November 3, 2018
Garrison Keillor performs with duet partner Lynne Peterson and longtime collaborator & pianist Richard Dworsky.
5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
A live performance at the Brady Theater
Long Beach, CA
A live performance at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center
A live performance at the Saenger Theatre
A live performance at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
It’s spring in Minnesota finally. My lawn is greenish, birds sing in the morning, we go walking in a sweater, no gloves. There is still ice on the lakes, but if you don’t look at them, you don’t notice. Life is good. This is not pointed out often enough, the goodness of life, because journalists know that Pulitzer Prizes are awarded for exposing corruption and sending the mayor to jail for skimming money off the School Milk Fund so the kiddos get 2% rather than whole milk, it’s not given for writing about a walk in the park on a sunny day. Nonetheless, we do have parks and the sun does shine.
Yes, the E. coli contamination of romaine lettuce is of concern, but I’ve simply substituted caramel sundaes for salads and feel fine. The odd geyser activity at Yellowstone makes us wonder about the enormous active volcano sitting under the park and waiting to explode, one more reason not to move to Wyoming or Montana. Ditto the news about deadly caterpillars of the asp variety that, if one dropped out of a tree and landed on you, your walk in the park might wind up to be your last. Not a problem for us in northern states.
Gratitude, my dears, is a worthy subject for a columnist. Gratitude that you and I didn’t have to sit through that White House Correspondents’ Dinner and hear that ugly broad with the bad hair tell jokes that were funny in the same way food poisoning is funny. Grateful that we don’t work for TSA and spend eight hours a day telling people to take their laptops out of their bags. Grateful not to have been a fan of the Cosby show.
I am a grateful man. It helps to be old. When I was your age, I was full of anguish, thinking that bitterness was a sign of intelligence and sensitivity. Now I know different. I walk into a men’s room and use the urinal and step back and it automatically flushes. This makes me inexplicably happy. I walk around with a box in my pocket the size of half a slice of bread and it beeps and on the screen is a message from my daughter, “I love you, Daddy. You’re the best.” We didn’t have this back in the Sixties. Instead, there was anger and unrest, people marching with posters. Nobody back then walked around with a poster that said, “I love you, Daddy.” We still have posters, if we need them, but we also can love our fathers.
I drive and a woman whom I’m not married to tells me to turn right and continue for a half-mile and so the woman I love doesn’t have to irritate me, we can simply converse about the goodness of life.
People complain about big government but it was B.G. that gave us GPS. It wasn’t the Baptist church or Kiwanis. And the highway and the Internet and blood thinners. I take a blood thinner twice a day and that is why I am less liable to walk into a restaurant and collapse with a transient ischemic attack and fall onto your table and send your glass of Pinot Noir and platter of steamed mussels crashing to the floor, for which (though you’re not aware of it) you are very grateful. I weigh 230 pounds. If I crash, I create collateral damage. A tiny pink pill much reduces the likelihood.
Medicine in my childhood was very crude; you went to the doctor and he reached for the leeches. There were not many good doctors then because it took seven years to become an M.D. and life expectancy was only 34, and why learn how to make people well when you only have a few remaining years yourself?
It’s a world of progress, and my only complaint is the proliferation of passwords and PIN numbers required now so I keep having to click on Forgot password? And they give me a new one, A1O2q64bz, which I soon forget and have to get another, P381j77rt. Someday a password will be required to use a urinal, but until then, life is good. Stay off the lettuce, avoid Wyoming, don’t walk under trees, and if you’re invited to a big black-tie dinner in a ballroom in a Washington hotel, simply don’t go. Stay home and Google the words “Praise the Lord and forget not all His benefits” and you’ll get Psalm 103. Read it and feel better.