Growing up in the hills of Appalachia, hearing ghost stories was something that became a regular thing every autumn. The Mary Breckinridge Festival, our local community fair, would hold storytelling compeititions when I was growing up. I remember listening to the older folks spin their yarns about haints and witches living up the hollers. I even entered a few of the competitions as a youngster. I've already told you about the amazing ghost walks we used to participate in here in Leslie County, where locals would share their own stories on guided tours around our little town. Even teachers in the classroom would take time every fall to either bring in professional storytellers to share some tales or even tell some of their own.
It was during my time in the classroom that I met one such professional storyteller. Octavia Sexton is a writer and storyteller that spent a week in my classroom when I was teaching Senior English at Leslie County High School a few years ago. She is an amazing educator and an even better storyteller. When we started booking guests for the first season of Our Mountains, she was one of the first names I thought of. I thought it would be cool to include a couple of her clips so you guys can see just how cool she is!
This is one she told to my students that they really enjoyed! It's called "Red Lips and Long Fingers"
Here's another clip featuring Ms. Octavia. Here, she tells me "My Big Toe" and tries to get a rise out of me!
Finally, here is my interview with Ms. Octavia where we talk about her work and life in general.
Ms. Octavia is a wonderful lady who is an artist in every sense of the word. I really enjoyed having her on the show and hope you have fun listening to her tell her amazing stories!