Hawkeye Richardson begins telling a story about a prehistoric shark from 20 million years ago. He explains that this shark, when it was alive, was the size of a semi tractor-trailer measuring in around 50 feet long and weighing 50,000 pounds. From a felt pouch, he slid out a palm-sized fossilized tooth belonging to one of those sharks, which was available to be held and touched.
“As you think about this semi tractor-trailer truck out there and he had 350 of those in his mouth, you would have been a bite, not a meal, simply a little hors d’oeuvre on the side,” Richardson explained. “You’re subconscious mind goes into a very different mode of learning. You are now using all five of your senses to learn.”
This form of learning, with using literally a hands-on approach, is what Richardson believes is lacking in today’s society as he works to show people how they can teach others using this method.
Richardson’s formal career and background deals with marketing, marketing advertisement and management consulting in some form or another.
Through various job changes and schooling within his family, Richardson ended up in Oro Valley in 2003.
“About a year and a half ago, I came to the realization that a lot of the things that I had done and were doing, we could kind of put around the concept of story telling in various forms.”
All of these forms range from teaching people how to tell the story of their business through advertising or being able to manage ones staff by being able to communicate better with their employees.
This realization came from both Richardson’s wife explaining how her acupuncture patients didn’t have anyone to talk to and how he saw people walking through local shopping centers with their faces buried in their cellphones.
“We felt that we were kind of getting away from the ability to have a good face-to-face conversation. We have a lot of electronics, we don’t have places to meet, and it’s hard for people.
“We thought we could help people by helping people to learn how to do storytelling again.”
Those storytelling techniques and abilities could span the uses from educational to informational, and as a communications technique being used for entertainment.
From there, the non-profit organization Tell Me a Good Story began to form. They now offer two-hour classes and presentations for adults, kids and businesses where they teach people how to use storytelling with face-to-face interactions.
“We want to encourage more quality face-to-face communication,” he said.
He aims for those conversations to be made with intention to learn, communicate and better understand one and other.
To help support the organization, aside from taking donations, Richardson accepts old, unique and rare books, which he sells from his bookstore. The books usually come with a little background about the book itself – sometimes with a little background on who owned the book, where it came from, where is has been. If they can, they also include information about the printing dates and whether it is an original printing or not.
These books are also sold at Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance events and book fairs, such as one that will be held at The Foothills Mall on May 25, 26 and 26 where more than 500 books will be on sale.
The books Richardson can’t sell, he donates to schools, families, military and veterans.
For more information, visit www.TellMeAGoodStory.org or by calling Richardson at 975-2904.