By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Her stories, she says, are the fruit of growing up free-range in the Amish country around Locust Grove, Pa., with all outdoors feeding her imagination.
And though the adults tried again and again to curb her rambunctious behavior, she gallivants to this day — and to Port Townsend on Sunday.
Singing and telling
Weitkamp will sing and tell stories at the RoseWind Common House, at Umatilla and Haines streets, in an event presented by Port Townsend's Mythsinger Foundation.
Tickets to her 2 p.m. Sunday show are $15, while more details can be found at 360-531-2535 and through organizer Brian Rohr at www.BrianRohr.com.
When asked what some of her topics will be this Sunday, Weitkamp demurred.
“I have an extremely eclectic repertoire,” she said.
“I never know what I'm going to tell until I see the audience. Their age, as well as other things, dictates what I tell.
“I love telling my original, suspenseful tales that have a Hitchcock feel,” she added, “but I also love the stories from growing up. Then I have tall tales I've written.”
So no, she cannot pick any favorites. That's “like asking me what kid I love best: impossible.”
When she came to Peninsula College in 2010 for the Forest Storytelling Festival, Weitkamp talked about what she hopes to give her listeners.
“I like to think my distinguishing style is that people feel cared for in my shows and that they forgot their troubles while they were with me,” she said.
“I hope that they are so moved that they share their own stories” with family and others they love.
“I'm considered a humorist and a storyteller. You're laughing, and then suddenly, you're crying. I can't help it,” Weitkamp added. “That's who I am.”
She doesn't worry about technology rendering her obsolete. In fact, Weitkamp has called herself a “gearhead” and has been known to carry a deluxe Bluetooth device among other gizmos. And she sees those people texting at storytelling festivals.
“I'm not concerned,” she said, because “it's in every human to have that eye-to-eye communication,” and people will always search it out.
Six audio collections
Weitkamp has six audio collections, the latest being “Head Bone Rattles,” a compilation of original ghost stories and songs, and “The Lap,” a limited-release story and song.
These days, the storyteller travels the continent full time, performing in theaters and at festivals. She also does some television and, now and again, delivers a keynote speech at a corporate meeting.
“Kim studs her performances with bits of musical Americana that match the sweet, gentle tones of her narrative,” noted one writer at The Oregonian.
Weitkamp added: “No matter how technology changes, story is the essence of human communication.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.