I do not have an official Bucket List, I am not saving money in order to set my feet on every continent. Or planning to ride things that are bigger than a horse. On my unofficial list I have always wanted to see Stuart Mclean of Vinyl Cafe fame. Why you may ask? Because as they say he is a Master Storyteller. I listen to his show on Sunday afternoons and have loved hearing the adventures of Dave and Morley and he has always left me wanting more. So when a friend called and said he had tickets to the show at the Sony Centre downtown I was really excited.
The ride on the Go Train into Toronto was uneventful except for the fact my phone which at 3 p.m. was running at 80% now at 4:30 p.m. was running at 20%. (I should have followed my gut and charged the thing in the car on the way to the train station.) I met my friend and we went for dinner and for early December the temperature was nippy but not Arctic for which I was thankful.
After a great meal we lined up with about 3000 other people and found our seats in the warm theatre. (By now my phone was dead) The stage was simple, closer to the right hand side was a single microphone and music stand. In the middle was a grand piano and a stand up bass laying on its side. Evidence of the musical accompaniment that traveled with Stuart. Later we would see that the left side of the stage was reserved for the 3 back up singers who would grace us with their lovely voices. Also coming from the left would be the musical guest of the evening Hawksley Workman. The backdrop, was the simplicity of Christmas lights shaped as a Christmas Tree.
If repeat business is a sign of success than Stuart is very successful because a significant number of the 3000 people there were repeat customers. As the night started it was no problem to see why. The musical numbers were great but the stories were the Main Event. That night we enjoyed 3 stories, a boy who brought a Ferret home from school, Dave who took his friend’s car for a wash before picking them up at the airport and a Christmas tale of a 10-year-old. Have you ever been to a concert and when the band plays the first couple of chords of their song the crowd goes wild? That was the type of atmosphere we experienced that night. He had us eating out of his hand, reflecting on our childhood Christmases and falling out of our chairs laughing. No stage show, hype men or outrageous antics to keep us interested. Just the simple power of a story.
We are all storytellers. Every once in a while I hear my kids telling one of my stories to their friends and it makes me laugh. Never underestimate the power of your stories, whether around the dinner table, in the car or passing them down at family reunions. Stories are what families are built on.
In Proverbs 18:21 is says, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” What kind of stories have you been telling lately? Stories of life or stories of death?