“Whiskey And Women”

Tara Clancy tells a coming out story:

When I called my dad and told him I was gay, I expected it to go okay for one specific reason: he had a couple of very good gay friends, pals from his local bar in Queens whom he lovingly called “old-school gays” and about whom he sometimes bragged, “And they don’t make ‘em like that anymore!” But apparently the way he felt for his gays didn’t much matter. When I told him I was gay, he flipped out and insisted I fly to Atlanta to talk in person—”Now!” Click.

Three days later, we got in his car and drove, his only words “We’re going to a hotel.” Two hours passed, he and I silent and motionless, the pope swinging left and right. Another hour, and we were on a one-lane road in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Then I started to think what you might be starting to think: “Hotel, my ass!” Just as I started to imagine how he’d shoot me—or worse, throw me into some “pray-the-gay-away” Jesus camp—a billboard appeared. A woman not unlike the St. Pauli girl, with blond braids and huge, ahem, beer steins, smiled down at us. Next to her, in giant German Gothic lettering, it said, “Welcome to Helen, Georgia! A recreated Alpine village.”

The story is better heard than read, especially with Tara’s thick Queens accent, so check out the above video from The Moth. Watch more of her storytelling here.

A Story For Thanksgiving

Below is another recording of master storyteller Ed Gavagan, a stand-alone second act to the story we featured over the summer. It has family, forgiveness and a surprising twist of thankfulness:

You can also watch Gavagan's TED talk about the medical efforts that saved his life. The post includes a reflection on his storytelling by The Moth's artistic director, Catherine Burns.

A Story For Saturday

by Chas Danner

One of my passions is live storytelling, and Ed Gavagan is one of the most gifted and engaging storytellers that I have ever seen. Here he shares his remarkable origin story as a New Yorker, a kind of love letter to the city. It’s a bit longer than the videos we normally post on the Dish, but absolutely worth it:

If you want to know more about the world of live storytelling, a few months ago the author Nathan Englander wrote a nice post about his experiences with storytelling org The Moth, and in April the NYT did a survey of the New York storytelling scene here.