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NSN Storyteller Profile ... Arnie Pritchard

19 Colony Road
New Haven, CT 06511

(203) 624-2520

(203) 804-4814


Email Me





Video Available for this Teller

Click here to see a story!

A few years ago I inherited the Army footlocker of my father, Tony Pritchard. It turned out to contain hundreds of letters and other documents from his service in World War II, and in the U. N.'s displaced persons program in postwar Europe.

The letters are vivid, thoughtful, and insightful. From a small selection of them I have created a story focusing on Tony's time in the front lines in Europe in 1944-45. The story portrays a young man encountering a world wider, more varied, and far more brutal than anything he had ever known. He coped with raw fear, with his role as a leader, and with doubts about himself and others. In writing home, he often struggled to convey his experiences to those who remained in the world he had lived in before Pearl Harbor. He struggled particularly with balancing his intense desire to have his parents understand what he was going through with his desire not to scare the daylights out of them.

I was drawn to this project not only for the family connection, but because much of my previous experience prepared me for it. I have been telling stories as an avocation since the mid-1990's, and before that I got a Ph.D. in history from Yale and published a book on Elizabethan England. In presenting this story I am a historian, a storyteller, and a son. It has been very interesting to try to balance the three roles.

Quotes from Listeners

"A powerful story, an empathic point of view - I really appreciated that it informed me of military operations realistically and accepted (did not deny or dramatize) the human fear, neither did it preach a specific point of view. Its honest perspective helps me have a broader understanding of what a person who does military service goes through. War is awful and to lose sight of the pride in those who serve ... your story brings out that need in a loving and human way."
- A listener from Fairfield, CT

Thanks a lot for sending me these fascinating selections from your father's letters. What a remarkable man he clearly was, in his down-to-earth way--sociable, and yet very introspective and curious, too...a gripping page-turner-... In the browsing I'd done in published editions of soldiers' letters, I'd been struck by the conflict between a desire to send reassurance and the need to share often chaotic and frightening or disturbing experiences; ...your father's letters dramatize that conflict deeply, and even comment on it themselves. - Professor Jill Campbell, Yale University

Great! ...Your story is so well developed and delivered (despite the noisy room) and was really riveting. We talked about it all the way home. Very impressive. Thanks. - Ellie Toy, Schools Program Coordinator, CT Storytelling Center.

Types of stories I tell:

Now focusing mainly on historical stories, based on my father's letters home from World War II. Also tell some folk, personal, and literary tails. Suitable for teenagers as well as adults. The age bracket question on this form only allows you to choose one age group.

I tell stories for:


I provide workshops:


I am willing to travel:


My travel requirements:

Fees are negotiable. Will generally ask for reimbursement of travel expenses beyond 75 miles from home.

School Districts I am cleared to work in:

I am willing to mentor:


Organizations I belong to:

National Storytelling Network, League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, CT Storytelling Center