Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
A Perfect Arc
by Laura Davies Foley
I remember the first time he dove.
He was five and we were at a swimming pool
and I said: you tip your head down as you are going in,
while your feet go up.
And then his lithe little body did it exactly right,
a perfect dive, sliding downward, arcing without a wave,
and I just stood
amazed and without words
as his blond head came up again
I watched him for the longest time as he walked
firm and upright along the street,
with backpack, guitar, all he needs,
blossoming outward in a perfect arc,
a graceful turning
away from me.
“A Perfect Arc” by Laura Davies Foley from Syringa. © StarMeadow Press, 2007. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
On this day in 1972, Marianne Moore (books by this author), poet, critic and editor died at the age of 85. She was born in Kirkwood, Missouri where her maternal grandfather was a Presbyterian pastor. Her parents separated before her birth. She never met her father, an engineer and inventor, who’d had psychotic episodes.
After her 1910 graduation from Bryn Mawr College, where she’d begun to write poems and essays, Moore taught business subjects at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Then she moved to New York’s Greenwich Village, where she wrote innovative poems, worked as a part-time librarian, and in 1926 began editing The Dial magazine, a literary and cultural journal. Moore continued to publish poems in various magazines, as well as publishing books and collections of her poetry and criticism. She won honors and awards and was widely recognized around town for her tricorn hat and black cape. She liked athletics and was a great admirer of Muhammad Ali, for whose spoken-word album I Am the Greatest! she wrote the liner notes. She was a baseball fan, first of the Brooklyn Dodgers and then of the New York Yankees. She threw out the ball to open the season at Yankee Stadium in 1968.
Moore never married. In 1955, Moore was invited informally by Ford Motor Company to suggest a name for their “E-car” project. She offered a list of names including “Resilient Bullet,” “Ford Silver Sword,” “Mongoose Civique,” “Varsity Stroke,” “Pastelogram,” “Andante con Moto,” and her last and most famous name, “Utopian Turtletop.” The E-car was christened by Ford as the Edsel.
It’s the birthday of William S. Burroughs (books by this author), born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1914. At 30 years old, he moved to New York City and got involved in a bohemian scene. It was there that he was introduced to two younger men, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He’s best known for Naked Lunch (1959), which Jack Kerouac helped him edit.
It’s the birthday of cartoonist John Callahan, (books by this author) born in Portland, Oregon (1951). When he was an infant, a couple named Callahan adopted him from a Portland orphanage. When he was 21 he got drunk and accepted a ride from an equally drunk acquaintance, who crashed the car into a telephone pole going 90 miles per hour. Callahan’s spine was severed and he became a quadriplegic.
He was doodling during English classes at Portland State University, and he realized that he had a talent for cartooning. Callahan was an extremely controversial cartoonist; the newspapers and magazines that published his work received constant letters from offended readers. Callahan targeted everyone, including disabled people, and many readers didn’t realize that he himself was quadriplegic.
He drew a cartoon of an exercise class for quadriplegics with the aerobics instructor saying: “O.K., let’s get those eyeballs moving.” Another, titled “A.A. in L.A.” shows a man standing up and saying: “My name is Mort and I represent Chuck who’s an alcoholic.”
He said: “My only compass for whether I’ve gone too far is the reaction I get from people in wheelchairs, or with hooks for hands. Like me, they are fed up with people who presume to speak for the disabled. All the pity and the patronizing. That’s what is truly detestable.”
It’s the birthday of writer and director Christopher Guest, born in New York City in 1948. He worked for National Lampoon’s “Lemmings” and Saturday Night Live. Then he landed a part in Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap (1984), which follows the tour of a fake heavy metal band. Christopher Guest was one of the stars, and he helped with the music and dialogue, most of which is improvised.
After that, Guest began directing, writing, and acting in his own mockumentaries, including Best In Show (2000), about competitive dog shows; A Mighty Wind (2003), about aging folk singers who come together for a reunion concert; and For Your Consideration (2006), about actors who become obsessed with the buzz surrounding their potentially award-winning performances; and Mascots (2016), about sports mascots competing for the World Mascot Assassination “Gold Fluffy Award.” This most recent mockumentary premiered on Netflix.
He said, “It’s obviously inherently funnier to have in a comedy someone who isn’t doing something very well.”
Guest is married to the actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis, and they have two adopted children together.
It’s the birthday of the playwright John Guare, (books by this author) born in New York City in 1938. He’s best known for his play Six Degrees of Separation (1991), which is based on a news story that Guare read about a teenage hustler who pretended to be Sidney Poitier’s son and conned his way into the homes of wealthy New Yorkers.
It is the birthday of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter, born 1915 in New York City and best known for his research on the nucleus of the atom.
Hofstadter went on to measure the precise size and shape of the proton and neutron, the particles of the nucleus, winning the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1961.
On this date in 1936, Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times opened in New York City. It was the last film in which his beloved and iconic character “the Little Tramp” appeared, and it was the only film to include Chaplin’s voice.
He describes how he got the idea for the film: “I was riding in my car one day and saw a mass of people coming out of a factory, punching time clocks, and was overwhelmed with the knowledge that the theme note of modern times is mass production. I wondered what would happen to the progress of the mechanical age if one person decided to act like a bull in a china shop.”