March 12 will mark one year since our dear friend and leader Sara Slayton died. Sara was the chairperson of the La Crosse Storyfest for 15 years and brought the fest to the premier event that it is now. She and Phyllis Blackstone started our local guild, Bluff Country Tale Spinners, which is the parent organization of the fest. She was involved in storytelling on a local, state, and national level.
But more than that, Sara was a friend and the kindest person most of us have ever met. She had a beautiful smile, a gentle manner, and made friends with everyone she met. As an instructor in Early Childhood at UW-L, Sara began teaching storytelling classes in the ’90s and soon branched out to the community. Most of the members of the BCTS were her students as were local lawyers, grandparents, and business leaders. Sara was a wonderful storyteller and was the master of the ‘pause’.
Sara had an impact on hundreds of people from pre-schoolers to her students to her friends and audiences. She is greatly missed.