Some folks are just natural born storytellers. Amy Lynn Treme, a pre-K teacher who lives in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhoood, is one of those folks. When All Y’all announced that we’d be presenting a night of stories about work (“I Just Work Here” was held at the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport in April 2017), Amy was the first person to reach out with a story pitch. And, wow, it was a doozy.
Amy’s story — a side-splittingly funny tale of a simple task gone terribly wrong during her employment at a pet store in Bossier City — is one of the most outrageous and downright entertaining stories ever told on the All Y’all stage.
Please Support Our Sponsors
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off. Please consider thanking our sponsors with your patronage.
Coming Soon: Wild Card Night
This Summer, All Y’all will be trying something new: our first-ever Wild Card Night. For this live event, we won’t be booking storytellers in advance. We’ll ask that anyone who would like to try their hand at live storytelling drop their name in a hat, and we’ll draw six names to tell a story live onstage. It’s an experiment in spontaneity, community and “working without a net.” Watch for details to be announced soon.
The 11th All Y’all live storytelling event, “I Just Work Here”, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 1 at the historic Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport. The event will feature six true tales of working for a living, living to work and the misadventures and magic that can transpire while you’re “on the clock.” Storytellers will include Ashlie Daigle, Julian Gutierrez, Pam Brown, Amy Lynn Treme, Luther Cox and Julie Gustafson. Admission is $15 and tickets are available now. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. A cash bar will be provided by Wine Country Bistro and live musical interludes will be performed by Nate Treme. Purchase tickets here.
This live storytelling event, like all All Y’all events and podcasts, is made possible by our title sponsor Holiday Lanes. This event is also made possible by the generous support of live event sponsors Maccentric and Williams Creative Group.
All Y’all live storytelling events are recommended for mature audiences.
In addition to hosting our last live storytelling event in November, we’ve been hard at work building a new show for All Y’all. It’s called Stuffed & Busted, a podcast that takes an irreverent look at food in Shreveport and Bossier City as well as the fascinating folks who grow, cook and serve it.
We wanted to share the first segment from our second Stuffed & Busted episode, a hilarious and baudy interview with Robert “Bozz” Baucum, head chef and owner of Marilynn’s Place. We hope you like it and if you do, please listen to the full 45-minute long episode and subscribe by searching for Stuffed & Busted in your podcast app of choice or at stuffedandbusted.com.
When we began All Y’all three years ago (!!!), our friends and community came out of the woodwork to support our events. As a small way to give back, we decided to donate the proceeds of one live storytelling event each year to an organization doing remarkable work in our local community.
In 2014, Chris and I experienced the highs of finding our All Y’all audience and the lows that come along with a family member who struggles with addiction. We were very lucky in that year to have our family benefit from the services of the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, an organization who we felt did not receive enough recognition for the remarkable services they provide, often free of charge to people with no other hope. There was no question that CADA would be the recipient of our first annual gift.
In the audience that night were two of our friends, Patrick and Nancy Long, attending their first All Y’all live event. I first met Patrick through my day job at Moonbot Studios, where we collaborated on behind-the-scenes content for our films, apps and books. Patrick was a brilliant storyteller and one of my deepest regrets is that he won’t be able to share one of his incredible stories with our audience. This summer, he passed away after a brave battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which robbed him early on of his voice; but, thankfully, not of his sharp wit and profound advice.
Both Patrick and Nancy have been tremendous in their support of All Y’all since their attendance at our first fundraising event, so we asked them to help us name our annual award. We wanted a way to remember Patrick when he was gone and also the way he and Nancy made us feel invincible; that our work with All Y’all mattered in a big way. Because he couldn’t speak, Patrick texted me his thoughts:
I have been thinking. You are wise to think I wouldn’t want to call it the Trump Grant. Today’s thought.
translation: shreveportese for fixing to; about to; getting ready to.
Fixing = fidning
And so, thanks to him, our annual gift now has a name: The Fidnto Award. It is the perfect fit because each organization that receives the Fidnto Award really is fidnto do something great.
Save the date! The 10th All Y’all live storytelling event, “Haunted,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Remington Suite Hotel & Spa in downtown Shreveport. The evening will feature six true tales of haunted spaces, otherworldly encounters and things that follow us. Confirmed storytellers to date include Cristal Wilcox,Clay Walker,Christopher Louis Wilson, Steven Abney, Phillip Bowman and Kathryn Usher. Admission is $15 and all proceeds will be donated to the Louisiana Association for the Blind in the form of All Y’alls annual Fidnto Award. There will be live musical interludes by Highland-based electronic musician Nate Treme and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are currently on sale.
If you have a great, true story that would fit the theme of “Haunted,” please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and give us an idea of what your story is about. Also, you can message us through our Facebook page and we’ll follow up as soon as we can!
We first met Daniel Ukpabi on an unseasonably cold October morning at Shreveport Farmers’ Market, where he was ladling out steaming bowls of spicy Nigerian stew and telling anyone who’d stop to listen about his fledgling not-for-profit organization, The Pacemakers. At the time, we were just beginning to plan All Y’all Live: “Momma and Daddy,” and we walked away thinking: “Wouldn’t it be great if he had a story about his parents?”
It turns out, he did. Daniel took the stage on Saturday, March 12 at Bossier Arts Council’s East Bank Theatre and charmed the crowd with memories of his youth in Nigeria, a bumpy road to America and a father who wouldn’t give up.
The 2016 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our season sponsor, Holiday Lanes. Holiday Lanes has a special program called Laney’s Club that offers a staggering $1,530 worth of free bowling for kids ages 18 and under! Sign up for Laney’s Club here or tell a friend about it.
If you’ve ever been to an All Y’all live event, chances are good that you’ve eaten a TABASCO-spiked brownie during intermission. Those brownies are baked and donated by All Y’all mentor and supporter Judy Williams, who shows up with two heaping trays of the spicy treats before each and every show. Thank you, Judy!
If you enjoyed this episode, please post it on your Facebook wall! You’d be surprised how much this helps us.
Have you ever met an honest-to-goodness celebrity? All Y’all dedicated an entire night of live storytelling to the topic of celebrity encounters at our June 2015 event, “Brush With Fame.” Tom Ayres’s story from that night – a well-told tale of an airport encounter with an embattled sports icon – was one of the hits of the night. It made us think about all sorts of things: the drawbacks of a life spent in the public eye, the value of a shoulder to lean on, and the commonalities of the human experience.
All Y’all Live: “I Fought the Law” Now Recruiting Storytellers
On Saturday, July 16, 2016, All Y’all Live: “I Fought the Law” will be held at Anderson Auditorium on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana. We’re seeking six powerful, true stories of civil disobedience, righteous indignation, crime and punishment. Do you have a story that would fit this theme? If so, we’d love to hear it! Just call the story hotline at (318) 582-0665 and give us an idea of what your story is about or contact us through our Facebook page. If you’re excited about “I Fought the Law,” please consider RSVPing to the Facebook event and sharing it with friends. Purchase “I Fought the Law” tickets here.
Please Support Our Sponsors
The 2016 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. Holiday Lanes has a special program called Laney’s Club that offers free bowling for kids ages 18 and younger during the summer – all you’ve gotta do is rent the shoes! Sign up for Laney’s Club here or tell a friend about it.
The ninth All Y’all live storytelling event, “I Fought the Law,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 in Anderson Auditorium (located in the Hurley Music Building) on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana. The evening will feature six tales of civil disobedience, protest, questionable decision making, crime and struggles for justice. Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased here. Doors will open at 7 p.m. A cash bar (with plenty of local beer!) will be provided by Wine Country Bistro and live musical accompaniment will be performed by Highland-based electronic musician Nate Treme.
Like so many people in Shreveport did, I woke up this morning to the terrible news that Elmer “Bigg Nokey” Henderson died on Tuesday night. By 7:15 a.m., a half-dozen friends and loved ones had called to commiserate. My lifelong friend Chris Allen, who was a friend of Nokey’s and occasionally bought lunch at the makeshift restaurant that Nokey operated out of a portable building in his yard, pointed out something that resonated with me: Bigg Nokey was an absolute embodiment of hope and strength. He was a born restaurateur, a gifted chef and, honest to God, the best networker to ever walk the earth. The first time I met Nokey, to interview him for an article that I wrote about him for Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine, I left that meeting feeling as if I were Nokey’s new best friend. I imagine that he made everyone feel that way. To know him was to love him.
To remember Nokey by talking about his cooking seems a little reductive – he was a great chef and so much more – but you just can’t talk about him without talking about those incredible smoked “Nokey burgers” and his patented “Nokey Rotel,” a sort of kitchen sink version of Rotel dip that Nokey would customize in different versions that he called “exclusives.” If you never ate a platter of Nokey Rotel, I feel so sorry for you. You never will, either. Only one man could make it, and that man improvised with this dip like Ornette Coleman improvised with a saxophone. Nokey Rotel was seldom served exactly the same way twice, but one bite was all it took to know that this was Nokey Rotel.
If Elmer Henderson had been born into different circumstances, he’d have a multi-unit restaurant franchise by now. Kids would be begging their parents to take them to the neighborhood Nokey Burger after school. Despite his not having the resources to realize that dream of restaurant ownership, Nokey created his own version, right from his yard on Ice Cream Street. He dreamed of feeding the world, but he was proud to feed the Cooper Road neighborhood. And, by God, his community absolutely adored him. If we can measure success in this world by the number of folks who love us – and I figure that’s as good a way to do it as any – then Bigg Nokey left this world a millionaire.
There is so much more that I could say: He was incredibly good at using social media to promote his business. He was the most popular vendor at the annual Let the Good Times Roll Festival in downtown Shreveport, which will never be the same without him. He loved his sons very much.
The memory of Nokey that I will always treasure the most is from the day that my wife, Sara, and I hired Nokey to cater our birthday party in 2014. Nokey brought his grill, which he’d customized with blue LED running lights and named “the Nokey Train,” all the way from Cooper Road to Shreve Island, where 50 of us stood in the driveway listening to Old School, drinking beer and devouring incredible Nokey Burgers. Always in demand, he had to cater another event after our party, and he pulled out of the driveway with the grill still lit. Floating on a cloud of blue LED light, flames roared out of the Nokey Train as he sped to the next stop. That’s how I imagine he just pulled up in the afterlife: Nokey Train hooked up and glowing, windows down, music blaring, Nokey looking for a prime spot to get set up and feed the people.
We’ve all had our “low points” on the job, moments when we were caught unprepared or off guard and we let our employers – and ourselves – down. Storyteller Wesley Hall Parker, who shared a story during the June 2015 All Y’all live storytelling event “Brush With Fame,” experienced a Christmas Eve workplace crash-and-burn of epic proportions while working as a gift wrapper at San Francisco’s Green Apple Books. As the title of her story implies, her workplace meltdown included some celebrity cameos.
For this episode, we reached out to Dr. Lisa Nicoletti, professor of art history and visual studies at Centenary College of Louisiana, who provided a bit of cultural context for the story.
All Y’all Live: “Momma & Daddy” Coming March 11-12, 2016
The next All Y’all live storytelling event, “Momma & Daddy,” will be held, March 11-12, 2016 at East Bank Theatre in Bossier City. “Momma & Daddy” is presented in partnership with the outstanding folks at the Bossier Arts Council. Purchase tickets or learn more about the event here. To receive regular updates on storytellers, musical guests and more, RSVP to the Facebook event.
Do you have a powerful story that would fit the theme of “Momma” or “Daddy”? If so, All Y’all would love to hear it! Just call the story hotline at (318) 582-0665 and give us an idea of what your story is about.
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