When I was a kid and went to overnight summer camp, and one of my favorite things was the time we spent sitting around the campfire. We would sing songs and roast marshmallows, but recently I have a recalled another memory from those wonderful magical evenings.
I attended a Jewish camp, and every summer, there was always a visiting Rabbi. During our campfires, the Rabbi would tell a story to us. The stories were usually about the Baal Shem Tov, a Jewish mystical Rabbi, who is considered to be the founder of Hasidic Judaism. The stories were always incredibly engaging, and I have the fondest memories of them.
I love storytelling, and yesterday I started what I hope will become a tradition at the day camp I work at.
We all sat around the campfire. Of course, at a day camp, it wasn’t a real campfire. It looked like this:
And then I told a story. This was not a story from a book. It was dramatic storytelling that brought the words I was speaking to life.
The kids ate it up. They absolutely loved it, and I know they felt the same way about my story that I did when the Rabbis at camp told their stories. It was special, and I’m still filled with joy over the experience. I can’t wait to do it again next week.
I love a good story just as much as anyone else, and musically, storytelling always makes me think of one performer. Harry Chapin is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, and his music was definitely part of the inspiration that got me motivated to learn how to play guitar. I have always loved Harry Chapin, because he is not just a singer. He is a storyteller. In fact, his greatest hits album is called “Greatest Stories.”
My song of the day today is one of his best “stories.” “Taxi” was a hit in the 70’s, as it is such a moving tale. Harry Chapin died in 1981 in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway. Today, when I was looking up “Taxi” on Youtube, I feel like I brought him back to life for a moment. After all of these years of knowing the song “Taxi” and loving it, I never knew that Chapin had written a sequel to the song. Wow, wow, wow!!! Suddenly — just today — I heard the end of his beautiful story. It brought me to tears, and I am so touched and thrilled to share it with all of you. Please enjoy all 13 minutes of this gorgeous song, because storytelling is always meaningful