Thursday, February 2, 2006
Barbi Bonfiglio grew up listening to the ranch stories her grandparents told.
In Oak Creek, the ranching lifestyle is a part of daily life for many -- and a lifestyle that is passed down from generation to generation.
Bonfiglio compiled the stories from local ranchers and their families for a Saturday show called "Real Stories from the Ranch" at Bonfiglio's Paradigm Theater in Oak Creek.
"What inspired me to put this particular performance together was a community member who told me she would love to see something done with the ranching families in this area," she said.
Bonfiglio said she hesitates to call the event a performance because the stories have not been rehearsed or prepared. Bonfiglio said she doesn't even know which families will appear to share their stories, though she has invited at least a dozen area ranchers to take part in the event.
"The stories will feature words and voices straight from the hearts and minds of the men, women and children of our enduring ranching community," she said.
Bonfiglio said that early February was a perfect time to ask ranchers to share their stories because they are the least busy.
"This is their life. These stories are intriguing, wonderful and sweet at the same time," she said.
Bonfiglio said she expects to know who will be speaking at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday -- a half-hour before the show.
"I left the requirements of the show open. I told them I want ranch stories --published stories, poetry, music, words. I just wanted the remembrances to be their own," she said.
People underestimate the value of the spoken word, and generational stories are all but lost when they are not told and passed on, said Bonfiglio.
"This is just one of those things that is impossible to explain the value. The spoken word is an art form that is generally lost. When you loose that, you're not only losing an amazing art form, but also your connection to the people and land around you," she said.
Bonfiglio originally planned a performance tonight, too, but cancelled it because of expected inclement weather.
-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or firstname.lastname@example.org