The first time my husband Jay heard Betty McCanty tell a story, he turned to me and said,
“Now, that’s how you should tell a story. She’s wonderful!”
I consoled myself, a little, by reminding myself that she’s been doing it longer than I. Betty took up storytelling after she retired as a high school English teacher—and has been telling and teaching storytellers for more than 25 years. Telling wonderful stories about King Arthur and the loathly lady, about the time she walked over a frozen Niagara Falls, about her crush on a baseball star next door, about reckless boys who went swimming in a water tower, about fiddle music in the dusty thirties, about the Adirondacks.
You’re going to want to hear her stories. And you can—if you live anywhere near Saratoga. On Monday, September 13th, at 7 pm, Betty McCanty will be the featured teller at Caffè Lena.
For Mother’s Day, Saratoga Today published an article about her, for she is not only a popular storyteller, she is also 87 years old and a beloved mother of eight, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
On Caffè Lena’s website, she is called a Saratoga treasure. I called her today to ask how she felt about being called a “treasure.”
“I loved it,” she said, and laughed.
She went on, “I only heard the word applied to a storyteller once before. That was years ago in Toronto, at a storytelling festival. After the woman was introduced, she told a traditional Irish tale that was dreary, full of blood, and lasted an hour. If that was what being a treasure meant, it was to be avoided at all cost.” She laughed again.
From my own perspective, the word treasure fits Betty perfectly. She is a woman full of life, humor, modesty, wit, and humanity. Actually, she is who I want to be when I grow up.
Do come. We’d love to see you. If you’re a storyteller, maybe tell a story too.
Saratoga Storytelling Open mic
at Caffè Lena, 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs, NY
Monday, September 13th, at 7 pm
Sign-ups for storytellers at 6:45 pm
Admission only $3, refreshments $1 each.