Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bynum Front Porch Storytelling

Treat yourself to an evening of storytelling at the historic Bynum General Store - Saturday May 14 - 6:30-9pm!
Judith Valerie

Tellers are Roger Manus, Garry Lipson, Judith Valerie and Henry Vogel. Bear Creek humorist Candice Knotts hosts! 

North Carolina’s best storytellers! True life stories, folk tales, traditional stories from many lands … LIES! Be ready to laugh, cry and laugh some more. The event is family friendly – “the stories most enjoyed by those 8 and above.”
Henry Vogel

We pass the hat. 20% goes to the Bynum Front Porch – the non-profit benevolent organization which manages the general store as a community center, runs a Friday night music series in the summer, and provides two $1000 scholarships to Chatham County seniors every year. (Friday night Music starts May 6!) 

Candice Knotts

Bynum is a former cotton mill village turned artist community beside the Haw River, 10 miles South of Chapel Hill. Bynum General Store's address is 950 Bynum Road, Pittsboro NC 27312. 

For more information about storytelling call 919-444-9535, email CynthiaRaxter@gmail.com or follow me!

Bynum Front Porch Storytelling
May 14 ~ 6:30-9pm 
950 Bynum Road Pittsboro, NC

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bynum Front Porch Storytelling

A new Bynum Front Porch series! A monthly storytelling show at the Bynum General Store! Family friendly - most enjoyed by those 8 and above! 

May's storytellers: Judith Valerie, Garry Lipson, Henry Vogel and Roger Manus

- hosted by Bear Creek humorist, Candice Knotts!

Lemonade and cookies at 6:30 - the stories start at 7pm! 

We'll be passing the hat for donations. 20% of proceeds go to the Bynum Front Porch organization!

For more information contact me: 919-444-9535 or email 

The Facebook Event for May is:         https://www.facebook.com/events/176442042740267/

Hope you can come! Love! Cindy

Twitter: @cynthiaraxter
Further adventures: http://cynthiaraxter.blogspot.com

Monday, March 21, 2016


Bynum General Store Storytelling
One of the great storytellers of Bynum passed away a week and 2 days before the first official Bynum General Store Storytelling show.
I say "first official" ... Storytelling has been going on there years and years. There was always a ring of fellas sitting in a circle of chairs in the middle of the store, a little over to the left. There are still worn out spots on the floor from their boots. If you needed to know anything - how to fix a faucet or when to plant corn or how to make chicken cracker stew - they knew it. They swapped lies, fish tales, half-truths and shared stories.
2014-08-28 19.04.58.jpg
Photo by Virginia Wallace
Roy Hatley frequently said to me, "You and Louise Omoto Kessel call yourselves storytellers. They just call me a liar!" Then he'd throw back his head and laugh.
As I left, his eyes would crinkle up in a big grin. "Girl! I'm so glad you got to see me!"
He was a big burly fellow. Loud. Didn't couch his words. Like all the fellas in Bynum, you knew where you stood the minute you walked in the door. He had scared me a little bit when I first met him. Until I saw the twinkle in his eye - he was all heart.
Just inside the Bynum General Store is a slice of a big log - the end grain marred by a thousand knife cuts - a chopping block a hundred years old. Saturday night during the storytelling show, a hunk of hoop cheese and a box of saltine crackers were there. The red waxed cheddar met folks as they walked in the door - on purpose.
"The Mayor" Roy Hatley
in a Cyde Jones' mural
Many a day the fellas (and whoever else dropped by) would buy a thick slice of orange cheese and a sleeve of saltines and that would be their lunch.
Louise Kessel, Storyteller
Photo by Dave Minnich

You'd go to check the mail about 1 o'clock... Two artists, the postmaster, Roy, Jack Wheeler, Prate, Billy Joe, Dub, the UPS man, the preacher and a meter reader would be eating saltine crackers whole, rared back in their chairs listening - and one of them would be spinning a yarn. Whoever didn't have their mouth full of crackers would be denying or agreeing. Those that did were swigging their Pepsi down quick to get a word in edgewise....

As we told stories Saturday night, I felt the whisper, “If these walls could talk.” It was like someone had bumped me. And goosebumps. Reflexively i looked a little over to the left .... I could almost hear Roy's laughter and see his eyes crinkle up in a big grin, "Girl! I'm so glad you got to see me!" All I could do was smile. Louise Omoto Kessel - the storyteller - was on stage. Yes Roy. So glad.
Photo by Dave Minnich

See you soon! 
Love, Cindy


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bynum Storytelling Signup Form

Bynum Storytelling Signup Form - For folks interested in telling a story or emceeing at the Bynum General Store Storytelling. Also at charity events and Pittsboro's First Sunday Art Walk's Storytelling Tent.

Bynum General Store Storytelling shows are on the 2nd Saturdays at 950 Bynum Road Pittsboro, NC at 6:30pm.

Each show has 4-5 storytellers with 10-30 minute sets and a professional emcee. There are a variety of tellers at each show: personal narrative, folk tales, tall tales, spiritual journeys... 

Wondering if a creative piece is "right?" Long form poetry, chronological journal entries, etc. are acceptable ways to deliver a story. That it is a story is what is important! A story is a narrative with character(s) audience members can identify with. They are on a journey - facing challenges or in search of a quest. The story ends with resolution - the main character(s) changed by the journey. (Want to work on a story? The Bynum Comedy Workshop meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays 6-9pm. All are welcome.)

All material must be family friendly. "Most enjoyed by those 8 and above." An 8 year old doesn't have to understand every emotional nuance - but your story should have enough recognizable bits an 8 year old can follow along.

The monthly storytelling shows are free but we pass the hat. 20% goes to http://bynumfrontporch.org - the non-profit which manages the Bynum General Store. The remainder is shared equally by the tellers and the emcee. The charity shows we do to help the community. We can get donation receipts for your time and your mileage - just ask!

The Bynum General Store is a community center and performance venue. There is a stage, lights, a full sound system and sound man.

Last, the promotion of the show is a collaboration between the tellers, Cynthia and her co-producer, and the Bynum Front Porch organization. For example, we all add friends in the area to the Facebook event, share the flyer on our webpage, and post a few flyers. Cross promotion has been key to the success of the show. (Please share your show announcements with us! We'll gladly promote them!  :-) )

Please send any questions to Cynthia Raxter - via this form, or call 919-444-9535.

Thank you so much for your time and interest!!! We can't wait to work with you!

Don't see the form? Go to 
http://cynthiaraxter.blogspot.com/2016/03/bynum-storytelling-signup-form.html or