I think I get some of my storytelling ability from my grandfather.
Grandpa has a lot to tell stories about though. He's lived a full, and remarkable life.
He grew up ranching with his family, and joined the Army when he was young. That got him sent to Korea, as part of the motor pool. He brought pictures of palaces supposedly off limits, memories that he doesn't like to think about, and lots of stories he's more than willing to share home.
Grandpa uses colorful phrases and old-time terminology that make his stories come more to life. I suppose I try to do some of the same thing in mine, with less of the old-time terms. Maybe when I'm telling them to my great-neices and -nephews, or my own grandchildren, I'll have that old time flavor, too.
I used to think it was kind of boring, because I didn't know what he meant all the time. As I got older and started to figure it out the stories became more interesting, until now I'll do a lot to get him started, sometimes.
I really do think I learned a lot about storytelling sitting across from that weathered, proud old man, and watching him tell of his life, his travels, and his service to his country. Probably most of what I know, as even my extensive reading hasn't made me change my mind about how a good story is told, when its coming from me at least.
And I used to think the coolest thing about Grandpa was the pool table in his basement....
So, if you haven't lately, go find someone you love, or just like, who has lived a long life, and ask them about it. The interesting parts might just surprise you.
And thanks, Grandpa. For everything.