Stories told from memories passed. Photos in our minds that beckon words to describe what had been. The artists and the writers create pictures in the mind’s eye; each sees something different and retells their memories of what was seen and heard. Indeed, the stories were crossing generations, each evolving with the telling of Legend Has it.
With every journey, we learn things along the way that we never knew before. Life is a series of experiences creating bonds and memories forever held in our bodies and souls. Raissa and the others’ journey made the Strong Ink and Magic Paint forever create a union once separated but never to be broken again. The telling of the story of the live paintings. The words that flowed when others see what she created with the magic paint and had been missing in her life puzzle. Larry and the other storytellers would share what they felt when viewing her paintings; she understood that our minds’ pictures can be expressed through images and words. Many more stories could be told in learning this, beginning with the vision and letting life’s experiences form the narrative that beckons to be told. Indeed, the stories will forever live on. The feeling of a connection repeats from generation to generation, never allowing a lost loved one to ever leave in spirit even if they are no longer physically with us.
Raissa looked forward to their arrival at the Lost City. A place where the stories would be told. The joining of those stories with the paintings to be created. An area where a new garden of colors could be planted and the Strong Ink would flow like a river moving downstream to the ocean.
The heat was unbearable as we walked the long-deserted road. It went on as far as the eye could see with roads crossing at regular intervals. It was a development that never got off the ground. It was the dream of James Franklin Jaudon. He broke ground in 1921 and by 1923 the fund dried up, he called it a day and walked away. This was a place that held rumors of Al Capone and fiddle player Ervin T. Rouse. Rouse played at the infamous Gator Hook Lodge and lived nearby with his two dogs. This place was so secret that the unbelievers would never know of it, as they did not believe in history or folklore.
We were down to three of us, Raissa, Charlie Walker, and me. Of course, where we went Buddy my hound dog was always nearby. Len Bernat had taken the unbelievers on a wild chase through the Sewee National State Park so that we could be free of them for this meeting. Len had most likely gotten the unbelievers lost and he would be sitting at T. W. Graham in McClellanville drinking sweet tea and eating shrimp and grits. We were tired and travel worn. We had escaped through the dark swamps near the North Carolina – South Carolina border close to Fair Bluff. We came close to being captured by the unbelievers there in that dark water swamp, yet we made our way to the Pee Dee River on to Tega Cay to see the living paintings from Raissa. Now here we were on the last leg of our journey standing here where only ghosts and spirits live. It was only fitting since we were the last of the Storytellers.
This was the place we would gather; this lost place that begged a “Legend has it” story, Indeed! The feeling of the spirits was strong and Raissa’s living painting was changing by the moment. Johnny Johnston was flying his plane in with The Lost Book of Stories and Dennis Pitocco was bringing his helicopter in to take us back to Tampa, Florida where he had gathered an incredible group of writers. The pulse of the story was beating strong while the voice of the unbelievers was diminishing. The ones that wanted to stop storytelling now wanted their own books to tell their own stories.
The Apex had shifted, and the power of strong ink was formidable and unstoppable. The belief that the children had in books and storytelling was without limits and powerful. The strength of imagination had no boundaries. From this moment forward the children would once again hear the stories; the ones that start with Legend has it… and their imaginations will grow, they will carry these stories with them for a lifetime telling their children and grandchildren about a time when stories came to life and lived within our hearts.
Johnny Johnston and Dennis Pitocco arrived in a low flying helicopter and landed in a cloud of dust. Everyone was rejoicing and laughter and smiles were shared along with a few tears of relief that our journey was coming to an end. Dennis had started a movement of hope that brings writers from all over the world to one safe place. A place where writers would share their stories and believe that through our words, we could bring hope to the world by bringing Strong Ink and Imagination back to the written word.
Tonight, the Storytellers are many and we will sit down with the children. and tonight would be the night that Storytellers would once again sit by beds and say Legend has it that deep in the forest, and once again the children would still believe in fairytales.