People said I had to see the legendary Ray Hicks when I attended my first National Storytelling Festival about ten years ago. When I saw Ray on the stage, I thought I was looking at a tableau by Norman Rockwell with audio by Jackson Pollock. I came away asking questions of every storyteller who had seen him or spoken with him. Although I never met Ray or Rosa, I have the greatest admiration. Seasoned tellers have spoken from the heart about their treks to Beech Mountain, the Hicks generosity of time, hospitality and friendship. Through their eyes, I have come to know of their gifts and warmth. Through Joseph Sobol’s class, I have ingested a sense of Ray s meandering stories. I understand he had an innate ability to tell the perfect story for the audience of the moment – like the little girl passing his room in the hospital. Ray…a moment in time. I would have cherished a walk up Beech Mountain to meet with Ray and Rosa. 

Esther Jepson Doetsch, Scottsdale, AZ