Author/historic storyteller Janet Demarest will perform a one-hour program from her new book “Tales from the General Store: The Legends of Long Island” at 1:30 PM on Thursday, March 26, 2015 in the Large Meeting Room. This public program is funded by the Friends of the Garden City Public Library. Garden City residents will be given priority by presenting their GCPL cards at the program-room door. Non-residents will be accommodated on a space-available basis 10 minutes before showtime. No saved seats.
Rocky, lonely coastlines; old creaking windmills; huge farm estates; and dark, shadowy forests form the backdrop for some of Long Island’s oldest, most iconic, and best-loved legends. Did Captain Kidd actually bury his treasure here? Is there truly a curse on Lake Ronkonkoma? What role did a clothesline play in the American Revolution? And why is there a statue of a bull in Smithtown?
Much like the vast variety of goods found in a 19th century general store, this entertaining and compelling program features a calico assortment of tales and characters: pirates and patriots; heroes and villains; and, yes, even a ghost or two! Ranging across the Island, west to east, South Shore to North Fork, these centuries-old tales reveal Long Island’s unique, colorful (and sometimes exaggerated) past. From the brave men and women of Washington’s spy ring to sagas of lost romance, from astonishing animals to “things that went bump in the night,” these stories reveal an intriguing and often humorous legacy of a Long Island that few today ever knew existed!
Janet Emily Demarest was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She holds an MBA from Adelphi University, and an Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing from SUNY Stony Brook. She taught Management and Organizational Behavior on the university level for over 20 years before changing her career to become a solo artist, author, and professional storyteller. In 2005, Janet became the Storyteller-in-Residence at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a 19th Century living-history museum on Long Island. Her own love of early American history prompted her concerns about how - or if - her own children were learning history in school. This led her to incorporate theater, storytelling, and audience participation into her programs to make history feel more "alive," fun to learn, and relevant to audiences of all ages. The strange and fascinating, obscure stories, ancient legends, and anecdotal lore she researched for her programs form the basis for her first book, Tales from the General Store: The Legends of Long Island.
Janet lives with her family on Long Island, and is a proud member of The Authors' Guild, the Dramatists Guild of America, and the New York Folklore Society.