Tag Archives: folk tale

A Bear Story for the Ages at Gold Rush Days

The bear comes out of the tent. He’s looking for Bill!

I told “THE BEAR” story and sang campfire songs with 4th grade students at MCARLM’s 2017 Gold Rush Days at San Lorenzo Park. I saw fifteen groups of kids over the two days of the May 24th-25th event. Among other things, they also visited a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a general store and a chuck wagon. Best of all, they panned for gold! My many colleagues did a great job and California history came to life!

Bill scared that old bear!

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Flower Tumbles is now a Kindle title!

The Esselen Tribe lived in southern Monterey County near the headwaters of the Arroyo Seco River for many thousands of years. As with most of California’s Native Americans, their way of life disappeared – along with most of them – in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. This story is set before the great disruptions and attempts to offer a glimpse of Esselens as they once were. Its unlikely hero is a young boy who confronts one of the greatest dangers to his small tribe – an engraged grizzly bear.

Art Salvagno and I had a great time working on this story back in 1981 and again when we revised it in 1995. Ed Haskell offered patient and indispensable service in creating this Kindle edition. Sadly, we had to lose some of Art’s great double-page illustrations when converting the story to the required format. We’ll tinker with our effort in coming months and try to wedge some of the drawings back in – I promise!

By the by, Flower Tumbles won the Salinas Californian’s 1981 John Steinbeck Award for best fiction – not too shabby!

It’s free on Kindle unlimited and otherwise $2.99. Here’s the Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5NSHX4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1491901764&sr=1-1&keywords=flower+tumbles+walton

Teacher Pals, here’s a link to  lesson plans posted on TPT. They’re good, if I do say so myself!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Flower-Tumbles-lessons-and-activities-for-the-Steinbeck-Award-winning-story-3115748

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Mission Days – April 1st, 2017

Mission San Antonio de Padua holds an annual celebration of California history. I was most pleased to participate in the 2017 event as story-teller and visiting author. The hundreds of visitors and dozens of presenters enjoyed an April spring day – mild sunshine, warm breezes and perfume of wildflowers – that only the  San Antonio Valley can produce – a heavenly visit to old California. I got to share Native American stories about silly Tarantula and how Kangaroo Rat got his blackened tail. I hope to be included once again next year!

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My Darling Clementine

Bob & Phoebe

Phoebe Cheney and I before the 4th graders arrived – Photo by Joan Ungs

San Lorenzo County Park near King City is an underappreciated (at least by many) treasure and the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is its crown jewel. The museum took a really big hit on May15th, literally so. A hundred year old, seven feet in diameter eucalyptus tree tried to take the roof off the barn at about six in the evening. It failed – by a little – and nobody was around to be hurt. The folks at MCARLM had scheduled a big, three-day historical event for local kids beginning on the 16th. Everyone pulled up their bootstraps and we went ahead with the presentations. Local 4th graders put their hands (tongues, ears, stomachs, feet and everything else!) on the history of our gold rush. I got to be a 49er and introduce them to Clementine’s boyfriend. You know the guy: “How I missed her! Until I kissed her little sister!”

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Mission Days 2016

mission me

Photo by Phyllis Walton

“Mission Days” at San Antonio de Padua both celebrates the early history of Central California and raises funds for restoration of the Mission buildings. This year’s event took place on April 2nd and was a great success. Gold-panning, brick-making, black-smithing, cowboy-singing, acorn-grinding, candle-making, wildflower-hiking were – among many others – activities one could engage in. All was topped off by Rosa Pacheco’s BBQ and a concert by the New World Baroque Orchestra. I squeezed in some story-telling – Ask me how the kangaroo rat got its paint brush of a tail! – and some book signing.

 

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Tailey-po, Tailey po – give me back my Tailey-po!

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Photo by Sharon Turner

San Lorenzo County Park near King City is a true treasure and the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is its crown jewel. The folks at MCARLM host a yearly gathering for young people around Halloween. The focus is on local history, legends and – yes! – ghosts. I was invited to the campfire and added a few local ghostly tales to the mix. We had a great time! If you’re in the area, please join us next year.

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Dark is the ghost of Molly Means!

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Steam Whistle

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I’m pleased and honored to again have a story published by Kids Book Review! Steam Whistle is a good story to share with grandkids and I hope you grandparents among my readers will give it a try!

http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2015/06/kbr-short-story-steam-whistle.html

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