When I drove to the Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday night to enjoy a storytelling performance by Minton Sparks (review coming soon!) I didn’t see Storytelling Arts of Indiana executive director Ellen Munds.
It is very unusual not to see Ellen at a Storytelling Arts event, so after the storytelling was over, I asked someone if Ellen was okay.
I learned that her mother, Midge, had died the day before. Oh, I was so sad to hear this!
The official obituary in the Indianapolis Star is here:
My own fond memories of Midge Munds include hanging out with her at the performers’ and volunteers’ tent during numerous Hoosier Storytelling Festivals. I can see her in my mind’s eye, smiling in her lawn chair, enjoying the informal stories that people were telling, and telling some of her own.
She relished the more polished tellings by professional tellers up on the stages, too. Until she became ill, I think she was at every main Storytelling Arts event. She and her husband, Fred, made it possible for Ellen to start and run Storytelling Arts of Indiana. How huge is that!
I remember Midge welcoming me into her home so many, many times, for storytelling workshops, storytelling gatherings, and other parties and gatherings not directly related to storytelling. The Santa Clauses! The books! The cozy groupings of seats! The feeling of belonging, and of being welcome!
I remember talking (okay, gossiping, but it was kind) about the people we knew in common in the Episcopal Church. We belonged to different congregations but we knew some of the same ministers. I think that sometimes Episcopalians can seem pretty quirky to other people, and I remember what a delight it was not to have to explain this part of myself to Midge.
I will miss her. I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to Ellen, her father, and the rest of their family.