Maine humor, pizza for the Y
Belfast — The Waldo County YMCA will raise some funds by raising the fun quotient Saturday, Sept. 28. The community is encouraged to have supper at the Belfast Pizza Hut on Route 3, where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Y (let server know you are with the Waldo County YMCA) then head to the Troy Howard Middle School on Route 52 for a 7 p.m. show by humorist Gary Crocker.
Crocker heard his first stories from his Grandfather Russell. The two of them walked the Maine woods to, but the man who had the most impact on Crocker's decision to be a Maine humorist was the legendary Marshall Dodge.
"He was probably one of the finest storytellers I ever heard," said Gary, who has collected all of Dodge's tapes.
Crocker first heard the master storyteller in the mid 1970s at the Ladd Recreation Center in Wayne. Crocker, who arrived early to get a front-row seat, was mesmerized by his storytelling: "I remember him sitting there with a stool and microphone for over an hour, telling us classic Maine stories in a S-L-O-W Maine dialect."
After seeing that performance, Crocker knew he wanted to become a Maine storyteller. Crocker, who has taught both English and speech, collects tapes and books for his humor library. Many tales, like "Gagon the Moose Caller," are old Maine stories that people have been telling for years. They are what storytelling insiders call "old chestnuts."
“Maine humor is normally understated. I'm the opposite. I'm overstated in my approach and presentation. My real strength is I am high energy — that works best in conference settings," said the spirited Crocker, who said he can do three gigs a day and "feel just as excited on the last as on the first."
At the Saturday show, there will have delicious baked goods for sale, compliments of the YMCA’s Active Older Adult Group. Tickets are $15, available in advance at the Y. All proceeds will benefit the Waldo County YMCA Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit waldocountyymca.org.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or firstname.lastname@example.org.