There are so many things that go on daily, weekly and monthly at the Shawnee Senior Center that it is always really hard to decide just what one thing to tell you about any week. I was sitting at my desk at the Center when the music started.
There are so many things that go on daily, weekly and monthly at the Shawnee Senior Center that it is always really hard to decide just what one thing to tell you about any week. I was sitting at my desk at the Center when the music started. It was Thursday, 1:00 in the afternoon and there was my answer. It was the Story Time Band with their first number coming in loud and clear and my decision was made. From my desk in the office, I can’t see the people as they start to stream in around 12:30 to 12:45 but in they come. Sometimes they come even earlier to have lunch here at the Center, the staff here welcomes them all. But once the band starts to play, you know why they’re here – THEY’VE COME TO DANCE or SING or BOTH and…IT’S FREE.
Well, now that I’ve told you how I made my decision for this week, I want to tell you a little about the band.
Currently there are five members of the band: three guitarists, a pianist, and a harmonica player. But it didn’t start out that way, way back in the early 1990’s.
Then it was an open invitation for anyone who played an instrument to “come on down” to the Center and make music on Tuesdays. As you are probably thinking, sometimes this made for wonderful music but other times it got a little “out of hand”.
And now, here starts my understanding of the “Story Time Band”. Glenda Story Taylor explained it all to me (and her Uncle Charles Story, with help from Paula Koontz, confirmed and verified names) but I have to be honest and say I got so immersed in listening to what she was saying that I didn’t get all the names of all the people who had been part of the story so you will have to bear with me as I tell you what we talked about.
In the beginning Roy Chandler was the band leader. When Roy passed away, Corbett Story took over. Corbett and Arlene Story both came with musical talent and passed it on to their two children. Corbett Story and his brother, Charles, were playing with the original band at the Center when it was open to everyone.
When the leader of the group passed away, Corbett Story took over the band and decided that having anyone who wanted to join in for the hour and a half each Tuesday was not properly serving the people who came to enjoy the music (because, once again) sometimes it was wonderful and sometimes it wasn’t that great. So Corbett decided five was a good number and so the Story Time Band, with mostly Story members, became the permanent Tuesday band. The Center still had a Thursday band but, according to Glenda, her Dad decided that once a week was good for him for family reasons. But as people came and left and his family grew older, he talked his daughter in to playing with the band and Tuesdays became a sort of family tradition.
And then, as sometimes happens, the Story family hit really awful times. Arlene Story became ill and passed away at the end of 2012 and Corbett Story, also ill, passed away in early 2013 and it appeared that the Story Time Band was going to be officially out of business. And then Charles Story, who was a part of the band then, got together with Glenda and they decided to continue the musical tradition that Corbett had started and now the Story Time Band is the official Tuesday and Thursday Shawnee Senior Center Band.
I am going to identify the members of the band but I want you to remember what I said in the beginning of this column (about being honest in telling you that I got all interested in listening and forgot to get it all written down) so if I’ve made any clerical errors, I am apologizing for them now.
The two lead and rhythm guitarists (and they take turns being lead guitarist) are Charles Story and Leck Thompson. Glenda Story Taylor is on keyboard, Richard Coffman is on bass and Dean Hudlow is on harmonica and they are all wonderful musicians and can play just about anything you can remember that’s good old country music. By the way, they take great pride in making sure that each musical session they have ends with the hymn, I’ll Fly Away” and that’s been their tradition since Day One at the Center.
Now comes the fun part, a challenge from the Band to the members of the audience at the Center. This is a direct quote so read carefully. The Story Time Band says “if you can sing it, we can play it.” Sooo... when you come on Tuesday or Thursday or both, ask for your favorite “oldie and goody” country western song and see if they can “play it”. I’m thinking they can. I’ll be listening, see You On Tuesday or Thursday at the Shawnee Senior Center.
Glenda Story Taylor will be on KGFF Radio (FM 100.9 or AM 1450) on Wednesday morning, August 2nd, at 8:35am talking to “Mike in the Morning” about the Story Time Band. Check it out!!
And remember at the Shawnee Senior Center “Age is just a number”. The website is www.SHAWNEESENIORS.ORG and our Facebook page is “Shawnee Senior Center”. See you at the Center!