Award winning journalist, Teddy Allen, entertains Chamber of Commerce Banquet attendees

It never fails that anytime two or more people congregate to talk, someone will break out with a story. It is a sure as the sun coming up in the east in the morning. Most of the time you will simply grin and act like you are listening and maybe even give a timely nod or a grin, if you like the reciter.

Telling a good story that keeps a person’s attention is an art that very few people have. Oh sure, there are many who can talk up a storm but coming across someone who is enjoyable to listen to is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. They are few and far between.

Then there is Teddy Allen, storyteller extraordinaire. If story telling is an art, he is the Michelangelo of the mouthed word.

Allen is the rare individual that while telling a story you block out everything else to pay rapt attention to. This is especially true if you have heard his recitations before as you know that either it is going to be warm and funny or will bring you back to a place that is fond and dear to your heart.

This past Thursday, the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce (JPCC) held their annual banquet at the Community Life Center of the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro. It will be a time that the members and guests in attendance will remember for a long time as Allen was the Guest Speaker.

The banquet started with a social hour and a silent auction where bids were placed on merchandise donated by local businesses and ended with the recognition of sponsors, past JPCC Presidents and current Chamber members.

JPCC President, Darrell Avery, opened the program by welcoming those who came. Reverend Wayne Morrow then gave the Invocation which was followed by JPCC Vice President, Yumeaka Washington, leading the Pledge of Allegiance and ULM student, Jonathan DeCou, providing a stirring rendition of the national anthem on his trumpet.

Attendees were then treated to the scrumptious feast catered by Linda Peevy. Allen then took center stage where over the next 30 minutes he consistently evoked good feeling and laughter while also causing his audience to reflect on their own experiences through his uniquely, talented way of describing events that took place in his life.

Allen’s ability to enrapt an audience was perfectly voiced by JPCC President Avery after the program.

“While listening to him tell one story, I found myself thinking back to a similar time with my family,” reflected the JPCC President.

Telling stories is just one of the many talents that Allen has. He is the author of three books and is the radio broadcaster for the Louisiana Tech football and baseball programs. Most think though that his best contribution to the world of communication is as a sportswriter and columnist.

He certainly has the credentials to vouch for that.

Over his 30 plus years as newspaper journalist in places such as Monroe, Shreveport and New Orleans, as well as, writing for the nationally syndicated Gannett News Company, Allen has garnered multiple Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) awards. This year Allen also earned the Distinguished Service Award by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

There needs to be a Hall of Fame for storytelling. Allen would be in the inaugural class.

Teddy Allen’s column can be found in every Wednesday’s edition of the Jackson Parish Journal.

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