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+
Poking Stuff with Sticks
by David Kirby
It’s what I did between six and fourteen. Sure, school
figured in somewhere, and I read a lot, mainly at night,
but girls hadn’t arrived on the scene, and I wasn’t that great
at sports or music, so I’d go out into the woods and poke stuff,
sometimes in the company of other boys, most often by myself.
I don’t remember the stuff or the sticks, but I do remember
the poking, and the poker, which was me. Someone said
the separation between the hand and the hammer disappears
in the act of hammering. Also between the hammer and the nail,
also between the hammer and the thumb of your other hand
when you miss the nail and hit your thumb instead.
But I didn’t think about that then. I was like both the Irish monk
who wrote the poem about his cat and the cat as well,
the one trying to trap the best words, the other, mice.
“In our arts we find our bliss,” says the monk, “I have mine
and he has his.” Neither art is easy. Someone else
said that whereas a good poet sees the difficulty in the poem,
a great poet makes the difficulty part of the poem.
I think that was Paul Valéry; he seems to have said every smart
thing that wasn’t said by someone else. I opened the door
just now, and it wasn’t my yard at all but the woods
I played in as a boy. So much stuff out there, just waiting.
“Poking Stuff with Sticks” by David Kirby from More Than This. Louisiana State University Press © 2019. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
On this day in 1980, the NASA space probe Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Saturn, 40,000 miles from the top of the gas giant’s cloud layer. It gave scientists their best opportunity to study the planet’s most famous feature: its spectacular rings. Voyager 1‘s images reveal seven main rings, each named with a letter of the alphabet and made up of thousands of strands held in formation by the gravitational pull of the planet and its dozens of moons. The rings are made of ice particles — some as big as a car — and bits of debris from broken up moons, comets, and asteroids. Voyager 1 also discovered the “shepherd moons”: Prometheus and Pandora, small moons that interact with Saturn’s “F” ring and keep it separate from the other rings.
It’s the birthday of feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (books by this author), born in Johnstown, New York (1815). When her brother died, she was allowed to take his place in the Johnstown Academy; previously she hadn’t been admitted. She won honors there, but even so, no college would take her. She studied law in her father’s office, but wasn’t allowed to take the bar exam or practice. In 1848, the first women’s rights convention in America was held near her home in Seneca Falls, New York. With Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage, she compiled the first three volumes of The History of Woman Suffrage.
Stanton said: “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.”
It’s the birthday of novelist Katharine Weber, (books by this author) born in New York City in 1955. Her novels include Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear (1995), The Little Women (2003), a retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story, and Triangle (2006), about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911. She decided to write about the fire because her grandmother worked at the factory, although she left her job two years before the fire because she was pregnant with Katharine Weber’s father.
It was on this day in 1954 that Ellis Island officially closed. More than 12 million immigrants had passed through the island since it opened in 1892. Today, about 40 percent of Americans can trace their roots back to Ellis Island.
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