On a clear and moonlit night in downtown San Bruno, the usual breeze was nowhere to be found, leaving the atmosphere unusually warm and pleasant. The beautiful evening sky augured something magical. On San Mateo Avenue, a few pedestrians ambled about, scouting for tasty meal options. Shining like a jewel on the southern end of the street was Sweet Connections, a brightly lit ice cream shop radiating with warmth of a freshly baked pie. If you were in the mood for tangy yogurt or decadent sundae, Sweet Connections was the place to be. But greater treasures still could be found within.
Far back in the party room at the rear of the shop, Peninsula Toastmasters gathered. The Word of the Day for the meeting was “oxymoron”. Indeed, on this night, we were as strangers who knew each other well. As our faux teacup lights flicked dimly with electric light that gave no heat, we were warmed. Though we were smushed together like giant gummy bears, no one seemed to mind. Instead of claustrophobia, there was only nostalgia. On Peninsula’s first ever Story Night, anticipation hung in the air like the morning fog.
The meeting was filled with familar faces. Jaime E. and Jill C. returned to the club like long-lost, prodigal children. There were new faces too. Four guests made their first appearance at a Peninsula Toastmasters meeting. After the Joke of the Day and the Word of the Day, Arnold delivered a speech titled “Say It Like Obama.” And then, it was story time.
Scott bravely led off with a recount of a hilarious prank of how he fooled his coworker into thinking he had been laid off. We marveled at Scott’s cruel sense of humor. It was fortunate Scott lived to tell his tale, “When Practical Joke Goes Wrong” with all his members intact.
Ed followed with a classic camping story about an “Unexpected Journey”. How unexpected? How about an 11-mile hike? It had all the elements of a great survival story, poor planning, starvation, and blisters. To this day, Ed has never hiked again.
Jaime took us on an emotional turn with a touching story about how precious life truly is. He recounted the story of his mother and her battle with lung cancer. She lived and died beautifully. Even to this day, through the story of “Life is Precious”, she enriches lives of people she had never even met.
Arnold made full use of his time by weaving his entire childhood together in an 8-minute tale, most of which blurred together like a drunken poet on LSD. If you missed his story of self-discovery about a young boy’s secret adulation of the female form, suffice it to say you missed the most scandalous story ever delivered in the club.
Timothy brought the baton home with a story about how life perseveres even in the most unimaginable adversity. The enrapt audience sat in stony silence as he delivered an astonishing story, “12 Hours“, about the real-life drama of how a newborn baby was found alive after being mistakenly placed into an icy coffin for 12-hours. Truly, Hope does not disappoint us (Ro 5:5).
Like Love, a great Story is meant to be shared. We hope that some of those who attended will one day retell Story Night as a great story in their own speech or story. We thank all the members and guests who made Peninsula’s inaugural Story Night such a special evening. We also recognize Timothy for doing a masterful job as Toastmaster of the inaugural Story Night at Peninsula Toastmasters.
Please join us again at the next meeting!