Tina Tomiyama

Tina Tomiyama

StoryMasters started out in a Chinese restaurant in Culver City with a rarely-used banquet room. But the restaurant gained popularity and sometimes we got there only to find out that the banquet room was in use. We tried other restaurants and community centers. Ouch! Expensive. We were running out of options.

“Why don’t we meet in someone’s home?” asked Jeni Stewart. “We could take turns, like a book club.”

I wasn’t sure if folks would want to meet in my home. It’s 90 years old, after all, tucked back into the hills of View Park, really hard to find. But there’s plenty of street parking and we wouldn’t have to rent a meeting place.

“We can try it for a few months,” I said.

That was six years ago. Now, when guests come to meetings, they say things like,

“Oh, this is a perfect place for a storytelling club! Paintings, a fireplace, comfortable cushions and natural light . . .”

And we say,

“Help yourself to some coffee or tea! Would you rather sit at the big table or do you prefer the couch?”

We don’t need to search any more. I’m so happy — District 1’s only advanced storytelling club meets right here in my living room.

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