Nevada’s Dan Bagley will participate as one of five featured storytellers at the Sept. 9 Moonshell Storytelling Festival, presented in Omaha by Nebraska StoryArts.
The event will take place at Mahoney State Park, starting at 10:30 a.m. It is expected to last into the evening, until 9:30 p.m.
Bagley, a member of the Des Moines Two Rivers Story Spinners and the Northlands Storytelling Network, has told stories at this festival before. “It is a wonderful venue for tellers in Ashland, Neb., just a few miles west of Omaha.”
Several of the stories that Bagley will tell, he said, are about Father Flanagan’s Boys Town, where he graduated from high school in 1968.
After graduation, Bagley traveled the world and finally settled in Nevada with his wife, Cathy, and their two children, Danny and Heather, who both graduated from Nevada High School.
Bagley was a 33-year Union Pacific locomotive engineer, who retired after hearing a professional storyteller for the first time. He heard Tim Tingle in Story City. “It was at that point that I knew a wonderful world existed in the art of story telling,” he said. Tingle, in fact, became a mentor to him as Bagley began his own experiences as a story teller.
“My stories are about life’s adventures and the ongoing journey we all share,” he said, adding that his stories vary widely. “I tell stories about Irish ancestral tales, peanut butter, Dale and Roy Rogers railroad stories and finally, a fishing tale about monster fish at Hickory Grove.”
As the old saying goes, Bagley said, “Whereever two or more are gathered, there has to be a story.”
In addition to the Moonshell Storytelling Festival, Bagley has also appeared at Fontenelle Forest in Nebraska, and at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., and Raleigh, N.C. He was a featured storyteller at the Erskine Water Carnival in Erskine, Minn., and in Iowa at the Story Festival in Story City and at Living History Farms. He’s also often a guest at the Nevada Public Library.
The 16th Annual Moonshell Storytelling Festival offers storytelling concerts geared toward families, with special events for adults, and concludes with ghost stories in the evening. There is also a “Story Swap” time for festival-goers to share their own stories. The festival includes two professional development workshops: Creating Crazy Twisted Fairy Tales, and Word-Smithing: The Practical Construction of Effective Narrative Language. The workshops are available for $40 each or $70 for both.
The Moonshell Storytelling Festival was created and organized 16 years ago by storyteller Nancy Duncan. She was the founder of the Nebraska StoryArts. Duncan passed away in 2004. As a tribute to her, the festival continues.