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Stitched Together: Stories of a Kentucky Life

by Bob Thompson

Availablecloth$29.95s 978-0-8131-7806-6
192 pages  Pubdate: 10/15/2019  5.5 x 8.5  31 b&w photos

When Bob Thompson asked his granny years ago why she continued to create so many of her beautiful quilts, she said it was the only way she could reach across time, touching and giving her descendants her energy. And just like his granny, Thompson’s gift of storytelling provides a reverence and buoyancy all its own. This collection combines personal and family experiences to create a patchwork quilt of gripping stories with the comfort of memory.

Thompson draws on his mother’s seventy years of diaries, handwritten notes, and recipe cards to reveal that every story, no matter how small, has some wisdom to impart. He describes how, as a child, he would pass his days on the front porch of his granny’s country store in western Kentucky and listen to regulars swap stories and spin yarns, which cemented his passion for storytelling. His granny’s methods of quilting provide an interesting perspective on life: “She never hurried; her stitches were small and even. Fascinated with numbers, I counted as many as eight hundred per square and did the math, sixteen thousand for a twin-bed-sized quilt! When I mentioned that some of Great-Grandmother Brim’s quilts had stitches so large that you could get your big toe caught in them, Granny smiled and said, ‘It’s not the size of the stitches that count, it’s the spaces between them.’”

Thompson’s poignant narratives of community, friends, and family impart the significance of the quiet moments and meaningful spaces between everyday events. In doing so, they demonstrate that there is something to be gained from every human experience.

Bob Thompson is chairman and program director for Louisville-based Corn Island Storytelling, which produces the Corn Island Storytelling Festival and the Kentucky Homefront Radio show. He is the author of Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront.

Bob Thompson informs, inspires, and entertains with his authentic, unique style. The "stitches" and spaces speak profoundly of universal experiences we all share. -- Roberta Simpson Brown, coauthor of Haunted Holidays: Twelve Months of Kentucky Ghosts

Thompson has stitched a lyrical quilt, the cultural fabric of the home place. His memories, harvested from his own personal timeline, are the context for wit and poignance; they lead us to a deeper awareness of those moments when eternity intersects the quotidian details of our ordinary days. -- John Gage