From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian

I’m not an auditory person which means I comprehend better through visual means, i.e., reading or watching, than by hearing someone talk. I don’t listen to audiobooks nor am I into podcasts and if I’m listening to someone read aloud, I prefer having the printed word in front of me so I can follow along. I’m good, though, if I’m listening to a lecture or performance—go figure.

But I’m not like most people (like that’s a revelation to anyone). So after I heard people saying how much they enjoyed the campfire tales program this past summer and would like more “story times,” I paid attention and thought, “hmm, what can I plan next?” Which is how I came up with a program on Ozark Folk Tales and Songs. And not just any folk tales but those collected by Pittsburg native Vance Randolph.

If you read the bit in the Morning Sun, you’ll know of the connection between the Randolph family and our library. I’d like to think that a young Vance frequented this building, if for no other reason than to see his mother. For better or worse, he’s associated with us and that makes me smile.

So I invite you to join in that connection this Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 p.m. (remember, Daylight Savings Time ends twelve hours earlier so be sure to change your clocks). I’ve asked three talented gentlemen to bring those folk tales and songs to life: Randy Roberts, Dean of Axe Library, Gil Cooper, Communication professor, and Don Viney, Professor of Philosophy. I like and admire all of them and feel fortunate they agreed to spend part of their Sunday afternoon sharing their talents—and they deserve an enthusiastic audience.

I always hear the voice of Dudley Cornish, admonishing me to “use my degree,” and this program easily does that. These folk tales and songs tell the history and cultural mores of a segment of population that many “educated” people ignored. We may be entertained by them but they also give us an insight to a way of life that is fast disappearing, if it hasn’t already.

And now for a disclaimer: Mr. Randolph recorded these tales in the Ozark vernacular, which means the language is sometimes “salty” and/or “earthy,” perfectly suitable for (most) adults but not young children.

When scheduling this program, I did my due diligence and checked: the Chiefs game isn’t until evening so you’ll be home in plenty of time to catch the kick-off. Please join us for an afternoon of stories and songs with an Ozarks flair.