Rabbit Box Teasers: Cooking Confidential

Recap of “Cooking Confidential” on August, 10, 2016 at The Foundry

by Marci White

On a sultry summer night in August, more than 200 Rabbit Box fans gathered in downtown Athens to listen to stories about the alchemy of cooking.

Tara Stuart was the always-vivacious emcee.

The first storyteller was Stevie King, who talked about how much black folks (generally) love a good barbecue and the fine art of putting one on. A tip: “Don’t ever ask what someone has in their red Solo cup. You don’t want to know.” On one special occasion his family decided to have a barbecue to welcome a new sibling into the family – a 245-lb, 6-ft, 38-year-old, “bouncing baby boy” whom none of them had known existed.

Alon Wilson, creative and innovative chef extraordinaire, regaled us with tales of some of the highlights of his long culinary career. And it’s not over; Wilson continues his quest to create fine foods experiences with his own, cross-cultural stamp of excellence.

Paul Guillebeau was in fine fettle, telling about a time when he and his brother Bill decided they wanted to cook a special country dish for the Sunday dinner. With their grandfather’s help, they had to learn the lost art of “sulling”: catching, preparing, and cooking a critter.

Mary Miller learned long ago that “food was the problem, but cooking was the cure.” In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she volunteered to help at the St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in New Orleans, where she became the default camp cook for a big crew of hungry volunteers.

When his buddy Art called to say he’d found something amazing on the road, Peter Loose went over immediately to see what it was. They had never cooked this particular species of roadkill before but decided that they would cook an extraordinary, unforgettable meal to impress their wives. Peter credits his long marriage to “good food, adventure, and a wife who doesn’t blame me for much.” The last two factors figure prominently in his story.

Alzena Johnson has volunteered at a local homeless shelter, helping to feed the hungry of Athens, for the last six years. The winter homeless shelter, now called Bigger Vision, has persevered through many challenges and relocations over the years. All are welcome there – none are turned away, no matter how many times you’ve fallen. Anyone can get fed, and anyone can bring a hot meal for the shelter.

“Losing” a parent is not like “dropping my mother off in a parking lot and forgetting where she is,” says David Ferguson. It’s more like an earthquake or a hurricane . . . something that shakes you to the core. In grief a person might become detached from all the pleasures of life, or he might embrace all the visceral things that make him feel vital. There’s a reason why people bring rich, tasty food to the grieving, David says. What they bring is more than just food – it’s alchemy for the soul.

Rabbit Box Teasers: On The Run!

On the Run Summary

Melissa Harward

Rabbit Box kicked off July with tales of endurance, struggle, and getting away from it all. Our storytellers shared stories of being on the run — from competing in marathons to pursuing the history of displaced peoples. Jesse Houle was our Master of Ceremonies for the evening and shared with the audience some of our performers’ favorite experiences in Athens.

Rabbit Box veteran Ivan Sumner started the evening with his story of training for the Detroit marathon. After failing to find a compatible running partner, he settles on the only person left with a flexible schedule.

Running is apparently a virus that some folks just catch. After getting the bug from his brother, Paul Quick ends up qualifying for the Boston Marathon and joins 30,000 others suffering from the same affliction.

Sara Winick-Herrington lost her job and found herself lost at 38. She found herself after sitting in silence for 10 days. Later she found herself across the world in Bali.

As young teens on the European Command Base in Germany, John Mincemoyer and his friends had a knack for getting into trouble. One particular night of sometimes-dangerous mischief led by another boy leaves John on the run from the military police.

Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was our very own Neal Priest, who decides to take revenge on a camp director after running into him berating a camper.

While some prefer to run as a social exercise, Tim Bryant prefers to train solo. In the early mornings by himself, he can come across some strange things.

Robert Alan Black has ranged across 93 different countries. On a trip to France with his girlfriend (later his wife), the couple finds themselves searching everywhere for a resting place. When they find it, they can’t decide whether to run.

Instead of running away from life, Adam Lassila runs toward the things he believes. In 2014 he finds himself exploring the northern regions of Guatemala learning about a massacre that devastated local villages.

Rabbit Box returns on August 10 with Cooking Confidential. If you’d like to join Rabbit Box as a storyteller, contact us at rabbitboxstories@gmail.com.

Rabbit Box Teasers – Tying the Knot

Tying the Knot

Summary by Melissa Harward

Rabbit Box returned in June with stories of love, disaster, and the good old ball ‘n’ chain. Summer means wedding season is upon us, and our storytellers brought us tales from all over the globe about settling down. Our Master of Ceremonies of the evening was Neal Priest, who presented the audience with marriage trivia facts throughout the night.

Neal welcomed his wife – and our very own – Pat Priest to kick off the night with her story that will resonate with anyone who has been part of a bridal party. As a bridesmaid, your responsibilities typically include keeping the bride sane throughout the wedding process. Pat learns that sometimes, this includes keeping the bride’s family sane, too.

Emily Rose Thomas always thought weddings were synonymous with disaster. On her own wedding over the Thanksgiving holiday, she gets her own taste of calamity.

Finding a compromise between different cultural and family values on your wedding day can be difficult.When her friends ask her to preside over their marriage ceremony, Molly Williams agrees. Through watching them find a middle ground, Molly’s faith in romantic weddings grows.

Sometimes tying the knot isn’t always for forever, but that doesn’t mean two people aren’t committed. Dan Everett explains his approach to marriage.

Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was Rabbit Box veteran Earnest Thompson, who told the audience about his own wedding day 49 years ago.

Marriage in other cultures can look a little different than the Western idea of falling in love and becoming life partners with someone. After witnessing her brother navigate through the idea of an arranged marriage, Sonia Sharmin explains that a family’s opinion of your future spouse can change the tide.

Craig Wiegert has been married to his husband three times. This is the story of their journey through 17 years of fighting for their right to marry.

What happens when an Atheist marries a Muslim? In this story, Angela Romito reflects on the cultural and religious differences that sometimes tie us closer together in marriage.

Rabbit Box will return on July 13th with On the Run and Cooking Confidential in August. Thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers, and the Foundry. If you’re interested in telling a story, be sure to contact us at rabbitboxstories@gmail.com.

Tying the Knot coming up this Wednesday! 

Join us on Wednesday, June 8th, at The Foundry for tales on the theme Tying the Knot – Wedding Stories. Come hear heartfelt and hilarious stories about weddings gone right or terribly, terribly wrong.
Our storytellers Include:

Dan Everett

Ismael Cuthbertson

Angela Romito

Molly Williams

Sonia Sharmin

Pat Priest

Craig Wiegert

Emily Rose Thomas

Put your name in the box and you could be our Crackerjack storyteller at the end of intermission!

Rabbit Box Teasers: All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small

Summary by Melissa Harward

Lions and tigers and bears and chickens and coyotes and beavers, oh my! Rabbit Box storytellers brought the whole animal kingdom to May’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” Sean Polite, who joined us back in November as a storyteller was our Master of Ceremonies of the evening. He kicked things off by identifying the spirit animal of each of our presenters, which included a horse, a guinea pig, and even a vulture. Read about the night’s creature tales here:

In the first story of the night, naturalist Tommy Tye examined the way animals have taught him to be still over the years, enabling him to explore and share their world.

Almost every little girl, at some point, asks Santa for a pony for Christmas. Despite her mother’s fear of horses, Mel Cochran Davis was no different.

Wildlife rehabilitator Thomas Guillebeau delighted the audience with a hilarious tale of a beaver rescue that quickly gets out of hand.

Through her work at UGA’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Lynsey Jackson lends a calming hand to those creatures who stress about treatment. After traveling to a wildlife park in Thailand, Lynsey met an elephant who really needed her help.

Our crackerjack storyteller of the evening was Evelyn Mackenzie, who introduced us to Bob the chicken.

Sometimes old cats can teach us new lessons. Loren Hansen described how he learned resilience from his cat, Skeeter.

Sometimes the natural world reminds us there are unseen reasons for everything. Sarah Hubbard shared her story of a quiet dawn interrupted by one of these surprises.

Few relationships come close to those that we have with our pets. They are there for us even in the toughest of times, wagging tails at the door or a soft bell around the corner. In this tribute, Rachel LoPilato remembers her cat, Mia.

Virginia Baumgartner ended the night in laughter as she told us of the many mischievous undertakings of a Basset Hound named Dupree.

Rabbit Box returns in June with “Tying the Knot – Wedding Stories” and in July with “On the Run.”

Interested in telling a story? Get in touch with us at rabbitboxstories@gmail.com.

All Creatures Great and Small May 11th!

Join us on Wednesday, May 11th, at The Foundry for tales on the theme All Creatures Great and Small! Listen to Naturalist Tommy Tye, Executive Director of Wild Intellegence Sarah Hubbard and others as they share their triumphs and tragedies, reminding us what it is like to watch nature unfold.
Doors at The Foundry open at 5:00 PM for dinner, and the show starts at 7 PM or a little after. The show ends by 9 – 9:15.

Our emcee is Sean Polite

Storytellers include:

Tommy Tye

Thomas Guillebeau 

Loren Hansen

Rachel LoPilato

Sarah Hubbard

Lynsey Jackson

Mel Cochran Davis

Put your name in the box and you could be our Crackerjack storyteller at the end of intermission!

Rabbit Box is for adults.