P.O. Box 19062 Huntsville, Al. 35804

Enthusiasm,  Encouragement and Hope

Bruce Walker chooses to see the humor in life's experiences.  Funny, heart-felt stories will cause you to laugh, think and possibly moist an eye or two!  Bruce's CD, "Good for Your Soul"- won the National Parent Associations Honor Award for best storytelling CD for family and teens and was reviewed for a Grammyin the spoken word category. Bruce knows his job is more than being funny:  He is a totally professional speaker;  focused on making your event a success. A storyteller that uses comedy to bring diverse audiences together. Bruce is based in Huntsville, Al. 

This Week's Column

                              Rosella and Albert, a Love Story
                                                            By Bruce Walker @2016

For some, thinking about your grandparents romance is a little on the weird side.  You just see older, graying wrinkled people.  You love them, cherish them but just don’t go there.  Our children do not want to see us holding hands or kissing either, you will get an immediate   ewwwwww!!!!!
I happen to know the love stories of both of my grands, (to quote National Inquirer-“Inquiring minds want to know”). 

This is the story of Albert and Rosella, my grandparents during the summer of 1916. Rosella and Albert grew up in rural North West Alabama on family farms.  Rosella, of Muscogee (Creek) Indian descent was a striking beauty with long black braids and smooth dark skin.  Albert was of Scottish heritage and part of a gregarious clan that farmed along the banks of Burnt Creek.

Rosella woke earlier than usual on this Saturday morning, helped her mother cook breakfast, and then added extra wood to the stove to bake a blackberry cobbler and make a traditional Muscogee dish of squash, corn and tomatoes, from a recipe her grandmother Lomasi, had taught her.  Tonight would be the most important social event of the year for the entire county; the “Box Supper Auction” that benefited the only school in the county. This was Rosella’s first time to participate in this summer tradition, a county wide social occasion and match making event for eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Young ladies would arrange floral wreaths, brightly colored ribbon on their box and fill it with her best efforts of cooking prowess. The young men would bid on the boxes, not knowing which young lady went with which box, since it was anonymous;  you didn’t know whom you would end up sharing a meal or a “no show” if the young lady just didn’t like the looks of you!!.    Rosella finished her chores and was ready for the two hour wagon ride into town.  She had taken extra pains with her hair, brushing it with a boar bristle brush until it shone.  Rosella’s silken braids hung below her waist in a distinctive pattern, taught mother to daughter for many generations.

From the other side of the county, on that same Saturday morning, Albert rode his high spirited black stallion, with a quick step and tail arched high;  they reached town in less than an hour.   Albert was feeling lucky, he had inside information from one of his cousins that lived near Rosella,  he would point out the box supper that belonged to her.  Arriving early, he stood at the rear of the schoolhouse watching for his informant.
The mayor began the auction and basket by basket the high bidder claimed his supper.    The crowd watched for the surprised looks on the participants faces whey they saw with whom they would be sharing a meal.  It could be the old maid school teacher or a beautiful young lady or the dreaded no show. When old man Crider was a high bidder, with his bushy eyebrows, onion breath and missing teeth, the lady who had made it, simply disappeared.   Rosella stood nervously, smoothing her long dress in front of her as she stood waiting. She didn’t know who would get her box or if she would want to share an evening with him.  The bidding began; 50c, then 75c, as the bidding went higher it came down to two very determined competitors, Albert and old man Crider!!  $1, then the other bid $2, a murmur went through the audience, and the bid was now twice as much as any bid that night.   $3 said old man Crider, silence filled the room as the crowd watched, my future grandfather, Albert, was out of money, he quickly turned to one of his Uncles and said, “I’ll cut wood all day for you for $2.00”.  The Uncle smiled and handed him the money.  Albert turned to the mayor and said $5.00- a gasp was heard and the other bidder shook his head.  Albert grinned widely and walked up to this dark-haired beauty and introduced himself as the audience clapped and whistled.  After an appropriate courtship overseen by the respective mothers and fathers- they announced their wedding plans the next spring, just before planting season.  I wouldn’t be here today if my granddaddy’s uncle hadn’t needed more fire wood.

Bruce Walker chooses to see the humor in life’s events. In addition to writing a weekly syndicated column, he speaks regularly to a wide variety of groups.  You may contact Bruce at bruce@brucestoryteller.com or visit his website www.BruceStoryteller.com

Writer’s Note -This picture hangs in my office


Greatgrandfather Hall, Rosella, Greatgrandmother Hall

CA 1916


Storyteller... Keynote Speaker....Columnist.....Workshops 

Besides being in demand as an entertainer, civic and church functions speaker, he teaches workshops on the strategy of storytelling as a powerful tool for nurturing relationships within and without your organization. He is the past president of the Alabama Storytelling Association. Bruce has been featured on NPR, appeared at the University of Alabama and a multitude of church, civic and theatrical presentations. His syndicated column, "The Storyteller" is published weekly.

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