One day a friend asked me to go with her to a baseball game at Ohio State University and then go to the Ohio Gourd Show. That was the year I met Jim Story; he had a shine in his eyes while talking about gourds. He was an evangelist when it came to sharing information with people in the gourd world.
Jim Story is the one who encouraged me to meet with the Indiana group who wanted to start the Indiana Gourd Society. I went to the meeting. Seems like there were about 16 people there and I became a charter member and have not missed a show since.
I really enjoyed attending the IGS show. I was in awe of the talented people who put the show together and those who did many kinds of art on gourds. The show was bursting out the seams. Jim Story would show up at my booth many times during the show and chat with a twinkle in his eyes. He would talk of someone he met that he wanted to have some gourds to make a hat, etc. He would have a black garbage bag in hand and just go pick out some gourds. I don't recall him asking for them. Jim just knew he could get all the gourds he needed from me. He would thank me from the bottom of his heart for the gourds.
A friend of jim's, Donn Kelver, came to my farm one day and told me the story of putting together a book and DVD, "Gourds From Vine to Design" describing Jim's work in growing, twisting and shaping gourds into a design. He wanted to finish the book while Jim was still alive.
Jim Story spent his life being a purpose driven man. He saw a need and gave it his all. In so doing, he was blessed, and we are blessed, and those who come after us will benefit from his blessings to us.
Copyright by Sandlady,
Helen Thomas. You may use this writing with my permission January 2,2016