April 27, 2019
Garrison Keillor celebrates National Poetry Month with poems & song at a benefit for Performing Arts of Woodstock.
CROONERS SUPPER CLUB
April 14, 2019
At 76 years old, Garrison Keillor makes his solo nightclub debut! 5:00 p.m.
March 28, 2019
Garrison Keillor heads to Steele County for a solo performance to benefit the Historical Society. 7:30 p.m.
February 24, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at Crooners. Shows at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Fergus Falls, MN
February 23, 2019
“Old Friends” Garrison Keillor, Christine DiGiallonardo, Richard Dworsky reunite at A Center for the Arts. 7:30 p.m.
Lines Written in Early Spring
by William Wordsworth
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
“Lines Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth. Public domain. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of “Lady Day,” jazz singer Billie Holiday, born Eleanora Fagan in Baltimore (1915). The facts of her life are fuzzy because she exaggerated or just made up much of her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues (1956). But there’s no doubt that she had a difficult childhood. Her father left and soon her mother did too, to work as a maid, and left her daughter in the care of relatives. She left school after fifth grade and went to work, and she ended up in Harlem. She worked for a brothel and was arrested for prostitution, went to jail, got work waiting tables and sometimes singing as well. When she was 20 years old, she filled in for a better-known performer, and the jazz writer and producer John Hammond heard her. He announced that she was the best singer he had ever heard, and that helped to launch her career. She became famous for her bluesy, intimate versions of jazz songs, and she wrote some of her own, including “God Bless the Child” and “Lady Sings the Blues.”
It’s the birthday of poet William Wordsworth, (books by this author) born in Cockermouth, England (1770). His mother died when he was eight, and he went off to school at Hawkshead in the heart of the Lake District. He read some outside of school, but more than reading he liked to wander around the countryside, go walking or riding. When he was 13, his father died, and he was separated from his four siblings, including his beloved Dorothy, his younger sister. But he continued at school, went on to Cambridge, and in 1787 he published his first poem, “Sonnet on Seeing Miss Helen Maria Williams Weep at a Tale of Distress,” in European Magazine. It begins:
She wept. — Life’s purple tide began to flow
In languid streams through every thrilling vein;
Dim were my swimming eyes — my pulse beat slow,
And my full heart was swell’d to dear delicious pain.
And then, during the summer vacation of 1790, he went on a trip that changed his life, a walking tour through France and Switzerland with a friend from school, Robert Jones. They arrived in France as it was celebrating the Revolution, so for a while Wordsworth was completely absorbed in politics and social issues, but then they continued on to the Alps, where he was overwhelmed by the sublime presence of nature, without any human presence at all. He and his friend got separated from the rest of the group and had to guess at which paths to take, and eventually they realized that the moment they had been waiting for with so much anticipation — cresting and crossing the Alps — they had already done without noticing. And then he wrote about hiking in the Alps, and the disappointment of crossing them without knowing, but he wrote that it taught him:
Our destiny, our nature, and our home,
Is with infinitude — and only there;
With hope it is, hope that can never die,
Effort, and expectation, and desire,
And something evermore about to be.
He wrote about nature and the imagination in poems like “Tintern Abbey” and “The World is Too Much with Us.”
It is the birthday of Marjory Stoneman Douglas (books by this author), the American conservationist and writer who told the world about the Florida Everglades. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1890). Her parents divorced and she grew up in Massachusetts with her mother’s family.
She graduated from Wellesley College as Class Orator, and soon afterward, her mother died. She drifted around the country working department store jobs, failed at marriage, and eventually reunited with her father who was editor of The Miami Herald. There she became what she wanted to be: a writer. She produced novels, books of short stories, plays, poems, hundreds of articles, and she won an O. Henry Award.
She is most remembered for her book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), published the same year that Everglades National Park was dedicated. In the book, she dispels the myth that the Everglades is a swamp, describing it as a broad shallow waterway that sustains several species, many endangered. She also described the people, politics, and money surrounding Florida’s population explosion, which helped pass legislation to protect the Glades. It also helped her start the organization Friends of the Everglades.
When she was 103, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. When she died five years later, her ashes were spread over the Everglades.
On this day in 1969, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material. Exactly 21 years later, a display of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs opened at Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, causing the Center and its director to be indicted on obscenity charges.
It was the first time a gallery faced prosecution for the content of the work it displayed, and it meant that the Center could be fined $10,000, and its director jailed for a year.
A jury acquitted both a few months later. By that time, the exhibition had drawn bigger crowds than for any other in the city’s history. More than 81,000 people came to see Mr. Mapplethorpe’s photos in Cincinnati before the exhibition went on to Boston.