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Story telling is an art.

I first grasped that as a kid, sitting sand-covered on a beach, swatting away mosquitos.

It was the Fourth of July, and this year as every year, we had gathered in the light of a bonfire to hear Maggie tell The Sweet Potato Story.

Maggie had been a Broadway actress and her theatrical gifts were on full display as she created distinct voices, accents, and personalities for the Farmer, the River, the Tree, the Rock, the Dog, the Cow, the Lobster, and, of course, the Sweet Potato.

We children were enraptured.

Maggie used pacing, texture, humor, and a dramatic crescendo to draw us in.  And she taught us the pure joy of spinning a good story.

It is a lesson I have never forgotten.

We still celebrate the Fourth of July on that special beach in Maine.  You get there by walking Shore Road.

And that is how we got our name.

As the River in The Sweet Potato Story says, “It’s truly, truly, true.”