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October 10, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

The Storyteller Cometh

Today's song is Sweet Talkin' Guy by The Chiffons, released in 1966.

At the recent Twin Oaks Toastmasters Third Speech Marathon, I presented my final Storytelling speech from the Advanced Manual of that same name. The speech title was The Golden Touch of King Midas and completed the five speech projects from that manual. Now I'm more than halfway to my next educational award, Advanced Communicator Bronze (AC-Bronze). I expect to reach that goal by the end of March 2007.

Each storytelling speech taught new new skills I need for my future storytelling pursuits in connection with my book [link since deleted], my digital art, and other life experiences.

In that same marathon, I heard other speeches and their evaluations too. Listening is a large part of becoming a better speaker. Hearing well done and accurate speech evaluations helps the speaker and the audience increase their knowledge about what was said by the particular speaker and how their delivery was interpreted.

I have been asked to present a speech and lecture to a group of about 40 Asian students attending a local college this November. I am planning what content to present to help them understand the American culture and my experiences as an American. This is another exciting opportunity for me to use my Toastmaster skills.

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Here is another story sent to me by my cousin, Dick Larsen. I found it touching and reminds me that people are fighting and dying in far away lands to protect my freedom.

A Simple Thank You

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.
No, he responded.

Heading out I asked?
No. I'm escorting a soldier home.

Going to pick him up?
No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq. I'm taking him home to his family.

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do. Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United State s Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."

Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.

So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.
signed: Stuart Margel -- Washington, D.C.

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Another cousin of mine, Linda Brooks, sent me the following link concerning America. It always amazes me that there are people out there that take the time to show pride in this country by such creations. I appreciate their efforts.

Don


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