The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva will host Sylva resident Curtis Blanton for an evening of storytelling and tall tales on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.
Blanton is a Sylva native, born between Addie and Ochre Hill. A 1954 graduate of Sylva-Webster High School, he became a teacher and assistant principal at the school. He left the field of education and joined the Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Always a careful listener to the tales told by friends as well as the old-timers of his parents’ and grandparents’ generation, Blanton teamed up with his boyhood friend, Jim Sellers of Sylva, to create a book of the stories they remembered from the old days. “Tales from the Porch” was published in 2006 and features illustrations by Sellers, with Blanton as author. Two other books followed: “Fireside Tales” is another collection of stories, and “My Mountains, My Home,” is a novel.
“For my program at the library,” says Blanton, “I plan to wind a first person story by an old man, remembering what he and some of his friends did for recreation when their boys were drafted and sent off to fight the most horrendous war the world had ever known – WWII. In the process of developing his story, the old man digresses to describe a couple of hilarious church-related incidents and unforgettable personalities, as well as a tale from his grandpa’s service in the Revolutionary War. The story concludes with an old-time circuit riding preacher delivering a hell-fire and brimstone sermon designed to save the community church from self-destruction.”
Blanton will tell stories and take questions from the audience. His books, which are available at the library, will also be available for purchase at the event via City Lights Bookstore.
For more information, call the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva at (828) 586-2016. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library. The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva is a member of the Fontana Regional Library (www.fontanalib.org).