Tagged: drugs

Under the Influence: Lucas Ridley, “Mountains Even Taller”

A photo of Lucas Ridley
All Y’all storyteller Lucas Ridley shares his story during “Under the Influence” in September 2014.

In September of 2014, All Y’all hosted our fourth live storytelling event, “Under the Influence.” The night was a fundraiser benefiting the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse of Northwest Louisiana, and featured a variety of perspectives on addiction, medicine and other powerful forces. “Under the Influence” storyteller Lucas Ridley shared the intensely emotional tale of his personal experience surviving cancer with the assistance of medical marijuana.

In the best cases, stories told onstage at All Y’all events encourage audience members to reconsider their own deeply held beliefs. Lucas’s story was one of those instances; several of those who attended “Under the Influence” later told us that his story changed their beliefs on the subject of medical marijuana. No matter where you stand on this issue, Lucas’s story is a riveting listen.

A photo of Lucas Ridley
Lucas Ridley on the summit of Mount McKinley, or Denali. Taken summer of 2000.

As it turns out, Lucas’s life has involved a lot of difficult journeys. Not only has he climbed some of the highest mountains in the world, he is also a survivor of cancer as well as a survivor of domestic violence at the hands of his father. Lucas only recently broke his silence about overcoming domestic violence, in this blog post. In response to his father’s ongoing persecution of his mother, Lucas is currently raising funds to benefit Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc., an emergency shelter where his mother sought refuge from his father in 2003. If this story touches you, All Y’all asks that you make a donation of any size in support of Lucas’s fundraising campaign.

Thank you, Lucas, for standing up and speaking out.

Tickets now on sale for “All Y’all: OMG”
Tickets are now on sale for our next live storytelling event, “OMG,” which will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 28 at Sainte Terre (purchase tickets here). “OMG” will include six stories of personal encounters with faith, finding and losing God, and eye-opening encounters with the incomprehensible. We’ll have a cash bar, live music and more. All net proceeds from “OMG” will benefit Renzi Education and Art Center.

A message from our sponsors
The 2015 season of All Y’all podcast episodes and live events is presented by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. If you enjoy bowling or just want to say “Thanks” to Holiday Lanes for making this podcast possible, please “Like” them on Facebook. Additional sponsorship for “OMG” is being provided by Sainte Terre, John E. Settle, Jr. – Attorney at Law, and SandysDance Center.

Podcast sponsors for the 2015 season of All Y’all are the good folks at Rhino Coffee and Twisted Root Burger Co., which happen to be two of our favorite local eateries – thank you, Rhino and Twisted Root!

If you enjoyed this episode, please “Like” All Y’all on Facebook.

Mistakes Were Made: Cookie DuBois, “Space Dracula”

A photo of Cookie DuBois
Storyteller Cookie DuBois. Photo by Jim Noetzel.

Do you believe that some cosmic force holds us accountable for all of our past behavior? That if we’re good, we’ll be rewarded, and if we’re bad, we’ll be punished? “Mistakes Were Made” storyteller Cookie DuBois’s story, “Space Dracula,” made us wonder whether her trajectory was some sort of example of a person having to pay off some debt to the Universe before they could be happy.

Cookie, it should be said, is one of the kindest, sweetest and most charming storytellers that we’ve met through All Y’all. It’s hard to imagine the Cookie we know now as the head-punching anarchist you’ll meet in “Space Dracula,” but I guess it just goes to show – you never can tell.

P.S. Check out Cookie’s vintage and retro-inspired clothing line, Cookie DuBois Clothing.

We are pleased to announce that the next All Y’all Live event, “Ladies Night,” has been scheduled for 7 p.m., Saturday, March 14 at the Women’s Department Club in Shreveport. This night of stories celebrating women is presented, in part, as our way of celebrating Women’s History Month. It’s also a way to balance the scales, so to speak. Throughout the history of All Y’all – as a podcast and as a series of live storytelling events – it’s been harder to find women willing to share their story than it’s been to find men willing to do so. “Ladies Night” is all about women. Tickets may be purchased here, or check out this post for more info.

Under the Influence: John Durbin, “From the Ground Up”

Storyteller John Durbin, as a skateboarding teen Texas. Photo courtesy of John.
Storyteller John Durbin, as a skateboarding teen Texas. Photo courtesy of John.

I can’t remember the last time that I made a New Year’s resolution, but I imagine that it had to do with something trivial. Maybe I resolved to lose a few pounds, to spend more time reading or to save more money. The bar is usually set pretty low for me when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. But other kinds of resolutions – the promises that you make to yourself in the middle of the night, the real, quiet struggles that few others know about – those are the tough ones.

John Durbin’s story, “From the Ground Up,” involves the highest of stakes. John is an animator at Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, La. He makes a passing reference to “holding an Oscar” in this story – that is a reference to the fact that the studio’s first short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, won the Academy Award in 2012.

John’s story was recorded at our September 2014 live storytelling event, “All Y’all: Under the Influence.” His tale is one of overcoming not only drug addiction but also the cumulative weight of one’s mistake-ridden past. It is a funny, heartbreaking and inspiring story of one young man pulling his life out of a complete downward spiral.

Sara and I would also like to take this opportunity to say thanks to John and Nicole Durbin. John has volunteered his time as a sound engineer at All Y’all events and Nicole has helped with everything up to and including tearing tickets. We couldn’t have done “All Y’all: Under the Influence” – which was an extremely challenging event, for many reasons – without them.

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