So, downtown was on fire this morning. That’s good.
Disembarking from my TARC bus – my glorious morning steed – brought a haze of heather gray at the corner of 5th and Market, spilling out from the building where Vincenzo’s happens to live. This was new. I was mildly alarmed.
But this was, apparently, a unique feeling to have. Other humans were not mildly alarmed. They were simply mild. People who normally cross the street were still normally crossing the street. People who normally protest PNC bank were still normally protesting. Loiterers were still loitering. And the BMWs were still gliding with sleek, I-own-a-temperature-controlled-garage steel pelts into the underground of cars at the Humana Temple.
But I paused. I paused because I was, perhaps, the only person who felt the instinct of “FIRE BAD”. Am I the only one left to possess instincts? Am I the only human who is still afraid of the elemental fears of our wild ancestors? I am the only one left? Hello?
Maybe it was the smoke monster from LOST. I don’t know.
Really – I don’t know anything.
But this fire puff? Here, I can assure you, my friends, of one thing: it’s an odd story. Maybe not an important story. Or a long story (although, I don’t doubt I could do a bang up job getting long-winded about it if given the chance). But it still qualifies as an unsettling tale to tell about a world that was suddenly different for me one morning. I am folk. That’s a tale. So that’s what I just did for you: a folktale. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today for a wee bit here in the part of the world that is mine. What a wonderful world.
Combining a rich heritage of Kentucky folklore with her own brand of engaging spoken-word storytelling, Mary Hamilton will bring her first book, Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies, to The Summit location of Barnes & Noble  for a spooky yarn-spinning and a probably-not-so-scary signing.
A professional storyteller (how fantastic is that?) since 1983, Mary Hamilton  has been performing and delighting audiences for decades, weaving tales and anecdotes at festivals, universities, theatres and all which ways of stages across the country and the state. The recipient of over a dozen awards for her work, Hamilton has recorded five audio shows, including the praised Sisters All…and One Troll and Alligators, Bees, & Surprise, Oh My! Folktales Revived! Now releasing her first book, Kentucky Folktales is a collection of twenty-six stories born of the Bluegrass culture, each followed by an essay pertaining to the art of storytelling.
Join Hamilton this Saturday starting at noon for a rendition of some of our fair state’s best and spookiest tall tales. She’s probably a better storyteller than me. Probably. Drop by Barnes & Noble this weekend – mayhaps while you toodle around shopping – and delight in some spoken word. True Bards of the Bluegrass are something worth cherishing, doves, in this – a world where no one speaks to anyone else and no human is afraid of fire.
That’s my story at least.
The Summit location of Barnes & Noble is located at 4100 Summit Drive. For more information, hit up the store at (502) 327-0410.
Image: Courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library www.lfpl.org