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Papa Joe

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PapaJoe is the one of those characters you expect to find wandering through the pages of an old children's picture book. And when you see him telling a tale, long beard wagging, the explosion of expressions, the range of voices, the depth of emotions; you'll know some of the reasons he is so loved by his listeners. Whether he's presenting an ancient folktale or sharing one of his many incredible experiences, one can't help feeling a part of the story.

 

A New Hampshire nomad, he lives in the vehicles he drives from show to show. His home is wherever he is and that, in itself, is a clue to who he is.

 

A minimalist, his daily life is a story. He gathers his drinking water from local springs and much of his food from the forests he loves. Even the clothes he wears are an illustration of his lifestyle. Those white, button-up, 100% cotton shirts he's almost always seen in; cost him next to nothing from community thrift shops. And when they're worn beyond wearing, he turns them into other things; eliminating his need for single use products like paper towels and food wraps. His black denim pants become sacks and bags, protecting his few possessions from the constant wear of the vibrations and bumps inherent in a life on the road.

Little wonder he's a sought after speaker, leading discussions on waste reduction or minimizing human footprints in the environment. He's worn the same belt buckle since 1978, though he's replaced the leather a half dozen times, makes his tea with fresh picked pine needles, and washes with a different tea which he cold brews from a local astringent herb.

 

His earliest memories include listening to storytellers and telling stories, his first was a presentation of Dr Seuss's Horton the Elephant Hatches an Egg at age 3. He claims he was drafted into the ranks of a wave of the current renaissance storytellers while in his twenties, but his siblings say he was always telling stories. At this point, he's racked up over ten thousand live performances.

PapaJoe has toured across the USA, Maritime Canada, and much of Western Europe collecting and sharing tales, ancient and modern. In addition to his performance Storytelling, his artistry includes ambient flute, poetry, fabric art, and utilitarian sculpture. A non traditionalist, he is self taught and unique, making him the very definition of an authentic folk artist.

His stories have been published in several books and magazines and his tales are told on six continents by hundreds of other storytellers, who see him as a link in their chain of oral transmission. PapaJoe is also one of the early explorers of the internet. He began operating computers in the 70's and was online before the world wide web. He started sharing his journal online before blogging was a word and is regularly featured on podcasts. Check him out on Facebook. Since the Pandemic began, he's added hundreds of Livestreams of over 200 unique stories.