Paula E. Gelbach Announces STORIES ALONG THE WAY
Years ago, author Paula E. Gelbach's father would urge her to accompany him to the side porch of their home in order to tell her stories of happenings in his life while he was growing up. It was usually after the family evening meal and he would sit in his rocking chair, light up a cigar and begin one or two of his true stories. He never wrote down any of the stories he told Gelbach, but he was a master storyteller. Inspired by her father, it has come to be Gelbach's idea to share life's happenings with the book Stories Along the Way.
Unlike Gelbach's father, she has carefully chosen to write down a few. Mainly, she wrote and collected them for her family to enjoy, people who know her well. Her stories are pithy, filled with folk wisdom and anecdotal. Gelbach has an eye out for the strange in familiar surroundings and writes with a lightly humorous touch that accepts much "weird" about the familiar places and people she writes about. A good example would be from the piece called "Creative Cooking."
"I don't mind cooking. It is the deciding what to cook that sometimes buffalos me (buffalo/ bison is good eating). The world needs a new edible animal that sits between fish and chicken in the meat case at the supermarket. I don't mean a big animal. In any event it wouldn't sit in its entirety proudly upright between the fish and chicken. It would mimic chicken in that it would be prepared by the butcher into different cuts readily identifiable, if possible."
Each of the eight unique stories in this book are unrelated and they are all true. These stories are very warm and likeable, and they have the aura of life and its often remarkable happenings being re-told on the front porch from a rocking chair at night, complete with cigar smoke. Yes, Paula Gelbach inherited her father's masterfulness in storytelling, and Stories Along the Way is excellent evidence of this. Her stories have the feel of treasured modern folk tales, adeptly hooking in readers to Gelbach's perfectly delineated world of normal people with memorable stories to tell.