By JOE SUTTER
Storytellers of the Prairie will return to the Iowa State Fair for the 11th year Thursday at 3 p.m. in Pioneer Hall.
Featured master storytellers will be Linda and Clayton Layman, of Rockwell City; Alan Baughman, Manson; Duane Murley, Rockwell City; Dick Layman, Des Moines; Bev Jackson and Michael Cotter from Albert Lea, Minn.
Rather than bringing legends and fairy tales, Clayton Layman said the group will tell personal stories.
"They're based on something that happened to us or our kids," Layman said, "or stories my grandpa told when I was a little boy. We're a little different."
He said some of the stories he'll tell on Thursday were by request.
"That makes a guy feel good, when people request a story they've heard before," he said.
One of the stories will be about a one-armed schoolteacher, a story Layman's grandfather told him that happened in 1885.
His wife, Linda Layman, will tell a new story about threshing that parallels a story her father wrote.
All the storytellers have been telling stories for a long time. Clayton Layman said he loves the connection telling a story creates with his audience.
"When you can make people laugh with you in one story and in the next look out and see people wiping tears, it's really satisfying. It's really a highlight to be able to move people," he said. "Plus after the program a lot of people will come up to talk to you and tell you their stories. It's a lot of fun."