RB11 Audiocast: Into the Wild

Eight storytellers made the trek “Into the Wild” in April.  This one took a break from our usual Melting Point haunts.  Instead, “Into the Wild” happened in front of a fire at Sandy Creek Park just north of Athens on hwy 441.  About 190 sat in front of a toasty fire, roasted s’mores, and listened to storytelling done just like in olden times, before our species started “writing things down” or “checking Netflix suggestions.”  The following is the first half of the program.  The second half, through some mysterious technological glitch, must remain “in the wild.”

Sadly, due to a technical glitch, we were not able to record all the stories that night.  Someone did happen to record the final story of the evening, by the wonderful Russell Cutts.  Watch for the fire at the end.  It comes out of thin air.


The magic of Rabbit Box does not happen in a vacuum. It takes the help of the Melting Point, you our supporting audience, our media supporters, Nina Kelly preparing food for the storytellers, Kristen preparing our wonderful poster design, David capturing the magic by camera, Mary and Pat’s coaching, Matthew’s outreach, Roger’s MC’ing, and our director Marci’s tireless communication and organization – not to mention so many helping hands (and mouths) pitching in small ways to bring it all together. Join us April 10th as we go “Into the Wild” at Sandy Creek Park.  Also, consider telling your tale for one of our upcoming months including “Silver Box: Living History,” “Guns: A True Story from My Life,” “Down the Rabbit Hole” and “On Tour with the Band” by dropping a note to Marci here. Until then!

RB10 Audiocast: Saved!

Thanks to all the storytellers who made March 13th’s show “Saved!” so funny, charming, hair-raising, and beautiful.

Rebecca McCarthy’s large, loving extended family originated in Alabama but now spreads across the country from Alaska to Maine. All of them liked to tell jokes and stories. Her mother loved to read and write poetry and tell stories, and so does she. Rebecca grew up in South Carolina and Montana, where she was friends with Norman Maclean, who was a beautiful storyteller.

Matt Shedd is a writer. He works as a reporter and Morning Edition anchor for WUGA-FM. He also writes, voices, and produces radio stories on literary, music, and arts events for the station. He started the arts and culture website A MISSING AMERICA. He is also a featured contributor to No Depression: The Roots Music Authority. He is happily married to Carissa Balderas and owns a scrappy little dog named Emma. He’s writing a book about his ancestors who lived varied lives as American pioneers, Civil War soldiers, South American missionaries, explorers, linguists, theologians, and heavy drinkers.

Ira Roth spent more than 20 years as a ‘country veterinarian’ in Albany, Georgia before he moved to the big city (Athens) 3 years ago to teach at the veterinary school. He took a big pay cut, works twice as many hours, and volunteered for the job, so that should tell you how brilliant he is.  He now gets to teach students how to avoid the mistakes he made in practice. Ira’s saving grace is his wonderful wife Julie and two incredible daughters, Anna and Claire.

Ansley Hayes was raised in a bunch of places not very far from each other in Flowery Branch, GA. She moved to Athens in 2009, did not die in the streets, and now calls this place home. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2012 with a BA in English and Creative Writing and aspires to be a sexuality educator and researcher. For now she can be found talking too loud while working in the Main Library on campus by day and attending to the whims of two former dumpster cats by night. Peace and blessin’s.

Jan Turner is a newcomer to Athens. A freelance writer, she has had a longtime interest in human culture, especially intercultural communication. She says that she approaches other cultures “as a student, with humility and respect.” This is her first time telling a story in public (thank you, Pat Priest, for the coaching!).

Alex White is a native of St. Petersburg, FL: birthplace of scheduled aviation and deathplace of Jack Kerouac. Vocationally speaking he has worn many hats, including those of cook (toque), farmer (brim), bike messenger (helmet), and, most recently, nurse (cap).  He enjoys physical and mental exercise of various forms. He enjoys being in the mountains or by the sea. Mostly, though, he enjoys being with his wife, Marci (the founder of Rabbit Box) and six-year-old daughter, Harper.

Elizabeth Alder is a 30-year veteran of Hatha yoga, massage, and the healing arts. In 1977 she received her first certification in Healing Arts from the Metaphysical Research and Education Foundation in St. Petersburg, FL. In that same year she received her yoga instructor’s certification. Since that time she has studied and practiced Therapeutic Massage, Yoga Therapy and Healing Touch as well as Color Light Healing with neurologist Dr. Robert Hasinger in Italy, England, and Switzerland.  She lives in Athens and is owned by 3 cats.

Robert Alan Black has been traveling the world since he took his first trip around his 5-year-old world in 1949 by daring to travel completely around his block one day in Detroit, venturing to places he had only seen from the backseat of his father’s car. He has used the nickname or sign-on “WanderingAlan” since he first joined the Internet in 1990. He has wandered the United States (49 states out of 50) and the world (86 countries so far) – and wandered in other ways as well, starting nine degrees and finishing five and working 49 jobs (and 9 professions) in the past 52 years.


Rabbit Box 10 Saving Grace

Rabbit Box 10 has now swept through Athens, GA and left the audience feeling a little more Saved! than they did upon entering the doors of the Melting Point. Eight Athenians took the stage to bravely share their stories to the audience of about 175 of their peers. We heard tales of lonely Montana nights accompanied by the radio, the human sacrifice of missionaries, a veterinarian publicity stunt gone awry, the cutting edge life-saving heart surgeries that almost weren’t, the Danish KLM airline saviors in Delhi’s airport, the vortex before fatherhood, the smoldering flatbed of the life left behind, and cleft pallet of a now-public speaker told he’d never speak at all. To top this off our crackerjack storyteller Jerry who saved himself as his inner eight-year-old (with some help) gave us another act of courage along with everyone who threw their name into the rabbit box prepared to make an impromptu performance.

These stories took us around the world and back to Albany, GA . . . across religious backgrounds . . . saved lives and saved souls. Truly an inspiring evening.

The magic of Rabbit Box does not happen in a vacuum. It takes the help of the Melting Point, you our supporting audience, our media supporters, Nina Kelly preparing food for the storytellers, Kristen preparing our wonderful poster design, David capturing the magic by camera, Mary and Pat’s coaching, Matthew’s outreach, Roger’s MC’ing, and our director Marci’s tireless communication and organization – not to mention so many helping hands (and mouths) pitching in small ways to bring it all together. Join us April 10th as we go Into the Wild at Sandy Creek Park, and consider telling your tale for one of our upcoming months including Guns: A True Story from My Life, Down the Rabbit Hole and On Tour with the Band by dropping us an e-mail to marci.white@gmail.com. Until then!



RB 9 Audiocast: Duets

We had a marvelous pre-Valentine’s Day February 13 at The Melting Point.  The theme was “Duets.”  Two storytellers took the stage at once!  Couples, best friends, nemeses, and other strange and wondrous combinations.  Certain truths came to light as we witnessed two waltz, juggle, and grapple their way through a story together.

Thanks to all the storytelling teams: Wick Prichard & Andie Bisceglia, Jenifer Strickland & Katelyn Binder, Doug Job & Angela Pfile, Beth Kozinsky & Laurie Norris, Katherine Edmonds & Marcia Snyder, Charlie & Nancy Hartness, Amy & Linda Watts. Also thanks to Kate Morrissey who joined Roger Stahl on MC duty.  Our Crackerjack storytelling duo, whose name was drawn from a box of submissions, was “Tobin and Daniel.”

RB9 Duets

Emcee duo Kate Morrissey and Roger Stahl are decade-long Athenians from the plains of the Midwest. Kate is a mind-body therapist, yoga teacher, musician, and general soother of souls. Roger is a university prof who mostly follows Kate around.

*Andie Bisceglia* and *Wick Prichard* met telling stories to students at Ferry Beach Ecology School in Maine, where the mission was to engage students through ecological narratives. These ‘narratives’ included performing skits on themes such as soil formation. Imagine Andie with a lab jacket, wig, glasses, and a thick German accent playing Doc Rock. Imagine Wick with a thick accent, gnarly goblin hand, fake eye, and a thick accent of some origin playing faithful sidekick Igor. Throw in some nighttime get-to-bed stories for the overnight students, and you have a kid-friendly storytelling dynamic duo. Andie continues to tell ecological tales at the State Botanical Garden while Wick can’t figure out heads or tails about getting adults to plan ecologically.

*Linda Watts* was born in the Midwest, grew up in Southern California, and moved to the South when she married a sailor from Tennessee. She is retired from a career in the brokerage industry. Linda and her husband Larry currently reside in South Carolina, where her hobbies include quilting, sewing, and box wine. She wants grandchildren. *Amy Watts* is her mother’s daughter in some ways but not in others. After growing up in Tennessee, she now lives in Athens and works as a librarian with the University of Georgia. Her hobbies include tweeting, quilting, cursing creatively, and cocktails. She has cats.

*Doug Job* spent much of his childhood riding a heavily accessorized Sears single-speed coaster-brake bicycle around Bartholomew County, Indiana. But, sadly, he forgot his bike after he got his driver’s license. *Angela Pfile* rode a Schwinn with a front basket in Indianapolis, mostly to the library, as she was and remains a voracious reader. With the help of friends and our excellent local bike shops, Doug began to recover from motor vehicle addiction and embraced cycling again eight years ago. His happiest accomplishment as a cyclist is cajoling Angela to start riding again as well. They currently log over 1000 miles a year together on their vintage Cannondale tandem, including the occasional bike commute to Evergreen Christian Church, “a faith space for earthy people,” the green congregation they’re helping to start.

*Marcía Snyder* and *Katherine Edmonds* are two whimsical spirits who met on a cold North Georgia day. They were brought together by an adorable and mischievous three-colored dog. When they are not busy staring into each other’s eyes, Marcía is a shrimpologist who studies bees, and Katherine saves the rivers of America from treachery and trouble. Among their achievements, Marcía has swum two underwater laps of the Legion pool without taking a breath, Katherine makes tofu almost as good as the Grit’s, and they have been voted cutest lesbian couple in Athens by a person who only knows one lesbian couple.

*Beth Kozinsky* and *Laurie Norris* are two very upright and respectable members of the Athens “Townie” community. When not found laughing themselves sick at their own jokes, they haunt the halls of UGA’s English Department as teachers and students and loiterers. This is their first time performing in front of a live studio audience. *Jenifer Strickland* is a recent UGA grad caught in that awkward time between school and a career. Between work and the occasional need to sleep for an hour or two, Jenifer has no time to call herself a writer, but she has something to say with the help of her good friend Katelyn. Katelyn Binder is an English major enjoying her super senior year and indulging her enthusiasm for language at UGA. Katelyn loves laughing and telling stories, so she’s hoping to get a little of both in tonight.

*Nancy and Charlie Hartness* met in 1996 at a fiddle festival in Washington state. They got married in 2006 on her father’s birthday and moved from Portland, Oregon to Athens later that year. They are musicians and writers. Their musical duo was originally called Little Fice Dog, but no one knew what that meant. Now they play together as
Hawk Proof Rooster.

Regi Carpenter Enriches Rabbit Box

Regi Carpenter shows kids they don't need gadgets to have fun!
Regi Carpenter shows kids they don’t need gadgets to have fun!

“What the hell is wrong with me?” is the opening question in a participant’s story during the Rabbit Box Storytelling workshop hosted by Regi Carpenter in collaboration with Avid Bookstore. Our participant moves into her tale while Regi chimes in periodically. “What’s a good metaphor for that?” Regi asks, and the sensory-rich language gushes forth.

Last year Regi won first place at MassMouth, a very competitive storytelling slam even though people told her she didn’t have a “winning story.”  It wasn’t funny, but it had meaning, and as Regi shared, there’s a difference between the plot and the meaning.  Finding universal meanings is what storytelling is all about. She performed two of her stories and walked the walk right in front of us.

Sharing her process, Regi directed participants to “blurt and blab” stories relating to the theme “Help.”  After brainstorming participants partnered up and shared their help stories, with Regi inviting us to be kind to our memories and let them in. Another teller came to the fore and asked the group: “Have you ever been sure you were really good – or great – at something and then found you weren’t?”

Again Regi helped draw out the universal appeal of stories by encouraging economy of language, present tense, and sensory-richness. She queried: How did her student nurse’s apron look? How did it sound in while walking? A collective nerve was struck as we connected to the student’s efforts to be like Florence Nightingale with sometimes-condescending sweetness to a man with a range of inflections but only one word: “Damn.”

Rabbit Box would like to thank Regi Carpenter for sharing some of the tools in her storytelling toolbox with us. Our storytelling coaches were taking diligent notes, and so the flame of the Athens story grows more brighter with her spark. Rabbit Box would also like to thank all of the participants and the  Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Athens. Hope to see you Wednesday, February 13t, at The Melting Point for a special show: Duets. Doors open at 6 PM.

RB8 Audiocast: Resolution

From Rabbit Box 8: Resolution (January, 2013)

Our January Show went off with fireworks.  Thanks to everyone who helped ring in the new year so spectacularly.  This was perhaps our biggest show yet.  The Melting Point filled right up with an extraordinarily warm audience.

*Audio posted with permission from storytellers



Kelly Girtz, Madeline Van Dyck, Casey Morrison, David Noah, Jeffrey Henderson, Dac Crossley, Ben Myers and Ciera Durden.  Our impromptu “Crackerjack” (or Crackerjane) storyteller, whose name was drawn from the box, was Kelly McGlauen Fields.

RB8 MC Roger Stahl

MC:  Roger Stahl wears a few hats in Athens, GA.  He is an associate professor of Communication Studies at UGA where he researches and teaches rhetoric and media studies. He performs around town as the guitarist/cellist for Kate Morrissey and produces electro-experimento music in his spare time.  He likes to garden and build things to remind himself that he has a body.  In novel situations, he will ask himself “What would The Dude do?”  He smirks, but this is usually a sign that he is completely mystified by something.

RB8 David Noah

David Noah is a recovering academic, recently retired from UGA.  He thinks the world would be a better place if we all retired immediately and re-invented civilization.  In the meantime, he is grateful to the University for allowing him to keep his library card.  He takes photographs (http://davidnoah.net), reads and writes stories, and plans to expand his garden this year.

RB8 Kelly Girtz

Kelly Girtz lived as a child in Norfolk, VA.  Following stints in Minneapolis, MN, Marietta, GA and Austin, TX, he settled in Athens 17 years ago.  He has worked as a paperboy, record store clerk, pizza delivery driver, carpenter, teacher, waitperson, educational administrator and county commissioner.  His pleasures include time with his family and friends, good songs, reading nonfiction and walks through the city.

RB8 Casey Morrison

Casey Morrison is originally from Harlem, GA, and came to Athens as a UGA student. You can find her cooking fabulous dinners for friends, taking her dog for a walk around Normaltown, or reading a book in the front yard. She’s never met a stranger.

RB 8 Jeffrey Henderson

Jeffrey Henderson is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in Counseling Psychology. He joined the UGA University Health Center in 2007 upon moving here from Macon, and now considers Athens his hometown. His professional areas of interest include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, sport psychology, multicultural counseling, anxiety, and mindfulness. His hobbies include physical exercise, yoga, meditation, and dance.

RB 8 Madeline Van Dyck

Madeline Van Dyck was born in 1948 on May 4, the eve of Cinco de Mayo, in the Badlands of South Dakota.  As part of a globe-trotting military family, she moved frequently growing up.  By design, she and her husband Phil never wandered very far outside of Dogtown, Georgia (Athens) to raise their family of five. Madeline graduated from Arizona State University in 1972 with a bachelor of science in nursing degree and loves working in her chosen field. The interests she pursues in her spare time have their roots in her fascination with the natural world and its beauty.

RB8 Ben Myers

Benjamin Myers is a former member of the Forest Theater of Pure Form.   He was born with no blood in an avocado orchid. In 2012, he slept in five different countries, eleven different states, and one teepee.

RB8 Ciera Durden

Ciera Durden has lived in Georgia all of her life.  She has alternated between wanting to be an artist and wanting to be a writer since the age of five, but since she cannot draw a straight line to save her life, she figured writing would be the best option.  She focuses mainly on written poetry and spoken word, with a smattering of prose to prove that she can at least construct SOMETHING with a beginning, middle, and end.

RB8 Dac Crossley

D. A. (“Dac”) Crossley retired after 30 years of teaching ecology at the University of Georgia. A native Texan, he came to Athens via The University of Kansas and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dac spends his retirement years writing novels and playing occasional guitar in the company of two house cats.

RB8 Kelly McGlauen Fields

Kelly McGlauen Fields was our intrepid “crackerjack” storyteller for the evening.  Her name was randomly chosen from the box out of about 15 brave souls who submitted their names.

RB7 Audiocast: Family Ties

*Audio posted with permission from storytellers.

From Rabbit Box 7: Family Ties (November, 2012)

A big Rabbit Box thank you to everyone who made it out to hear Family Ties, as well as Melting Point for hosting, the Grit for feeding, and our wonderful storytellers. Let us know what you thought and click over to “Tell” to share your story with us for one of our upcoming months starting in the new year: Resolution, Duets, and Saved! What will April be? Your vote (bottom of page) will decide. We hope to see you in January!


Maureen McLaughlin has worked as a trial consultant for most of her life, helping criminal defense attorneys select juries in death penalty cases. Beginning in the third grade, she moved to and from Athens a total of four times. The last time she moved here, she vowed never to leave. Maureen has immersed herself in the Athens community, working with organizations as diverse as AthFest, Our Daily Bread, and Occupy Athens.

Dee M. Ashley is a Georgia native born in 1989. He began writing poetry at the age of 13 and has been honing that skill ever since. As a teenager he was a youth motivational speaker, which enabled him to fund a trip to Europe at the age of 14 with his nationally ranked high school orchestra. He received honorable mention for his short film “Bent On Broken Dreams” in a competition at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Dee’s poetry has been published in the books Stars in Our Hearts and Great Poets Across America: A Celebration of National Poetry Month. Focusing mostly on love, family and loss, he has created a collection of poetry to be published later this year.

Hope Hilton is from Atlanta. She is a cum laude graduate of the Atlanta College of Art (2003) and a magna cum laude graduate of The City University of New York, Hunter College (2008). Hilton curates, collaborates, designs, publishes, writes, and walks. In 2007 Hilton completed a 60-mile memorial walk in the Southern U.S. to recognize the walk a slave named Henry made to announce the birth of her great-great grandmother. She is the newly appointed Gallery Manager of The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art.

Charlie Hartness is from Macon. He graduated twice from the University of Georgia during the 1970s and worked for 23 years as an emergency physician in Portland, Oregon before returning to Athens in 2006. He is a writer and musician and plays in the duo Hawk Proof Rooster with his wife Nancy. His song  “The Lynching” was an award winner in the Kress Project at the Georgia Museum of Art earlier this year.

Rick Kopp was trained as a psychologist but transitioned into a career as a branding strategist. Having consulted with companies from the Fortune 500 to start-ups, Rick believes that, whether in the form of advertising, PR, speeches or logos, all commerce is basically a form of storytelling. Rick began his long career in technology by launching the first color monitor and ended with the introduction of the first e-commerce search engine. Nowadays he mostly just drinks coffee and gabs with the other geezers in his treasured new home, Athens.

Nina (pronounced “9-uh”) Kelly is a city lover with left-brained tendencies. A proud Michigander, Nina moved to Athens with her husband in 2008 for her job in the community planning and development field. She can often be found wandering around Cobbham and Normaltown, earbuds in, listening to her favorite podcasts. This is her first public storytelling experience.

Master of Ceremonies, John Pence, is an Athenian who aspires to one day raise a thousand head of Texas longhorns and drive them from Texas to Montana. Or join the French Foreign Legion. Or explore the depths of the Marianas Trench or colonize Mars. If none of those work out, he will continue to teach at Athens Tech, write crazy stories, and raise two wild little boys.

RB6 Audiocast: On the Road

*Audio posted with permission from storytellers.

From Rabbit Box 6: On the Road (October, 2012)

RB5 Audiocast: Broken Open

*Audio posted with permission from storytellers.

From Rabbit Box 5: Broken Open (September, 2012)

RB4 Audiocast: Now I Get It

*Audio posted with permission from storytellers.

From Rabbit Box 4: Now I Get It (August, 2012)