28: Terri Rosselli — Exposure at the Convenience Store

Early morning on Mother’s Day Terri Rosselli, managing a 7-Eleven store, saw something not often seen, even at a 24-hour convenience store. The story of what happened and what caused it is both mystifying and sad. Some Mom had quite the day.

This story was told at the March 2, 2017 Story Night when the theme was “Getting to Know You.” Terri got to know someone in a way she wasn’t seeking and he surely wouldn’t be proud to acknowledge.

This is a point of personal privilege in posting this story. I have a soft spot for stories about 7-Eleven. Listen to the podcast and you’ll know why.

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

27: Kari Heber — That Relationship with Jane

In almost every person’s life there will be people whose impact is a surprise, who remain a lasting memory, for good or ill. Kari Heber had one years ago that still leaves him in awe.

Kari told this story at the March 2, 2017 Story Night. The theme that night was “Getting to Know You.”

I’d suggest you wait until after you hear the story before you go to this link to a related Chicago Tribune story mentioned in the podcast.

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

26: Char Burnette — A River Runs Over Her

Floating on a river can feel like floating in space, weightless and effortless. Then it can feel like riding on an asteroid.

Char Burnette went on an adventure with friends down the Deschutes River in Oregon. Ten years later we heard about all that was good, and all that made it an adventure.

This is a story from the archives. Char told us of her adventure in August of 2015, when the theme was “The Great Outdoors.”

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

25: Andrew Binion — Cherry Boy Meets a Real Woman

Ed McDonald
Ed McDonald. Photo courtesy of the Kitsap Sun.

Ed McDonald, aka “Cherry Boy,” had one job to do to make his shipmates happy; become a real man. There was a catch Ed couldn’t reveal, but eventually he lived a life free of secrets.

This story first appeared in the Kitsap Sun in October of 2015 and received first place in Personalities Reporting from the Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It was well deserved. In addition to the story, you can find more pictures of Ed when you go to the link.

By request, Andrew Binion, the story’s author, read this piece at Story Night on February 2, 2017. The night’s themes were numerous, all coming from the book A Sudden Light by Garth Stein.

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

Officially Not Profiting

As of Valentine’s Day, Story Night officially became a non-profit organization. I’ll address what that means to you. First, though, I want to thank Rob McDermid, an attorney, CK school board member and friend to Story Night, for his assistance in helping me incorporate. The state makes it easy, but there were a couple of spots where Rob’s expertise came in handy. He did it for free, so he deserves many thanks.

How this affects you depends on you, really. For many it will have no impact at all. Story Night will go on as it has.

The difference this makes for Story Night is it increases the ability to raise money. This isn’t a terribly expensive undertaking, but there are expenses. There are the medals, the copying of paper for judge sheets and anonymous questions, pens and website hosting. The last two months I advertised on Facebook, which seems to have drawn new people.

In the past I have made small requests for donations. For example, if you do your Amazon shopping by going through the link posted on StoryNight.org, Story Night gets a cut. You don’t pay any more, but the event benefits. But I’ve felt a little sheepish about making any big pitches for money without accounting for how it’s spent. There is also a “contribute” button on the site. Between the two ways of contributing, Story Night has received no more than $50 total.

I will continue to donate monthly to the event, but in the future you may see more pitches asking you to pitch in a little as well. I’m still figuring out how that will happen, and I will probably post a survey here asking whether and how people would be willing to contribute. One thing I’m still considering is whether it’s worth it to file as a federal 501(c)3 corporation. My understanding is it’s necessary in order to be able to tell people their contributions are tax deductible. If you know of a CPA who’d be willing to do offer pro bono advice and other assistance, I’m all ears.

The first goal of fundraising is to create a sustainable source to keep the event going. The added benefit is having people care enough about the event to invest in it. The second goal is to improve the quality of the event, such as buying equipment so people don’t have to use the lavalier mic to get recorded. The third goal is to expand Story Night’s reach into other communities, such as Poulsbo and Port Orchard, or even to help in Ocean Shores, if asked. It would also be fun and valuable to have school kids doing this.

So, in the next few days look here for a survey that will help me guess what we could reasonably hope for should we request your help. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing your story. See you Thursday!

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.