This was my second encounter with the amazing storyteller, Shelia Kay Adams. The first time was in the spring of 2004 at the North Carolina Writer's Network Conference at Peace College. Mesmerized, I couldn't get her out of my head for days. She talks about her heritage and the people of Appalachia with such grace and truth. The words that come out of her mouth are like cotton candy when it goes in. Sweet and soft.
When I saw she was going to be in town for the Storytelling Festival, I went to hear her speak and read from her book, My Old True Love. Her first book, Come Go Home With Me ... are short snippets of her life. Both excellent.
She's the first author I could sit and listen to ... all day. Expecting her first grandchild in June, a boy, you can watch her eyes sparkle when she talks about him. I felt as though she's itching to get her arms around him ... family means everything to her.
She talked about recording your family, getting their stories down on paper before they're dead and buried. I could kick myself for not talking more to my own grandparents who are all now deceased. But my plans are to get the rest of my family recorded. My parents, Mike's mom, and some of the old timers at my family reunion. There's still lots of story gathering to do.
Shelia's background so closely mirrors my own that I feel kin to her. If you love the music and the stories of Appalachia, then read her books ... and go hear her sing next time she's in your area. The love ballads she and her husband sing will melt your heart.
Shelia Kay Adams can go home with me anytime.
Blessings to you and yours.