Folklore tales spun at a hootenanny

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The best place to learn about folklore is at a hootenanny. The Texas Folklore Society (TFS) held one Thursday to celebrate its 100th anniversary. What's a hootenanny? It's a gathering you'll hear old cowboy songs to long winded tales. "People get to come out and sing. They play folk instruments of all kind," explained Ken Untiedt, Secretary-Editor for TFS. "They tell stories, sometimes big windys, as we call them. Big lies." Folklorist Kenneth Davis shared one. "Miss Jane, you're really looking pretty today and she said, 'Well, Mr Bob I can't say the same thing for you.' And he said, 'You could if you told as big a lie as I did.' "

The scholarly definition of folklore is the traditional knowledge of a culture. Every one is apart of it. "It's the stories of how families got from one place to the next. The customs that we celebrate all the time. All those things are folklore. People just don't realize that's what it is and when they find out they're hooked," said Untiedt.

Which can happen at any stage of your life. Grand 'Ol Oprey performer Kent Gill plays a hand crafted fiddle made by his father in law, J. Fred Lytle. "He's the one that plays them. I just make 'em. I made 25 in the last 5 1/2 years and I'm 91 now," said Lytle.

College teachers keep the Texas Folklore Society going. It's headquartered at Stephen F. Austin State University. Members come from all walks of life. Many present papers, but are instructed, 'you don't lore under a bushel of academic guidelines'.

Every family has some sort of lore which deserves preserving. Share some front porch stories. Write it down, record it or pass it on to another generation. You won't regret it.

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