GEORGE WEST – On the first Saturday in November George West has a tradition of telling and hearing stories. After all, the town is “The Storytelling Capital of Texas.”
This year the tradition continues with “A Day of Stories” at the Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre.
Glynis Holm Strause, Dobie West board president, said, “The Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre Board was saddened at the ending of Storyfest in George West.
“The theatre, named after one of Texas’ premier storytellers J. Frank Dobie, could not let the moniker ‘The Storytelling Capital of Texas’ fail to meet its promise and thus decided to host ‘A Day of Stories’ at the theatre on Nov. 2.
“The city of George West was in agreement with us as was the Texas Commission on the Arts as both provided funding for the artists and the event which makes it free to the public.
“The Storyfest Board granted the Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre use of the title ‘Texas State Liar’s Contest’ which was always a highlight of Storyfest.
“The purpose of ‘A Day of Stories’ is to preserve the oral history of storytelling and to preserve the title for George West as ‘The Storytelling Capital of Texas’ by focusing just on storytelling.”
Professional teller Sue Kuentz will be first up from 1 to 2 p.m. Kuentz has been a frequent guest in George West and Storyfest regulars will welcome her back. She has been a storyteller and youth storytelling club sponsor for more than 25 years.
Her goal is to instill a love of storytelling in young people so that the oral tradition will continue.
From 2 to 4 p.m. tall tales take the stage as competition for the most convincing liar in Texas heats up. The title of number one Texas State Liar of 2019 will be up for grabs and the contest promises to be filled with lively stories.
After the liars leave the stage, Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff and Sheriff Larry Busby will share their memories and some history of the county.
Huff, who was first elected county judge in 1987, grew up in Live Oak County and has spent most of his life involved in county activities, supporting a variety of community organizations and causes. He has been recognized for service by professional and community groups.
Busby is serving his 39th year as Live Oak County Sheriff, making him the longest serving sheriff in Texas.
Raised in a ranching community on the McMullen-Atascosa line, he moved to Live Oak County in 1964. A lover of ranching, he and his wife Jo Ann have a ranch south of George West.
The two tellers of local stories have a long-time connection. Before being elected sheriff, Busby worked under Sheriff Sam Huff, the father of Judge Jim Huff, who worked as a deputy for Busby before being elected county judge. Small world.
The Live Oak County Historical Commission will participate in recording the stories of these local tellers.
After a supper break, popular storyteller Tim Tingle opens the evening entertainment at 7 p.m. Tingle is no stranger to George West, having told tales at Storyfest through the years.
The proud Oklahoma Choctaw is an award-winning author and storyteller. His stories often reflect his Choctaw heritage, as do his award-winning books.
“The Day of Stories” wraps up with the traditional ghost stories in the theater. From 8 to 9 p.m., Sue Kuentz, Karen Kibbe, Glynis Holm Strause and Tim Tingle will raise your hair and give you goosebumps with their spooky tales.
“Storytelling is as old as language,” Strause reminds us.
Don’t miss the chance to continue old George West traditions on the first Saturday in November – listening to stories and free admission.
1-2 p.m. Sue Kuentz
2-4 p.m. Texas State Liar’s Contest
4-6 p.m. Local Tellers Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff and Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby
6-7 p.m. Supper Break
7-8 p.m. Tim Tingle
8-9 p.m. Ghost Stories by Sue Kuentz, Karen Kibbe, Glynis Holm Strause and Tim Tingle