Memories

The legacy of the Hicks family continues to enrich the lives and touch the hearts of so many. These memories are from years spanning back to the mid 1960’s and up to the present day. Enjoy these reflections, stories and impressions about Ray and Rosa and please share your own.

… in 1973, I was on a quest to find… the “perfect” storyteller from the rich oral tradition of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
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Jimmy Neil Smith,
Founder – National Storytelling Festival
Jonesborough, TN

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 her favorite blossoms…
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Connie Regan-Blake, Storyteller
Asheville, NC

Ray boarded the bus to the delight of all the children who cried out to him to tell them a Jack Tale…. And that wasn’t even the first time Ray had rescued his kids in a snowstorm. Read More

Tom Burton, Professor Emeritus, ETSU
Johnson City, TN

The last time I saw Ray, we talked about natural healing.  Read More

David Holt, Storyteller and Musician
Fairview, NC

[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. Read More

Keith Smith
Hendersonville, NC

I remember when Ted told a story on the phone to my second-grade class.
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Hana Hobscheid, 5th grade student
Chicago, IL

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.
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Doug Elliott, Naturalist & Storyteller
Union Mills, NC

I’ve just witnessed a piece of living history!
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Jill Johnson, Global Village Storytelling
Whidbey Island, WA

He brought back the voices of my grandmother and grandfather from Alleghany County, NC. Read More

Wanda Hubicki, Charlotte Folk Society, Charlotte, NC­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I was hooked. Ted told Jack tales for the rest of the afternoon and I clung to every word he said.
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Vixi Jil Glen, Storyteller
Leicester, NC

…[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.
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Wil Roberts, Greenfield, MA

It is because of those like Hicks that I pursued a major in Appalachian Studies…Read More

R. Jason Burns

Ray’s telling unfolded the power, strength and beauty of nature…Read More

Motti Pikelny, Teacher
Oak Park, IL

When I saw Ray on the stage, I thought I was looking at a tableau by Norman Rockwell with audio by Jackson Pollock. Read More

Esther Jepson Doetsch
Scottsdale, AZ

What a joyful and healing presence Ray Hicks had in my classroom, 1000 miles from Beech Mountain! Read More

Nancy Shapiro-Pikelny, Teacher
Skokie, IL

Ray taught me the Swapping Song which I still sing to this day. I knew that I was in a rare and wonderful situation and thanked the storytelling muse for putting me there. Read More

Dennis Freeman, Storyteller
Phoenix, AZ

 I have been honored to have my images of Ray be the centerpiece of my collection at the Library of Congress. Read More

Tom Raymond, Photographer
National Storytelling Festival
Jonesborough, TN