It was such a wonderful year for the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and so it is no wonder that we are having a hard time officially saying goodbye. But, alas, all things must come to an end—and besides we have some fun things coming up in the next couple of months. As we make our final goodbye, we offer this look back in pictures at the 24th annual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival:
All photos were taken by two of our fantastic volunteers: Laren Helms and Tom Thurston.
I first heard Laura Pershin Raynor at Laughin’ Night during the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in 2000. She told a short story, and I remember thinking, “That was great! I wish I would have gone to hear more from her.” Then in 2009, my husband and I got the honor of participating in the “What’s Your Story” project on Ocracoke Island with Donald Davis. I heard that Laura and her husband Kenny were going to be a part of it, too. I was excited to get to know her better.
Laura and I were placed in one of the first sharing groups together. She was very kind and listened with genuine interest when I didn’t think anyone could be interested in my experiences growing up in Idaho. I had just mentioned “spud harvest” in passing while I was talking about something else, and Laura heard that phrase and was fascinated. She asked so many questions that suddenly my mundane story felt important. Obviously, I liked her right away! A few days later she shared a heart-warming story about meeting and holding her baby sister for the first time. She described the place, the feel, the new baby smell, and I was transported. I was taken back in time to my own childhood and felt like I was meeting my own newborn baby sister again. It was magical.
I can tell you from experience that Laura Pershin Raynor can use her gentle voice and validating manner to make your own memories wrap around you like a favorite quilt, and I am happy that Laura is coming back to the Festival this year. I hope you will take the time to hear her and let her voice work its magic on you. You’ll be glad you did.