Storyteller in the news
It isn’t every day a storyteller is featured on Good Morning America, but that’s where Northern Ireland’s Liz Weir found herself in July 2009. When I watched the clip and read the accompanying article, I traveled back to my first meeting with one of Ireland’s premier storytellers and a woman whose friendship is a jewel in my life.That friendship began in 1988. My first husband (ah, life!) and I were spending a year in the Netherlands. Storytelling friends had given me a contact in Ireland – Liz Weir. When I wrote telling her I was an American storyteller and was planning a visit to Ireland, she didn’t hesitate. She not only invited this complete stranger to stay with her. She set up a storytelling tour for me, without ever hearing me tell a tale. Her hospitality didn’t stop there. To the horror of the two friends with whom she’d booked a holiday cottage in County Clare, she invited me to join them. Fortunately, the foursome clicked. Oh, what a grand time we had together. A visit with premier fiddler and storyteller Junior and his champion, set-dancing wife Cissie Crehan, another with the wildly entertaining folklorist and storyteller Eddie Lenihan, music, laughs, good food – all of it unforgettable for me.
At the time, Liz was a librarian who also told stories. Before long (or so it seems as I look back), she would launch an international storytelling and writing career, buy a country property and develop it as Ballyeamon Camping Barn, and become known around the world for her work in preserving and passing on the rich heritage of her land.
How lucky can I be that the peripatetic wanderings of my life brought Liz Weir into my life? And how lucky can the storytelling world be that she chose the chancy but deeply rewarding path of the modern tale teller?