It Should Be No Contest
by Henry Swain
A model A Ford roadster pulled into our driveway and parked. A man closed the door, approached our tent to announce that he was Frank Hohenberger. He had heard of a young couple on a road off Clay Lick who were living in a tent while building a house. He wanted to find out what brought us to Brown County during the summer of l948, since many young people were leaving the county to find work.
Although we had never met Frank, we were familiar with his Brown County photographs, and had purchased some of his snow scenes for Christmas cards.
In our conversation we told him that there was a corner section of a log cabin on the site, which we had moved aside to start our house. He said our farm was known as the “Bill Lyons place” and that he had once taken a photograph of the cabin whose remains we had cleared. He returned the next day with a photograph of the one room cabin.
This year the county celebrates the 100th anniversary of Kin Hubbard’s character Abe Martin. One day I happened upon the familiar picture of Hohenberger’s photo titled The Liar’s Bench, which created for me a ‘eureka moment.’ Abe would have been very much at ease on the Liar’s Bench as well as a competitive contributor.
Why not have a liar’s contest right here in Brown County? From that initial thought has come “The Brown County Tall Tale Tell-off ” to be held in Nashville June 19, 2004. The Brown County Chamber of Commerce and the Writer’s, Readers, and Poets Society (WRAPS) are sponsoring the contest.
The purpose of the event is designed to honor not just the liars on The Liar’s Bench and Abe Martin, but to reward contemporary storytellers who stretch the truth in creative and entertaining ways.
Five selected entrants will share the $1000 prize money. They will narrate their tall tales in a public forum where a panel of judges will select the winner. The winner will be declared “The world’s greatest tall taleteller for 2004.” A $5.00 entry donation for each submission will help defray the event’s expenses.
The contest is open to all benign liars except members and immediate family members of the Chamber and WRAPS organizations. Additional information and entry form may be obtained at the Brown County Chamber office 37 W. Main, P.O. Box 164, Nashville, Indiana 47448 or at <www.browncounty.org/talltales>. Entries must be received by May 10, 2004. With your participation we hope this unusual and entertaining event can become an annual one. You have a little over two months to create your winning tall tale. The odds of your winning beat your odds on a $5.00 lottery ticket.