… in 1973, I was on a quest to find… the “perfect” storyteller from the rich oral tradition of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
When I think of Ray and Rosa, images and memories come pouring in. I love seeing Rosa in her field of flowers next to the ripening corn and beans. There is a large expanse of dahlias in every color, shape and size, and Rosa practically skipping along, looking like a 16 year old, pointing out … Read More
The Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission asked me to organize a mini-folk festival on the capitol grounds in Nashville in the early 1970’s. Arlie Watson, Ora Payne, Willard Watson, and another area craftsman agreed to participate. At the last moment the craftsman backed out because of physical reasons. I didn’t know quite what … Read More
The last time I saw Ray, we talked about natural healing.
[I] saw a tent where Ray was gonna speak. I’d never heard of this man, but something drew me inside. I had never seen a storyteller, it was all new to me.
Ray said he was followed by a panther one time. He filled his shirt tail with rocks and kept throwing them at it, but it was in the trees following him.
I’ve just witnessed a piece of living history
He brought back the voices of my grandmother and grandfather from Alleghany County, NC.
I was hooked. Ted told Jack tales for the rest of the afternoon and I clung to every word he said.
…[Ray] shut his eyes and started an afternoon and evening of talk, stories, reminiscences, reflections on the practicalities of life and the mysteries of existence, jokes, ghosts and outrageous lies.