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.
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.
Bruce Allen is a professor of art at Centenary College of Louisiana (where, by the way, both All Y’all organizers, Chris and Sara, received Bachelor of the Arts degrees). He grew up in Shreveport, where he graduated from Centenary and worked as a traveling wholesale drug salesman while waiting to enter graduate school. As a salesman, he’d drive to places with poetic names like Paris, Texas and Stuttgart, Arkansas, offering pharmacies exclusive discounts on drug products sold by Morris and Dickson, his employers.
On the surface, his story is a simple tale of a professional blunder that could have cost his employers a great deal of money. But, on another level, the story is a tragic warning. He sees a brief, horrifying glimpse of the human wreckage left behind when a salesman’s usefulness dries up, and he must decide for himself whether that path is right for him. In Bruce’s voice – which trembles once or twice, at telling moments – we heard horror, pathos, empathy and conviction. I did not hear any regret. Do you?
A few of the people making “Under the Influence” possible are: our seven fearless storytellers; Alan Berry, Don Hooper and the staff of Marjorie Lyons Playhouse; Andrew Parsons of Lagniappe Foods of Shreveport; and volunteers John and Nicole Durbin.