24: Mike Nystrom — How to Bluff Your Way into Your Favorite College

Getting where we want to go does not always mean taking a straight path. You know that, but that doesn’t stop us from complaining when the road looks different than we thought. When the goal is clear, however, a turn can just be a turn, not necessarily a turn for the worse.

Mike Nystrom had a plan. Making that plan happen took running over hurdles, but in some cases pretending the hurdles were not there or running around them. Whether he made it to the finish line is what you will find out in this story.

Mike told this story in December 2016, a night we went without a theme.

Thank you for listening. We look forward to hearing your story.

23: Axel Mundi — Not a Salesman, Obviously

Axel Mundi and his parents did what they were supposed to do. They invested in his dream. Months later it seemed that investment had come to fruition. Years later it looked like it should have been a scam. If only it had been.

Axel told this story at Story Night in April 2016, when the theme was “Seemed like a good idea at the time.” It seemed like something, that’s for sure.

Since telling that story, Axel, who was a Story Night regular in the audience, moved to Southern Utah. We miss him. He was a great presence at our events. We hope all is well in the desert.

Thank you for listening. We look forward to hearing your story.

22: Gladys Smith — Bye Bye

On a night when the theme was “Life After,” Gladys Smith shared a story that starts at an age when there is little recollection of the life before. It was the day she learned the truth about her mother. Though the story starts there, like many stories this one has beginnings and endings that don’t necessarily follow our thoughts about time, about life and about love.

Gladys told this story on January 5, 2017.

Thank you for listening. We look forward to hearing your story.

21: Jason Esposito — Surfing a Rogue Wave of Gravy

Jason Esposito works on the ocean. One time while he was cooking, the ocean did what the ocean does. Cooking while moving can be an adventure, and Jason told this story in September, when the night’s theme was “Fall Back.” He won, riding in on a rogue wave of gravy.

To give further flavor, if you will, to Jason’s story, we’ve added a Hank Williams song. And that picture above is a very bad photo editing job of a regular wave recolored to look like gravy. That’s how much I like the phrase, “rogue wave of gravy,” which I probably don’t need to tell you does come up in this story.

Thank you for listening, and we look forward to hearing your story.

Winning stories about Ira Glass

Ira Glass, Benaroya Hall
Rumor has it that’s Ira Glass down there. It sounded like him, but from far away it could have just as easily have been Joe Biden pretending to be Ira Glass.

Sunday night Diana and I went with some friends to see Ira Glass. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s the co-creator and host of This American Life, one of the best storytelling programs on radio. There is some good news coverage on the show, but it’s also a showcase for commoners like us telling personal stories, sometimes amazingly well. I’ve known critics who say it’s a little too produced at times, with its cute musical breaks and the like. For me, I love This American Life. Story Night, the monthly storytelling event I host in Bremerton, owes some of its existence to it. The show is probably my favorite thing on radio, and for one year I tried to do podcasts that borrowed heavily from it. Continue reading “Winning stories about Ira Glass”

20: Corinne Nichol — Literally Falling in Love

Corinne Nichol took flight in her life after her divorce. She realized something else in her life after a brief moment that could have ended differently.

Corinne told this story at the January 5, 2017 Story Night. The theme that night was “Life After.”

She was the night’s winner. In fact, on the three occasions she has spoken, she has walked away with the night’s medal. She’ll be back on February 2, 2017.

Thank you for listening, we look forward to hearing your story.

19: Cris Larsen — Technically, it Was Probably True

sunsetAmid the turmoil and the ill feelings surrounding a nation’s decision to go to war, Cris Larsen found a way to bring peace to someone who had a lot at stake.

That only happened, however, after he had decided to take a short road trip to get family members away from the heat, only to land in the middle of it. It took some quick thinking by Cris and an action that, if he’s Catholic, might land him in the confession booth later. We absolve you, Cris.

Cris told this story at our April Story Night when the theme was “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.”

18: Genavieve Scott — On the Rails to Seattle

railsGenavieve Scott was going nowhere, not even home, in Minneapolis. She ran into a group that for a short time became friends. They suggested Seattle, but getting there would be an adventure. Spoiler alert: She didn’t make it to Seattle then, but given her telling this story in Bremerton and coming back to Story Night the next month, she made it eventually.

We can’t wait to hear that story.

Genavieve told this story at our July 7, 2016 Story Night event when the theme was “Great Escapes.”

Go to our “Events” page to find out when our next Story Night will be.

Thank you for listening. We look forward to hearing your story.