Deck the Halls, Southern Style

A Christmas show with vignettes from:

 

Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, the fireside storytelling tradition of Old Christmas in the mountains, when the ladysisters tell "Ole Dry Fry" and "Whitebear Whittington."


Allan Gurganus’s Oldest Living Confederate Widow, who tells of “The Christmas Spectacle” when many a teetotaling Baptist got knee-walking drunk--accidentally, and the pageant turned more poignant than ever.


Truman Capote’s “Christmas Memory” issuing a heart-warming invitation to "Imagine a morning in late November in a country town in Alabama...”  His 60-something cousin exclaims “Oh my, Buddy, it’s fruitcake weather!” And their escapades unfold to the delight of us all.


These stories are woven into my own comical, often thwarted, search for the 'true spirit of Christmas,' then closing memorably with a Kay Byer poem: a pregnant mountain woman reflects on the Mary story from the Bible.


What an inspiration you have brought to us!  I was struck again by the rhythm in Lee's work and how beautifully you render it in your performances.   And the Virgin Mary in Allan's segment, oh my.  Weaving your own story into these others was done with such finesse and humanity that all those voices became one shining tapestry. 
--Kay Byer, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina

Barbara was amazing... Wry and funny, at times hilarious, Barbara's show with Jeff's sparkling dulcimer music brought me to tears and encouraged me mightily. It was the homespun stuff of Christmas that does not include baubles and doodads and geegaws--only heart.
--Judith Toy, Buddhist leader, Cloud Cottage NC