The audience at Snead State’s Fielder Auditorium was treated to some good, old-fashioned storytelling accompanied with Southern music that was reminiscent of Hee Haw and the Grand Ole Opry.
Snead State Community College (SSCC) teamed up with the Boaz Public Library to bring Sean Dietrich, better known as Sean of the South, to the campus for “An Evening with Sean of the South.”
“Snead State is always excited to offer opportunities for the community, and we were happy to partner with the Boaz Public Library to bring this event to Boaz,” Lindsey King, event coordinator at SSCC, said. “We appreciate everyone who joined us for, ‘An Evening with Sean of the South.’ We look forward to bringing more artists and authors to the area in the future.”
Dietrich can easily be considered a modern-day “renaissance man” since his talents include being an author, blogger, singer, musician, comedian and he even has his own podcast. To top it all off, he gives a lot of the credit of his success to his wife, Jamie.
“Jamie handles everything, without her I couldn’t do anything,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich said the title of “the adopted son of Alabama” was very fitting for him. And, since Hurricane Michael was on its way to their hometown, he and his wife brought their dogs, Otis and Thelma Lou, which they refer to as their “children,” along for the trip up to Marshall County. He said, “It’s nice, and it’s like living,” when he was asked what he thought about the Lake Guntersville Bed and Breakfast’s Hooper House. He said if he didn’t have family in the area they live in, he would love to move up to the Sand Mountain area.
Dietrich said he didn’t plan on his life being what it is today, but he appreciates every opportunity that it has afforded him.
“I have met so many people, and I really enjoy it,” Dietrich said. “I never set out to do this, but it just happened. I never saw this coming, and I’m not sure that anyone else did either. But, it’s so fun.”
Dr. Steven DiBlasi, music instructor and fine arts coordinator at SSCC, expressed the importance of storytellers and the arts when he introduced Dietrich to the stage.
“We utilize stories to connect, to illustrate, to posture, to hope, to relax, even just to feel,” DiBlasi said. “Utilization of stories for so many unique pursuits make them a valued endeavor.”
Dietrich said he is happy to take up the mantel of the storyteller, since it is something that is more important in this day and time than ever. And, because it is something that he cherishes.
“I mean, I realized getting into [speaking on stage] that the world is kind of liking storytellers,” Dietrich said. “Kids don’t get that anymore. I have taken really a lot of joy in being able to do that, because I love it.”
Dietrich said even though the road hasn’t always been easy, he tries to take the good with the bad. He explained that he tries to always make the best out of every situation, even when dealing with critics.
“A newer philosophy that I think I’m developing, is every time something kind of cruddy happens, I remind myself that something good is about to happen next,” Dietrich said. “That will kind of smudge that out, and perhaps this bad thing was meant to teach me a little something about myself. I try to tell myself that.”
“An Evening with Sean of the South” was filled with laughter and singing by not only Dietrich, but the audience as well. It was evident that everyone involved enjoyed remembering a time when things were more relaxed, a simpler time without cellphones and a time that was full of good ole southern storytelling.