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Benefit for Ted Hicks – Son of Esteemed Storyteller Ray Hicks – at Matney Community Center Sat., April 21

Ted Hicks would be best described as a "jack of all trades." He is a carpenter, a mechanic, farmer, and storyteller. Hicks is also one of the few people left who gather herbs such as galax, ginseng, log moss and witch hazel bark. - Photo by Joe Young (1998)

By Jesse Wood

(Photos by Joe Young Photography)

April 9, 2012. A concert benefit for Ted Hicks, son of the esteemed Appalachian storyteller, Ray Hicks, and a fine storyteller in his own right, will be held at the Matney Community Center on Saturday, April 21, at 2:00 p.m.

Performers include master Appalachian storyteller – and protégé of his cousin Ray Hicks – Orville Hicks, the musician and storyteller Glen Bolick, and musicians The Sheets Family Band, Amy Michaels, Brian Yerman, Charlie Glenn, and an acoustic trio comprised of Nathan Harris, Edward Wilke and Jesse Wood. Admission is $5, and other donations are welcome. The purpose of the benefit is to raise money for a driveway to Ted Hicks’ home.

Ted and his mother Rosa Hicks - Photo by Joe Young

Hicks, who is in his mid ‘50s, has been on dialysis in the nursing home for the past two  years. Sometime back while on dialysis, Hicks fell and broke his leg. His leg never healed properly, and he has to use a wheelchair, which right now makes it impossible for Hicks to visit his home.

“Only way to get [to his home] is by walking down a long hill. There is no driveway,” said Doyle Pace, organizer of the event and longtime friend of Hicks. “We want to get a driveway, so he can visit home. He could live in the nursing home all day long, but he can’t get to the house, so he can go home and see his mother.”

Rosa, 81, who is Ted’s mother and the late Ray’s wife, still lives in their home on what is called the backside of Beech Mountain. She is also having some health issues but otherwise is independent and able to take care of herself and her home.

Pace said the driveway is estimated to cost around $2,000, and he added that so far several hundred dollars have been raised by a storytelling circle in Asheville. In fact, on May 5, friends of the Hicks’ family from that storytelling circle are putting on a benefit storytelling performance in downtown Asheville, where among others, Ted Hicks will spin some tales.

The Hicks, from left, Orville, Ted, Leonard, and Ray, play the card game Setback at Ray's home at Beech Mountain. Photo by Joe Young (1999)

Pace said that Ted is a fine storyteller, and that he has an audience of eager listeners at the Life Care Center of Banner Elk.

“He tells story himself actually. Of course not to the extent that Ray did,” Pace said. “But he’s carrying on the tradition of telling Jack Tales.”

If you can’t make it to the benefit concert but would still like to make a donation to the cause, make checks payable to the Ray and Rosa Hicks Fund c/o Connie Regan-Blake, P.O. Box 2898, Asheville, NC 28802.

For more information about the Hicks’ family, click to www.rayhicks.com, and for more information about the upcoming benefit performance at the Matney Community Center, which is located on N.C. 194 in Matney, call Doyle Pace at 828-264-9058 or email him at bmonkus.pace@gmail.com.

View some videos of the late Ray Hicks and a few of the performers who will perform at the benefit: