Featured Stories

Storytelling festival offers scares, laughs and more

Stellar lineup of talent will lift second year for LO Library event


by: VERN UYETAKE - Storyteller Terry Jordan shows an avid audience how to tell stories, as partner Anne Rutherford provides support at the whiteboard. The festival looks to repeat its great success from last year.A U.S. Olympian, two police chiefs and a trio of ladies who tell chilling Halloween stories headline a remarkable group of storytellers for the Lake Oswego Public Library Storytelling Festival on Oct. 22-27.

Last year’s first-ever festival is a tough act to follow, but reference librarian Alicia Yokoyama is excited about what is in store for 2012, mainly because Lake Oswego is such fertile ground for storytelling.

“Last year we were hoping people would show up,” Yokoyama said. “They did. I was not sure this would turn out to be an annual event, but based upon what happened it will be.”

It was not just the skill of the featured speakers that made the 2011 event such a success. It was the ability of professional storytellers like Terry Jordan and Anne Rutherford to inspire audiences to tell their own stories that started a chain reaction of enthusiasm for the entire festival.

“Storytelling is such a natural thing for each of us,” Yokoyama said. “We all have stories to tell. This festival celebrates that and brings the stories out of us. People also love seeing professionals take storytelling to a new level. They make storytelling look easy.”

An all-star lineup of storytellers should make this year’s festival an even larger success.

Lopez Lomong of Lake Oswego will tell his own almost-beyond-belief personal story of how a poor boy living in a refugee camp in the Sudan became one of the outstanding long distance runners in the world and carried the American flag at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Two top cops will regale patrons with thrilling stories. Don Johnson, police chief of Lake Oswego, will share some of the funniest oddities of his long career as a law officer, and Bob Jordan, now police chief of Oregon City, will tell tales from his days as FBI director of the Northwest region.

Storytellers Three will bring the spirit of Halloween to the festival, with their scary program “Tales From Beyond the Grave.” The frightening threesome includes Anne Penfound, Anne Rutherford and Sarah Hauser.

“We’re really happy to have these ladies,” Yokoyama said. “We tried to get them last year, but they were too busy.”

Returning from last year are master storytellers Terry Jordan, Alton Chung, Will Hornyak and Steve Henegar.

The storytelling action starts on Monday night with Lomong speaking at the Marylhurst University Commons from 7 to 9 p.m.

The rest of the festival schedule is:

Tuesday, Oct. 23

2-3:30 p.m. “Grandma, Tell Me a Story,” a workshop for grandparents and parents led by Terry Jordan and Rutherford at the library. Those planning to attend are asked to register by phone at 503 675-2540 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

7 to 8:30 p.m. “Finding Your Voice: From Anecdote to Story,” a workshop led by Chung at the Oswego Heritage House.

Wednesday, Oct. 24

3:30 to 5 p.m. “Pass the Word” storytelling workshop for children aged 8 to 12, led by Hornyak at the library.

7 to 8:30 p.m. “Best of the Blotter,” featuring the crime-fighting duo of Johnson and Jordan, at the library.

Thursday, Oct. 25

7 to 8:30 p.m. Storytellers Three at the Oswego Heritage House.

Friday, Oct. 26

4 to 5 p.m. Neighborhood photo gallery and hot fudge sundae social at the library.

7 to 8:30 p.m. Community open mike and story swap at Chuck’s Place. Emcee will be Bill Baars, library director.

Saturday, Oct. 27

1 to 2:30 p.m. “Lifting Up the Sky: A Performance for All Ages,” with Hornyak at the library.

7 to 9 p.m. “Telling Lives: Allures and Ambushes, a Finale Concert,” with Chung, Henegar and Terry Jordan at the West End Building.

For more information on the 2012 Lake Oswego Public Library Storytelling Festival, visit lakeoswegolibrary.org or contact Cyndie Glazer at 503 675-2538 or Alicia Yokoyama at 503 534-5285.

Friends of the Library is the sponsor for the entire program.