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Telling Stories

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NEWS
By MICHAEL PAKENHAM | October 1, 1995
Howard Fast is 80 years old, and a book he just finished writing will begin to reach the shops this week. His first book, also a novel, came out in 1933, 62 years ago. In between, he has published 85 other books (though there is some argument about the total figure): novels, plays, memoirs, collections of stories.The publishers say that more than 50 million copies of his books have been sold, including translations into 82 languages. He may well be the most-read writer of the 20th century.
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NEWS
By Kayla Bawroski and For The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2014
Stores are stocked with costumes and giant bags of candy in preparation for the droves of children who will go trick-or-treating at the end of the month. But hand in hand with the fun side of Halloween is the spooky side, and Harford County is not exempt from local ghost stories. Lisa Ryan opened Havre de Haunts Tours & Paranormal Research last year to investigate and share those stories. Through Havre de Haunts, Ryan offers a 1½-hour guided walking tour of Havre de Grace that includes a history of the town as well as local ghost stories, all of which are true, Ryan claims.
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FEATURES
By Stacey Patton and Stacey Patton,SUN STAFF | June 9, 1998
In an age when computers and television capture the minds of our youth, one woman is making attempts to win kids over the old-fashioned way -- storytelling. Jackie Torrence, one of the country's most prolific storytellers, is making her way to Baltimore to tell tales from her first book, the just-released "Jackie Tales: the Magic of Creating Stories and the Art of Telling Them" (Avon Books, $25).Torrence, 54, has been telling stories professionally for 30 years. "I've been listening for 50 years," says the North Carolinian.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2014
After poring through 20 boxes of Betsy Bonaparte's correspondence at the Maryland Historical Society, Natalie Wexler's heart sank. In 2005, Wexler had been captivated by a portrait she'd seen of the Baltimore-born beauty, who wed Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon's youngest brother, against the French emperor's wishes. Wexler is an author, a historian and an attorney. She itched to tell Betsy's story - until she started reading the letters. "Betsy was really not a very pleasant person," says Wexler, now 59 and a Washington resident.
NEWS
By Consella A. Lee and Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer | July 12, 1993
When a customer who has been coming to him for nearly 60 years walks into the shop in Brooklyn Park, Gino Stagi quickly vacates the old-style barber chair where he has been perched, telling stories."
NEWS
By Lisa Respers and Lisa Respers,Contributing Writer | February 19, 1993
A roomful of people -- black and white, young and old -- joined hands, some with heads bowed and eyes closed, and listened to a recording of the black anthem "Lift Every Voice."It was a moving moment Wednesday at Carroll Community College, capping off an evening of storytelling designed to share the black experience."I have accepted a very heavy responsibility, and that responsibility is to pass on the culture of my people," said Stanley "Bunjo" Butler.Mr. Butler, 46, is a griot, an African storyteller.
NEWS
By KARLAYNE PARKER | August 3, 2008
This month's UniSun is full of people whom we all should know as part of the backbone of the African-American diaspora. Writer Ericka Blount Danois (Page 10) tells us about people like Bob Smith, who for years have been telling stories about African-American characters, sometimes real, sometimes not, who help us understand our heritage and our culture. These are the people who, when put center stage, transform themselves by wearing the appropriate attire to tell the story of historical figures and others.
NEWS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg and Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF | August 17, 2000
A day after Ade Wole Ruffin died in a car accident near his Columbia home, scores of friends and family members gathered yesterday at the home of his mother, Bobi Ruffin, talking, laughing and telling stories, recalling a young man, bound for college, with so much promise. "I never really knew how many people loved Ade," his mother said yesterday as she arranged for her son's funeral. "There were so many people here last night, some telling stories, some just listening. I've learned things about my son I didn't even know."
NEWS
By Cassandra A. Fortin and Cassandra A. Fortin,Special to The Sun | October 12, 2008
There's more to a good ghost story than its words. The dozen people in Havre de Grace who have signed on to give tours and tell stories about the quaint, historic town have learned that it's all about the presentation. "You have to be able to grab the audience's attention, hold it, and then deliver the punch line," said Bill Price, 53, who directs the rehearsals for the novice storytellers. "You have to paint a good story and paint a good picture." In preparation for the Havre de Grace Haunted History and Ghost Tours, which started this weekend, people of all ages and walks of life met with Price to learn the fine points of storytelling.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and By J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | February 17, 2000
Femi Kuti Shoki Shoki (MCA/Barclay 314 543 267) Fela Kuti The Best of Fela Kuti (MCA/Barclay 314 543 197) When Fela Anikulapo-Kuti died, in August 1997, it seemed the end of an era for African music. It wasn't just that Fela was one of the most inventive and popular musicians in Africa, whose percolating "Afrobeat" sound influenced even American acts like Talking Heads and the Red Hot Chili Peppers; he was also a major political figure, an incisive critic whose mocking commentary was a persistent thorn in the side of Nigeria's military rulers.
NEWS
Susan Reimer | June 30, 2014
Every summer about this time, I spend a couple of days touring private gardens. And I get paid to do it. I am one of the judges of The Sun's annual Garden Contest, and it might be the best part of my job. We receive between 30 and 60 entries each year, and the other judges and I whittle the list down to between 10 and 20. We schedule the visits, load up my car with icy, cold bottled water and off we go, covering hundreds of miles over two or...
NEWS
By Wes Moore | June 10, 2014
While describing the potentially devastating effects of climate change during a recent segment of "The Colbert Report," host Stephen Colbert warned that if climate change continues unabated, much of the planet will turn into an uninhabitable wasteland, just like — wait for it — Baltimore. With abandoned row homes featured in the inset, the serious implication of Mr. Colbert's jest was clear: Baltimore, the epitome of urban decay, is unlivable and unsalvageable. While the segment failed to make me laugh, it did make me think.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2014
When Baltimore writer Rafael Alvarez was driving around the country peddling his books, he sold a collection of his newspaper articles and short stories to a drunken farmer in a men's room outside Memphis, Tenn. He's spent countless nights sleeping in his truck. He's traded a book for a meal. A good day is when he ekes out just enough money to buy enough gas to get him to the next town - and that's assuming he doesn't run into an ice storm. So what would Alvarez consider to be a not-so-good day on the road?
NEWS
By Rus VanWestervelt | May 5, 2014
Timonium resident and poet Ann Kolakowski says that what she discovered when her grandmother turned 99 has haunted her to this day. Now, nearly 12 years later, she has published a book of poetry about that discovery. "When my brothers and I were clearing out our grandmother's home when she moved to an assisted living facility," said Kolakowski, "I found a shabby notebook. I opened it and read, 'Marian Brown, Domestic Science/Warren School, Maryland.' I was really confused. " In fact, the town in which her grandmother, Florence Marian Brown Eichler, had spent her childhood and attended Warren School had been bought, razed and flooded in 1921 to create a municipal water supply.
NEWS
April 13, 2014
The Sun's story regarding Medicare payments to ophthalmologists is incomplete and does not report the fact that the treatment in question is effective in restoring vision ( "Hundreds of millions paid by Medicare in Maryland," April 10). Maybe if Medicare payments are reported, then it should also be reported whether the treatment is beneficial to the patient. Not every surgical procedure requires general anesthesia. Report the number of "failed" laminectomies. Report the number of joint replacements which were unnecessary.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2013
Henry Walters and J.P. Morgan were frenemies. Both were the sons of powerful fathers. They didn't come into their own until they reached middle age, when they were widely acknowledged as two of the premier financiers of the Gilded Age. Both displayed an inclination toward collecting art as children. As grown-ups, the two titans competed over who would acquire the next painting or objet d'art. So it's only fitting that portions of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian papyrus known as "The Book of the Faiyum" belonging to institutions founded by each mogul are being displayed for the first time in 150 years in a new exhibit opening Sunday at the Walters Art Museum . "There was this kind of early-20th-century friendly rivalry between J.P. Morgan and Henry Walters," says Julia Marciari-Alexander," the director of the Baltimore museum.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Ollove and Michael Ollove,SUN BOOK EDITOR | November 7, 2004
Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones. Basic Books. 384 pages. $26. A couple of misfit, Depression-era Jewish kids in Cleveland pour their fevered dreams into the tale and imagery of a mighty crime-fighter in tights. In so doing, they launch a new narrative form of dazzling imagination, energy and popular appeal. That, in essence, is Gerard Jones' story about the origins of Superman and the comic books. That, plus the pain, the pulp, and the porn, the betrayals, the backlash and the unmistakable undercurrent of sexuality, rage and despair.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | April 19, 2007
Fronting his own band was initially an awkward experience for William Tell. For about five years, the former guitarist for the punk-lite pop group Something Corporate had become accustomed to standing on stage in the shadows, playing his instrument and adding background vocals. But all of that has changed with the release of his solo debut, You Can Hold Me Down. For the past three months or so, the Orange County, Calif., native has been on the road, promoting the record and working through his solo jitters.
NEWS
Susan Reimer | September 23, 2013
If you like paint-by-numbers, the data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census create a picture of the United States that is not inspiring. We spend the biggest part of our day - 9 hours and 12 minutes - commuting and working and the other big chunk - 7 hours and 39 minutes - sleeping. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show we spend 6 minutes or less on education and talking to people on the phone. We spend three hours on "leisure," and almost all of that is watching TV. We spend proportionally more on housing now (41 percent of our income)
SPORTS
By Ellen Fishel, The Baltimore Sun | September 1, 2013
Henry Stansbury is pure Maryland. His family has been here since the 1650s. He grew up in Mount Washington, played lacrosse for the Terps in the early 1960s and now splits his time between his houses in Catonsville and on the Eastern Shore. And his love for the state and its history also led him to one of his greatest passions - decoy collecting. Hand-carved decoys, once used for waterfowl hunting and now appreciated as art, have a rich history in the Chesapeake Bay region.
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