Who is Pennsylvania Jack?
Jack Graham is the son of a son and daughter of pioneers. Great-grandson of immigrant steel-workers and grandson of a veteran of the Boer War, he was raised in the hardscrabble suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. Jack graduated from Crafton High School, and soon thereafter from the Penn State University School of Forestry. After an adventure in Thailand with the US Army Corps of Engineers, he married a girl from New Jersey and had two children. Jack has served as the manager of several Pennsylvania State Parks, including Yellow Creek, Ridley Creek and Nockamixon. He has had a long and enjoyable career in the woods and wild places of Pennsylvania, out there where the wild things grow–places which are perhaps the inspiration for some of the tales he tells.
Where has Pennsylvania Jack told stories before?
Jack has performed at events at the State Museum in Harrisburg, Historic Bartram’s Gardens, The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, Fort Freeland, the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild, heritage festivals at many state parks and historic sites, local coffeehouse events, and for sportsmen’s clubs, civic clubs, historical societies, churches, senior centers, middle schools and high schools.
Are Jack’s stories for children or for adults?
The answer is definitely “Yes!” to both. Jack believes that a good story is for those who are still young at heart, rather than specifically for kids. His stories are definitely G rated. (Actually they are F rated, for FUN.)
What kind of stories does Jack tell?
He has a specialty: the passed-down-from-the-old-days American folk tales of Pennsylvania and the eastern mountains. These are tales of the American Revolution, of Mike Fink and Davy Crockett and the Jack Tales of the early mountain settlers. Or he can tell some of his own tales, or tales he makes up on the spot just for you. He will let you help make up stories, too! Let Jack know what your interests are.
Is there a fee?
The answer is usually Yes, but it is very reasonable and very negotiable. Your group most likely can afford Pennsylvania Jack.
How long are the offered programs?
Standard programs run 45-minutes to an hour, but this too is negotiable.
How can I find out more?
For starters, you can look around this website to read some of Jack’s tales. Then, contact him using the contact form.
Do you offer any lighthouse-related programming?
Yes! Jack and Tobi now offer ‘illustrated’ lectures on our lighthouse journey–part “lighthouse history and operation,” part “travelogue.” This may be just the educational and entertaining program that your group has been looking for. Contact us via this website.