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.
In A Time of Economic Downturn, I Gaze Up at the Sky
by Michael Blumenthal
The sun came up this morning, just
as I knew it would. My morning coffee
tasted exactly like yesterday’s: a tad bitter,
but nonetheless revivifying. The faces
of our dead Presidents on Mount Rushmore,
are still there, speaking of their trials
and tribulations from their scenic outlook
of granite. Tonight, when I get home from work,
my lover will make her way downstairs,
wearing my favorite underwear. We’ll lie
in bed, pretending to watch a movie, both
knowing what we really want. The Dow,
no doubt, will continue its slide, just as the moon,
that lozenge of indifference, will continue
on its path downward among the clouds. All of us––
sun, moon, coffee, clouds––might feel a twinge
of guilt: such indifference to profit and loss!
Yet, all over the world, tiny birds with broken wings
and injuries of all sorts are making their way
back to their nests, even the waterlogged anhinga
is drying its wings in the sun. It’s good to know
so much keeps going on, despite everything.
Come closer, sweetheart, let’s put the film on pause,
let’s profit from whatever we’ve got––before
the closing bell, before the riffraff of recovery
finds us and brings us down again.
Michael Blumenthal, “In a Time of Economic Downturn, I Gaze Up at the Sky” from No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Blumenthal. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Etruscan Press, www.etruscanpress.org. (buy now)
It was on this day in 1870 that the U.S. National Weather Service was established.
At first it was called the Weather Bureau and it was part of the War Department because, it was said, “military discipline would probably secure the greatest promptness, regularity, and accuracy in the required observations.” It became a civilian agency 20 years later, under the Department of Agriculture, and then was switched to the Commerce Department in 1940. These days, the National Weather Service is based out of Silver Spring, Maryland. It plays a very big role in making sure that American air travel is safe, providing up-to-minute weather updates to air traffic controller centers across the nation.
On this day in 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, as teenage girls screamed hysterically in the audience and 73 million people watched from home — a record for American television at the time. Their appearance on the show is considered the beginning of the “British Invasion” of music in the United States. The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show the following two Sundays in a row, as well. On this first time, exactly 47 years ago today, they sang “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and finally “I Want to Hold Your Hand” — which had just hit No. 1 on the charts.
It is the birthday of Bill Veeck (books by this author) (1914), who owned major league baseball teams and was the author of three books including Veeck as in Wreck. Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox. As owner and team president of the Indians in 1947, Veeck signed Negro League player, Larry Doby, thus beginning the integration of the American League. He later supported the players in their effort to gain free agency.
Veeck was the last owner to purchase a baseball franchise without an independent fortune and is responsible for many innovations and contributions to baseball, including the planting of the ivy on Wrigley Field’s walls.
It’s the birthday of theoretical physicist Brian Greene, (books by this author) born in New York City (1963), the son of a vaudeville performer. He’s best known for his work on string theory, sometimes called a step on the road to the “theory of everything” — all of the particles and basic forces of nature. He’s a professor at Columbia and has tried to explain theoretical physics to the general public in number of books, including The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory (1999), The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (2005), Icarus at the Edge of Time (2008), and The Hidden Reality (2011), a book about parallel universes and the deep laws of the cosmos.
Dolomedes briangreenei, an Australian spider that uses waves to hunt prey, was named after Greene in March 2015.
On this date in 1943, the Battle of Guadalcanal ended. Code-named “Operation Watchtower,” the battle marked a turning point in the Pacific theater. The United States had already won important battles at Coral Sea and Midway, but they had been on the defensive since the attack on Pearl Harbor; the Guadalcanal Campaign was the Allied Forces’ first major offensive against the Japanese.
Guadalcanal lies in the Solomon Islands. Ninety miles long and averaging 25 miles wide, the island is made up of dormant volcanoes, thick rainforest, and steep ravines. Japanese troops had landed on the little South Pacific island in June 1942, intending to build an airfield and, from there, launch long-range bombers that would disrupt the supply and communication routes from the United States to New Zealand and Australia.
The American troops were eager and enthusiastic, but inexperienced. Their enemy soon figured out that they were uncomfortable with night operations, so the Japanese planned attacks and major troop movements for the midnight hours. In addition to their human enemies, both the Allied and Japanese forces struggled with swarms of mosquitoes, tropical diseases, and an oppressively hot and humid climate. Disease carried off more American troops than the Japanese did in the first few months of the campaign. For every soldier that fell in battle, five fell to malaria or dysentery. The Japanese also suffered from malnutrition, many of them forced to live on coconuts alone.
By December, Japanese commanders were beginning to talk about withdrawing from the Solomon Islands. After six months, three major land battles, seven naval battles, and nearly continuous air battles, the Japanese began to evacuate their troops in the early morning hours of February 7. On February 9, the United States declared victory. Japan lost 25,000 experienced ground troops, compared with 6,300 U.S. Marines. Both sides lost many ships, but the Allies were in a better position to replace them than the Japanese were. Japan also lost most of its elite naval aviators. Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi, a commander in the Imperial Japanese Army, later said: “Guadalcanal is no longer merely a name of an island in Japanese military history. It is the name of the graveyard of the Japanese army.”
He spent most of the 1940s in prison. First he was thrown in jail for carrying a suitcase full of homemade explosives through the streets of Liverpool. After he got out, he was arrested for the attempted murder of two policemen. It was during his second stay in prison that he began to write. He wrote his first play, “The Quare Fellow” (1956), about the execution of a convict in a Dublin prison. When he got out of prison, it became a big hit in London and then New York. He followed that up with the novel Borstal Boy (1958) and The Hostage (1958), in which he wrote:
“Never throw stones at your mother,
You’ll be sorry for it when she’s dead,
Never throw stones at your mother,
Throw bricks at your father instead.”