Luther Cox never intended to become a dance teacher. As an accounting student at Florida A&M University, he literally wandered into a West African dance class in progress and the course of his life was changed forever. Cox went on to found the Inter City Row Modern Dance Company in Shreveport’s Cooper Road community in 1981. Inter City Row is now the oldest operating African American dance company in Louisiana.
Cox’s story gets us thinking about careers: How is it that some people accidentally wind up, through indirect routes, in roles that they were clearly born to fill? What are the chances?
Checking In With All Y’all The 2017 season of All Y’all live events has ended, and we’re planning to release several podcast episodes during the upcoming holidays. We’re also beginning to plan the 2018 season of live storytelling events, and are looking forward to re-imagining some aspects of the show. We hope to see you at a live event – with some surprises in store – in the Spring of 2018.
Thank You, Sponsors
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts was 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.
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.
Have you ever played a video game in which you saw the world from the perspective of your character, and you wielded some type of gun or weapon to fend off enemies as you explored the world of the game? If you have played such a video game, congrats – you’ve enjoyed a technology that was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the June 2015 All Y’all live storytelling event “Brush With Fame,” storyteller Stephen Vekovius shared the story of Softdisk and id Software, two game-changing companies that were born in downtown Shreveport. Softdisk was an early pioneer in the rapidly-changing world of software publication, and several Softdisk employees went on to form id Software, a company that revolutionized video games and 3-D technology with such titles as Wolfenstein and Doom.
This story – which has seldom been told publicly – is made even more special by the fact that Vekovius experienced all of this as the son of Softdisk’s Co-Founder and CEO, Al Vekovius. Stephen’s perspective gives the story a quiet and powerful intimacy that wowed the audience at “Brush With Fame.” All Y’all is proud to have played a role in documenting this little-known chapter in the history of Shreveport, Louisiana’s on-again, off-again relationship with the entertainment industry.
Want to learn more about Softdisk and “the id Boys” while supporting All Y’all?
The 2015 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is sponsored by Holiday Lanes, an incredible bowling center in Bossier City that features everything from glow-in-the-dark bowling to the largest plate of nachos you’ll ever lay eyes on. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Maccentric, Shreveport-Bossier’s only locally owned Apple Authorized Service Provider. From the very beginning, we’ve also been sponsored by Rhino Coffee and Twisted Root Burger Company, two places that we love. Please consider supporting these businesses when you’re out and about.
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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.
Jon Mackey is a naturally charismatic guy. Whenever I cross paths with Jon, he’s either returning from some thrilling adventure or planning his next personal or professional move. The world just seems like a more interesting place when he’s around. So, when we were organizing the first All Y’all live storytelling event, “New ‘Round Here,” Sara and I knew that we had to ask Jon to contribute a story. He came through in grand form with this hilarious, occasionally unsettling tale of life as a server at a Chinese buffet called Cheng’s Garden and what may be the most uncomfortable job interview of all time.
“When I asked Jon if he had a story, he came into my office and re-enacted the job interview,” Sara told me, just now. And what a job interview it was.
As this post goes live, we are in the early planning stages of our third live event, “Under the Influence.” We expect this night of storytelling – which will feature tales of substance use and abuse, recovery, influence, powerlessness and control regained – to take place in September 2014. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse of Northwestern Louisiana. We’ll post more details of the event as soon as we have them.