Sunday, August 8, 2010


This Liar's Bench was a varied spectacle. Paul Iarrussi sung about mountain dew; Lloyd Arneach told an ancient Cherokee myth about the hummingbird; Glenda Beall discussed the contents of the new anthology, "Echoes Across the Blue Ridge," and read some of her own poetry, Tom Bennett performed a dramatic monologue about the travails of a mountain man at the Buzzard Roost revival; Steve Brady played and sang a composition of his own called "The Double-wide Blues;" I told a story about crackle-glass marbles and Dave Waldrop did a tribute to the Smoky Mountains. It probably don't get any better than this. The next Liar's Bench is September 4th and there is talk of taking our act on the road. Please stay tuned.


  1. If you gage success by the size of've got something going. I attended the first one but couldn't get in last night. Hope it went well....Keep up the good work.

    Ben F. Eller

  2. Well, the size of the crowd is a relative factor here. City Lights can only seat around 35 to 40 folks, so we fill up quickly. This is the 3rd Liar's Bench. The 4th one is coming up on September 4th, same time, same place ... but we may go "on the road," meaning we may do programs in some other locations, like libraries and civic clubs.

  3. It's been my experience that a liar's bench (folks talking and telling stories) is the perfect source for finding "truth" as it relates to "life" lessons. My guess is, based on some of your other amazing work, this gathering is no exception.....lots of truth in them lies!

  4. How exciting!
    Liar's Bench is a great contribution to Jackson County and I think it would be very appropriate to go "on the road."

    JoAnne Greer

  5. I enjoyed the Liar's Bench, Gary, and was amazed to see so many people packed into City Lights' Regional Room. I could tell they were an enthusiastic audience and big fans of this event. I want to come back as an audience member and just enjoy all the music, story telling and readings. Keep up the good work.

  6. Glenda,
    I hope you will return. If things work out, we hope to have Mark Twain in September. I'm hoping that William Ritter as well as Paul Arrussi will return, and the poet, Brent Martin has agreed to read. We may even have an art exhibit.

  7. I hated that I had to miss this past one but me and dog had to be somewhere else that night. It seems that they keep getting better and it's great to hear about taking it to other venues. It's starting to look like City Lights might be maxing out. Great job Gary!

  8. Dave,
    Please tell William Ritter that I want him to do the Proctor Town song from "Outlander" at the next LB. Would love for him to do Aragon Mill, too. We have have an art exhibit.

  9. I enjoyed the night at LB. it was a great event. This was my first but plan to return to many more. I am a devoted fan of Gary from elderhostel, going to all his plays, and reading his publications. I have also heard Lloyd Arneach but his most memorable one was when he did the birthday celebration of Chief Joseph in Ashevile. Thank you to all whos made the night. Barbara Kaether

  10. Thank you, Babara,
    Please come back. Keep checking this blog for the details of future programs.

  11. Posted by Gary Carden for Steve Brady who said that he was unable to post a comment since my blog refused to coperate, so he asked me to post the following for him:

    From Steve Brady:

    Participation, attendance, and audience response at Saturdays “Liars Bench” proved the event a big hit. I hesitate to comment on individual participants because the offerings were so varied and entertaining it would be a shame to overlook anyone; however it was impressive to note how far several folks traveled to appear. Gary has provided a variety show venue that accommodates many disciplines and seems to have struck a chord. It’s obvious that nobody else is doing this. I would like to encourage anyone who is looking for a safe atmosphere to tell stories, sing, play, or just share your passions or talents to come and join in. If you’re not a performer your attendance is just as important because there is no performance without responsive audience members. Let’s get behind Gary and keep this going!

  12. Some impressions re: LB #3. (1) amazing packed
    house turnout, (2) missed the dog, (3)paul's
    music superb & a perfect fit, (4) also steve,
    i'd like to hear more of that, (5) lloyd on billy mills, loved that, (6) the guy from king mtn., a natural, eh? (7) glenda, good to hear you read, (8) gary, you blew us away, again, and
    (9) dave, you are a helluva performer. I think a suggestion would be to film/tape these LB events. Going on the road I'm not sure about.
    Might work. Does seem like you've got a good
    audience now at City Lights. I mean, something
    good is happening with LB, why not keep building
    on it? On the other hand, taking a small core group on the road may be an inspirational idea.
    What do I know?

    John Q

  13. Going "on the road" doen't mean that we are going to stop doing performances at City Lights. That means, "in addition to" City Lights performances. It has been mentioned as a way to raise money for LB. Going "on the road" means going to Bryson City or Franklin or Waynesville.

  14. well, in that case, i say go "on the road" man.
    kerouac did. so shd you, gary. it would be curious to find out if LB gets the same great
    response in other venues. i think, indeed, it might. & who knows what storytellers might show
    up wanting to jump on the bandwagon. ah, i intuit a deep purpose here. storytelling as a
    way of bringing people together again, etc.

    john q

  15. Another poster has fallen victim to the complexities
    of posting on this blog and has asked me to post the following message on his behalf. This is Tom Bennett, the fellow who did the dramatic monologue.

    I want to thank everyone who attended last Saturdays Liar's bench for making my visit to Sylva so special. You were a great and receptive audience and I had a very enjoyable evening. You are very lucky to have someone as special as Gary who is willing to pull something like this together. There are very few places in this state where original work can be performed and as far as I know, only one where the show is primarily about story telling. You have something very special started here and I hope it grows and spreads.
    Tom Bennett

  16. I know it was great, wish I'd been there! Love the pic of you!

  17. That is my brooding, sensitive storyteller look, perfected in front of a mirror during long, insomniaic-ridden winters.