Our February Speaker ...

Actually we have no speaker at our next meeting. Who needs a speaker when you can have a storyteller! Mary Lou Williams, one of our own members, will treat us to an hour of that tradi­tional, almost lost, art of story­telling, which is enjoying a ren­aissance in Southwest Florida. Mary Lou doesn't just tell her stories; she dramatizes them, painting vivid word pictures with her voice.

After earning a Master's of Education degree from Colum­bia University, Mary Lou taught high school English and math for 35 years, and even spon­sored drama clubs, but wasn't really familiar with storytelling until introduced to it at an elder­hostel in 1993. When Mary Lou joined Toastmasters a few years ago, it didn't take long for her to gravitate toward the manual for storytelling. Perhaps her epiph­any moment was when, at a "mystery party," she took so naturally to acting out her part in the mystery that she was en­couraged by one of the other participants to make storytelling a second career.

Wearing her storytelling garb of a patchwork quilt skirt and peasant blouse, and armed with simple props for each tale, Mary Lou has presented her stories to many local groups. For our program, she promises to add a feminist fairytale to her varied repertoire of stories. Please join us on February 9 at Myerlee Manor and become part of the storytelling revival.