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Town honored through stories

By Staff | Apr 13, 2012

Friends of the Shepherdstown Library (FOSL) expect a packed house for “Shepherdstown Stories,” an event to honor Shepherdstown’s 250 year anniversary and give back to the community.

According to Edwinna Bernat who organized the event along with Larry Blash, tickets are sold out to this year’s 8th annual “Left of the Bank” event.

Bernat who serves as an ex officio member of the board and has been a member of FOSL since 2001, said that FOSL members decided that this year’s “Left of the Bank” event should be something unique in honor of the town anniversary.

In years past “Left of the Bank” has largely featured poetry read aloud by local poets or notable citizens such as CATF producing director Ed Harendeen. This year however, “Shepherdstown’s Stories” will incorporate Shepherdstown history in narratives told from seven different perspectives.

Also tonight’s event will mark the first time “Left of the Bank” has not been held at FOSL member Carlos Niederhauser’s Princess Street home. Instead, the second floor of the War Memorial Building, which sits on the corner of German and Princess streets. has been transformed into a “Shepherdstown front porch” scene.

This year’s event will feature local residents and storytellers, Clifford Banson, Laura First, Joe Matthews, Carlos Niederhauser, Hali Taylor and Randall Tremba.

“FOSL planned this program specifically for the Shepherdstown 250. That’s why we invited some of our most illustrious characters,” Bernat said.

Ed Zahniser, who has read his poetry in years prior will serve as tonight’s Master of Ceremonies. The event will also feature music of Don Oesher and Friends.

Bernat said that what truly makes this event special are the storytellers themselves and their stories.

“I’m looking forward to people who attend getting some insight into to other people’s observations of Shepherdstown and their experience here,” she said.

Clifford Branson, a story teller who has live in Shepherdstown all of his life, will talk about the 78 years he’s watched Shepherdstown grow and change.

“The old time stores are all gone,” he said.

Branson, who only left Shepherdstown once for six months to stay with family in New Jersey said, there’s no where else he’d rather live.

“It wasn’t Shepherdstown,” he said.

Branson said his story will focus on his life and family and the uniquely kind community he’s spent his life in.

“I think I’ve been over-blessed sometimes,” he said. “The people in town will help me if I need anything.”

All proceeds from “Shepherdstown Stories” event will go to benefit FOSL which helps provide resources for Shepherdstown Library’s special events programs.

More information about FOSL and this annual event can be found by contacting Vicki Smith at 304-876-1139.