Bruce Carlson records folktales. The stories he has written were actual stories he heard in places he visited. He described his method as simply talking to people.
“I climb up in a bar stool and talk to the guy next to me, or in a restaurant or someone I meet on the street. I make no effort whatsoever to write about famous people of famous historical situations. The bulk of my stories end up being family stories,” Carlson said.
Carlson’s approach leads him to many interesting stories. He hesitates to use the word history because he doesn’t claim to have historically accurate material, instead Carlson says his stories have been simply passed by word of mouth. If it’s a good story he writes it down.
Almost like the telling of stories generations ago for teaching lessons, Carlson says his stories often have some sort of lesson.
“Very often my stories have a moral to them. That is, when people are done reading them I hope that person reflects on [the story] and finds an underlying truth. I enjoy the prospect of influencing people in how they view their communities and life in general,” Carlson said.
The story Under the Ice found in this week’s paper is from Carlson’s book Ghosts of Pennsylvania’s Highway 6. For more information about Carlson’s work call 800-571-2665.