. He calls his story “That Didn’t Hurt So Bad!” Dave Boulter is a New England boy who moved to Montana early in the Spring of 1993. He graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Forestry specializing in Recreation Management. He has been making his living as a Stone Mason for approximately 20 years and is a veteran athlete and coach in Mixed Martial Arts. Ainsley McWha begins her modeling career at 16 and is enthralled by the glitz and glamor before she discovers the dark side of the industry and finally escapes.  Near the end of Ainsley’s story, an unfortunate thing happens: she is heckled by someone in the audience who is not listening fully to her story. This sort of behavior is never appropriate. At the live event, I made that clear after Ainsly finished. I mention this here because I kept the heckler in the edit and bleeped her comment. Doing so retains the flow of the story and shows Ainsley’s strength in pushing through to finish her story.  Ainsley calls her story “Seen & Not Heard”. Ainsley McWha is a writer and essayist whose work appears in the current issue of Barrelhouse Journal and has previously been published in Grist, Tahoma Literary Review, Salon, and the Washington Post, among others. She was recently appointed as the chair of the Parks & Rec committee in the town where she lives. She has never seen the sitcom.  Read Ainsley’s writing about her experiences as a model at Salon, The Washington Post, Huffington Post (1), and Huffington Post (2). Mare at John  Haines knows nothing about airplanes and loves a good cause, so he volunteers to help make “Miss Montana” airworthy so she can join the D-Day Squadron and the Daks Over Normandy in commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2019. (Miss Montana is a historic C-47 aircraft in the Museum of Mountain Flying in Missoula.) John calls his story “75 Years is a Good Start”. John Haines was born and raised in Plains, MT and lived in Kumamoto, Japan for ten years. John currently works at Ace hardware so he can volunteer at the Museum of Mountain Flying. Molly Bradford awakens on the day of the hunt to the sounds of her son coughing with the croup and has to decide if she should cancel the hunt. She calls her story “The Push and the Pull – or – Spilling Milk” Molly Bradford is the CEO and Co-founder at GatherBoard, the makers of Molly takes community connection seriously, as an active member of the Missoula startup ecosystem in addition to her children’s scholastic and community endeavors. Molly is an avid yet amateur gardener, cook, skier, and hunter who likes to put up mass quantities of food for the winter, race her husband and kids down the slopes and makes telecommuting from Mexico a family priority.
Our podcast today was recorded in front of a live audience on December 10, 2019, at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 8 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Tipping Point”. Today we hear from three of those storytellers. Note that the quality of the sound is not as perfect as we would like it to be. These stories are really worthwhile and we want you to hear them. Thank you. In our first story, Annabelle Winne wakes in the middle of the night with the sensation of water in her ear. She soon discovers that the cause of the sensation is worse than she could have imagined. She calls her story “Insanity in my Ear”. Annabelle Winne moved to Montana 9 years ago, in part, because she only lives in states that start with the letter “M.” Previously, she lived in Maine, Massachusetts and (New) Mexico. She currently works as a clinical social worker in private practice. Past jobs have included research biologist, waitress and burrito roller. Our next storyteller is Feather Sherman, who falls out of a tree on a camping trip, and is saved from breaking her neck, by an unlikely accomplice. She calls her story “Tree of Enlightenment”. Feather Sherman earned her Masters in Art Education from the University of Montana. She has a 50-year career, teaching art, and raising her five, wonderful children. She’s passionate about WORLD PEACE, ART and music. For the last seven years, she has devoted her life to being a Volunteer of Loving Kindness and works for free. Living very simply, she has helped with American and World Peace Gatherings, Oceti [SACK-OH-WIN] Sakowin Media Crew at Standing Rock, and Rainbow Hurricane Disaster Relief Kitchens. Our final storyteller is Greg Munro who, along with his wife, embarks on an adoption journey that results in the very first open adoption in the state of Montana. Greg calls his story “The Tipping Point for Secrecy in Infant Adoptions”. Greg Munro is the father of two adopted daughters who are now adults with children of their own. In a long career as a trial lawyer, including 30 years as a law professor at the University of Montana, he has made storytelling the core of his advocacy and is awed by this ancient and beautiful communication.
Our podcast today was recorded in front of a live audience on September 24, 2019 at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 8 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Leap of Faith”. Today we hear from three of those storytellers. Our first story comes to us from Steven T! Millhouse, who takes us on a journey walking form Missoula, MT to Los Angeles, CA, regaining a lost hope in humanity along the way. He calls his story “Homage for the Homeless”. Steven T! Millhouse was born in Bozeman but grew up in Missoula. He graduated from Sentinel Highschool, and the University of Montana. He is “MONTANA Through and Through.”  He would like to thank his Millhouse and Spaulding Families for their Love and support.   Our next story comes to us from Jennie Pak who introduces us to her aspiring rock star son and allows us to walk through the labyrinth with her on a healing journey through grief. She calls her story ““Out of the Dark””. Jennie Pak was born and raised in Montana. After living up and down the West Coast, the family settled in Missoula in 1998.  Jennie works as a Senior Caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care. In her spare time, she is a living history presenter, traveling around to libraries, museums, schools and Senior residences, portraying women from Montanas’s wild west days.   In our final story, Jaimie Jacoby and his crew help rescue a horse that has found its way to the wrong side of the Lochsa River during the height of whitewater season. Jaimie calls his story “Badger Crossing”.
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5 days, 7 hours