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+
Things You Didn’t Put on Your Résumé
by Joyce Sutphen
How often you got up in the middle of the night
when one of your children had a bad dream,
and sometimes you woke because you thought
you heard a cry but they were all sleeping,
so you stood in the moonlight just listening
to their breathing, and you didn’t mention
that you were an expert at putting toothpaste
on tiny toothbrushes and bending down to wiggle
the toothbrush ten times on each tooth while
you sang the words to songs from Annie, and
who would suspect that you know the fingerings
to the songs in the first four books of the Suzuki
Violin Method and that you can do the voices
of Pooh and Piglet especially well, though
your absolute favorite thing to read out loud is
Bedtime for Frances and that you picked
up your way of reading it from Glynnis Johns,
and it is, now that you think of it, rather impressive
that you read all of Narnia and all of the Ring Trilogy
(and others too many to mention here) to them
before they went to bed and on the way out to
Yellowstone, which is another thing you don’t put
on the résumé: how you took them to the ocean
and the mountains and brought them safely home.
“Things You Didn’t Put on Your Résumé” Reproduced from Carrying Water to the Field: New and Selected Poems by Joyce Sutphen by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Forthcoming October 2019 with the University of Nebraska Press. (preorder now)
It’s the birthday of fiction writer William Sydney Porter (books by this author), better known by his pen name, O. Henry, born in Greensboro, North Carolina (1862). As a young man living in Texas, he was convicted of embezzlement and sent to federal prison. While he was there, he began to write and publish short stories, which a friend in New Orleans would forward to publishers, so that no one would know the author was writing from prison. When he got out after three years, he told his young daughter he had been away on business and resumed a respectable life. It wasn’t until after his death that the public learned that O. Henry, the famous author of more than 300 short stories, had gotten his start in prison.
“The Ransom of Red Chief” is the story of two small-time crooks — Bill and Sam — who kidnap a wealthy young boy from Alabama. They plan to raise $2,000 in ransom money and continue on the road to their next scheme. Unfortunately, red-haired young Johnny is not what they expect. He refers to himself as Red Chief and considers his kidnapping a fabulous wilderness adventure, far superior to attending school and having to interact with girls. He threatens to scalp Bill and burn Sam at the stake, forces Bill to act like a horse so he can ride him, and generally makes their lives miserable. The crooks revise their ransom down to $1,500. Johnny’s father responds that he will not pay the ransom fee; furthermore, he will only take Johnny back if the men pay him $250 and bring the boy in the dead of night so that the neighbors won’t be disappointed to see the youngster return home. The desperate men take Johnny straight to his father. The boy throws a fit at having to leave his captors, while they drive away as fast as they can, heading toward Canada.
“The Gift of the Magi” is the story of a young married couple, Jim and Della. Della’s pride and joy is her beautiful long hair, while Jim’s prized possession is his grandfather’s gold watch. They don’t have much money, but each is determined to get the other a meaningful Christmas gift. Jim ends up selling his watch to buy his wife combs for her hair; at the same time, Della sells her hair for enough money to buy her husband a fob chain for his watch.
“The Furnished Room” is the story of a nameless young man who rents a dingy but furnished room in a boarding house in Lower Manhattan. He has spent months searching for a beautiful girl he loves and who has disappeared. He questions the housekeeper about whether she has ever seen the girl, giving a detailed physical description that includes a mole on the left eyebrow, but the housekeeper says no. The young man is not convinced — he keeps getting a whiff of a floral scent that reminds him of his sweetheart, and he is sure she has been there. He tears the room apart searching for any sign of her, and he questions the housekeeper again, who once again denies having rented the room to any girl that matches his description. The young man goes back to the room, and when he finds the scent gone, he seals off the room with strips of bed sheets, lies down, and kills himself by turning the gaslight on high. The story ends with the housekeeper explaining to a friend that she rented a room to a young man that day, but because she didn’t want to deter him from renting, she didn’t tell him that a young girl killed herself with the gaslight in that room a week earlier — a girl with a mole on her left eyebrow.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®