Herman Lawson

About Herman

Herman Lawson is a long time storyteller in the rich tradition of East Tennessee.  After growing up as a farm boy in Appalachian East Tennessee, he went on to teach mathematics in community colleges in three states for forty years.  His growing-up experiences in secluded, poor, mountainous and beautiful Hancock County included interacting with a wide array of colorful characters who provided inspiration for his entertaining and enlightening stories.

While audiences are fascinated with Herman's growing-up in such a unique background, they are just as thrilled with his stories of going out into a wider world of different cultures while change was abounding in society.

Herman taught in "Bloody Harlan" county where coal mining and moonshining dominated, in Hampton, Virginia where military and beach culture stood out, and in Middle Tennessee with its' rolling hills and religious fundamentalism.

Herman and his storytelling wife Patsy experienced war protest, labor struggles, the civil rights struggle and fight against racism, feminism and gender role change, sexual liberation and country rock while navigating these moves.  And during all of it they lived life's constants of romance, marriage, children, family life and career.  Herman and Patsy tell tandem stories about some of these experiences.

Senior and middle age audiences particularly identify with Herman's history and like his humor and his uplifting perspectives as he recounts it.  Herman has told to many senior centers and civic clubs.  He is also available for churches, schools, businesses and non-profits.

Herman's tellings leave his audience with:
  • A sense of nostalgia about times past
  • A renewed sense of social justice
  • An appreciation of parent child connections
  • A remembrance of parents, kids, and sports
  • A rededication to love as solution for life's problems
  • A remembrance of romance
  • A sense of life's whimsy and mystery

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    Herman's Blog

    Our Great Grandfathers

    Tuesday 24th December, 2013

    Patsy’s Great Grandfather: Joseph Greene

    The Greene-Jones Feud occurred in Hancock County, Tennessee between 1880 and 1890. It was as violent as the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, just not as well known. The Greene-Jones Feud played a big role in ...

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