This week, the storytelling community lost one of its most beloved storytellers, Syd Lieberman. Corinne Stavish has written a beautiful tribute about Syd. Their friendship goes back to the days when they studied together and launched their storytelling lives. Thank you, Corinne, for expressing the feelings and admiration for Syd that so many of us have in our hearts:
In Yiddish, "lieb" means love, and, true to his name, Syd Lieberman embodied that word. It was his currency as a storyteller, teacher, husband, parent, grandfather, friend, and human being. Syd was a man of love. From the moment he entered the storytelling world, he warmed our hearts, lifted our spirits, and expanded our humanity. Whether he swaggered in his “Italian T-shirt,” or became his daughter’s hero by driving impossible distances to rescue her bunny, or battled the Long Island Expressway to get furniture for his son, we knew he would triumph. He had to—he was our hero as well.
Syd taught us all, our own community of “Irregulars,” that our foibles make us more human as well as more humane. He showed us that magic and miracle were in the small, everyday events, the “gold we need to mine.” It was the commonality of his stories that reached us, that made us look for what was better in ourselves, because Syd showcased it. He understood that stories have no boundaries; hence, he could take us to Mars or back to our revolutionary roots. Syd has no boundaries either; therefore, he is forever with us, in our hearts…or maybe, just maybe, in a high corner of the Library Tent in Jonesborough during festival time…listening, laughing, and always loving. What a loss!