Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, genealogy and family history, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jack Tales and App Lit

When I was a kid, I loved the old-timey stories. At the time, I didn't know that some of those stories were officially known as Jack Tales; I only knew that the main character in a bunch of them was called Jack.

More than a half century after I heard those tales, I was privileged to to meet two tellers of the Jack Tales, Lynn Salsi and Anne Chase, at the Children's Literature Association Conference at Hollins University last June. We three were on the "Sense of Place, Sense of Home: Retelling Appalachian Folktales" panel.

Anne, who is a wonderful story-teller in her own right, is the daughter of Richard Chase, noted in Appalachian literature for collecting the Jack Tales. I've owned her father's book for years, so it was an honor to sit next to Anne.

I've owned this book for years.

As part of her presentation, Anne told the "Sody Sallyratus" tale. I was lucky to have a front-row seat to her animated and enjoyable rendition.

Lynn Salsi talked about her retold Jack Tales. Here are two of her books:

Lynn's stories are a delight. The illustrations by James Young echo the homespun feel of Lynn's tales.

James Young's illustrations in Jack and the Fire Dragon are especially effective. 

For my part of the panel, I told a shortened version of Ferradiddledumday, my Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin tale. It doesn't have Jack in it, though.

I used my Powerpoint presentation to help me tell Ferradiddledumday.

Before Anne, Lynn, and I did our presentation, the Ferrum College Jack Tale Players performed a couple of stories.

Another neat "Jack Tale" thing happened that morning. Charles Vess, an artist and illustrator who designed the brick sculpture Jack Tales Wall at Southwest Virginia Community College in Richlands, just happened to be there. Tina Hanlon, keeper of the Ferrum College AppLit website, invited him to say a few words. And he told us the story of how he came to design the wall.

If you're not familiar with the old-timey stories, you might want to look into reading a few.

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Blogger Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Very interesting. I had never heard of Jack Tales.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I absolutely love the Jack Tales. I remember my grandpa telling me some of them, then my 5th grade teacher read all of them to us except for Soldier Jack.

When I worked in the children's department at the library, I enjoyed reading them to children.

That must have been very interesting meeting Anne Chase.

9:44 AM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

I remember studying Jack Tales in school. I thought they were great. Thanks for the reminder.

3:48 PM  

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