Caution: Audience Members Seated in the Front Row Run the Risk of Imminent Matrimony

Guest post by the Cape Girardeau Convention & Visitors Bureau

When Tamara Deicken walked down the aisle and took her seat front and center at the Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival in April of 2010 to watch Kevin Kling perform, she had no way of knowing just how far down the aisle that performance would take her.

“At the time of that storytelling festival, I had been estranged from my partner of 12 years, due to my choosing and confusion about what life should be like. I invited my sister to attend the festival with me and one of the tellers we chose to hear was Kevin Kling. We heard stories centered on childhood antics with his brother that amused and entertained us. His last story he had not planned to tell, but he said that he felt moved to share it. Divine intervention?”

Tamara goes on to say, “He told of this fateful motorcycle accident as a teenager, whereby he lost the use of his arm and hung in a precarious, near-death like state in a hospital. He told of a voice from beyond that told him he could go back, but there would be serious consequences. He ended the heart-wrenching story by saying that the thing he learned through all of the trauma was that life is not worth much unless you have someone that loves you and that you love back.”

“Those words were an arrow to my heart, spoken just for me, I was sure,” Tamara says.” I knew I was going to call Mike, my partner of 12 years that I had recently separated from, as soon as I got home. I made my way out of the tent and ended up face to face with Kevin as he was about to leave. I told him that he represented everything I loved about storytelling – the bonding of humankind and all that they endure along life’s journey. I said to him, ‘I just hope I wasn’t the only one in there crying.’ He said, ‘I was right there crying with you.'”

Hours later, Tamara returned to her home in Indiana. She immediately “called the one that loved me more than anything and said, ‘I just got back from a storytelling festival, and there was this wonderful teller and his story…and well, I’ll explain later. I just called to say I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Months later, Tamara is married and happy as can be, and the rest is history! Tamara will always have the fondest of memories of the storytelling festival in Cape Girardeau, Mo. She said that “I’ll always be grateful to Kevin Kling for helping me to appreciate life’s fragility, imperfections, and glorious reward for giving and receiving love.”

Do take note: The aisle to the front seat might just take you down a bit of a different path. If you see Tamara ask her if she understands. She’ll likely just smile and say “I do”!

The amazing marital machine, Kevin Kling, as well as 5 time champion of the West Virginia Liars Contest, Bil Lepp, performed live at “An Afternoon and Evening of Humorous Storytelling: Where the River Turns a Thousand Hilarious Tales” on Friday, Jan. 20, at Rose Theater, located on Southeast Missouri State University’s main campus. This was the first time the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau had put on a Humorous Storytelling event. Mark your calendars for the Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival April 13-15, and stay tuned to for more details.

P.S. Tamara and Kevin did get a chance to meet after the show, and there were hugs all around!