Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Report from the Annual Storytelling Festival

 by Betsy Villas White
   Dateline October 2, 2009.....Jonesborough, Tennessee........."She was terrific!"   That's the word on the appearance of Ellouise Diggle Schoettler at the annual Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough Tennessee.

Three minutes into her fifteen minute story, the audience was eating out of her hand. She was warm and funny and polished and something indeed to write home about. Therefore, that’s what I’m doing.

All you folks at home and away should note that we now have a full fledged, honest-to-goodness, nationally recognized storyteller in our midst. She held her own in the kingdom of storyland and then some. I was proud, her family was proud, my traveling companions were proud, Don and Letty Nance were proud, and the crowd surrounding her after the performance was riding high.

I just kept remembering that I knew her when her stories were beginning. Wonder if she’ll ever tell a story about making button gardens in Girl Scouts at Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church?


As you just read, reports that our own Ellouise Diggle Schoteller's appearence at the Jonesborough, Tennesee annual Storytelling Festival....the SUPER BOWL of storytelling, was  a BOFFO performance, have been confirmed CHS54's ace reporter Betsy V. White.

Our news team was there and got this reaction from Ellouise herself:

"Is it really two weeks ago that I stepped on the stage at Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival with these five other wonderful storytellers, Baba the Storyteller (CA), Tyris Jones (NC) Slash Coleman(VA) Bob Reiser (NY) and Bernadetter Nason (TX). It was really a great experience - facing 1200 folks under a Ringling Brother Brothers type big top tent - all smiling, laughing and loving the stories. 

Personally I was very happy to see Jim and our family and Don and Letty Nance and Betsy Villas White smiling up at me! For a storyteller getting to tell in Jonesborough is a mountaintop -

Lately I have been working on telling "memoirs." You know - tell the story yourself. The festival was over Sunday afternoon so Monday morning Jim and I drove over to Asheville to UNC-A where I told Pushing Boundaries, my new story about my journey to becoming an ERA activist during the 1970s and 80s- for the Women Studies Department. It was cool. Like a real "Jack" tale - coming home (sort-of) to tell my story.

Telling personal history that is not in the history books. A few members of the League of Women Voters joined the audience - including Kathleen Balogh, the new State President. I loved having them there because I was ERA Campaign Director for the League's national Staff - 1979-82 and those days are part of the story. Anybody remeber those days? They were lively and exciting for me - although the loss of the ERA in 1982 was very painful for those of us who though equal rights for women should be part of the US Consttution and worked for the amendment."

But, enough of this rabble rousing. I am grateful to be a storyteller - to see friends, to come "home" and to tell stories."

Thanks Ellouise, and congratulations from all of us old Wildcats.


...and to view Ellouise's website, go to: