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Act!vated Stories
Family friendly folktales and travel tales
Act!vated Stories is presented by Act!vated Story Theatre a national touring theatre troupe for children and their families. Since 1988, the Act!vated Actors have toured the continental US and beyond, bringing live educational theatre to students at schools and libraries. Podcasting comedic folktales to you from somewhere on the road once a month or so since 2006.

Dec 21, 2006

The wanderer has returned, to continue wandering with the rest of us. Zephyr just got back from his 10-day jaunt to North Carolina, where he recorded a mini-album with his punk rock band in Winston-Salem. He brought along a rough cut of the disc, and we play a brief excerpt from it on the podcast. He rejoins his parents in the San Francisco Bay Area, our old stomping grounds, where we've been stomping longer in recent days than in years - and indeed more time than we've spent just about anywhere in years. But after a performance at the Mitchell Park Library in Palo Alto, we're ready to hit the highway again.

The Gift of the Magi

This week's story is "The Gift of the Magi", which is appropriate for two reasons. First, it is of course a classic Christmas Story; and after a 3-month buildup, Santa is just about ready for his yearly cruise. Additionally, the author of the story, William Sydney Porter (better known by his pen name of O. Henry) was a native of the same area Zephyr has been visiting. He was born in Greensboro, N.C. (where the band's drummer lives) in 1862 and died in 1910. During the last few years of his life, he wrote fiction at a whirlwind pace, and became famous for his trademark surprise twist endings, such as the one in "Gift of the Magi". (He also, incidentally, coined the term "banana republic".) It's likely that the character of Della in this story was modeled after his first wife, who died of tuberculosis, from which he also suffered.

Dennis shares his favorite Christmas story, an incident he read about in the news two or three years ago, and recalls as best he can, despite being unable to find the details anywhere. If anybody has any info on this story, please pass it along to us.

And as we make it clear in our podcast, we extend happy holiday wishes to everyone, regardless of their religion, customs, or brand of holiday cheer - or lack thereof. See you in 2007!

Happy Listening,

Dennis (the narrator), Kimberly "Della" and Zephyr "Jim" Goza