Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Frankfort, KY for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Maryville, TN for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Iola, KS for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Bellefontaine, OH for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Torrance, CA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
Being almost eighty, as I am, is a source of constant amazement and I would not trade it for the drudgery of being forty or fifty or the sheer stupidity of my twenties. I am starting to get a grip on things. I love home because I know how the shower works but I’m not attached to material things except two, both electronic. I no longer know who famous people are, especially TV stars and pop singers and contemporary authors, and I’m okay with that. I accept that males have become fringe figures with no particular authority in everyday life.
I was amazed to hear a man shout “Taxi!” the other day just as men used to do in the movies, especially big execs and private eyes. It was in New York, at Broadway and 64th, across from Lincoln Center, about 7 p.m. and the man’s cry was full-volume and the cab hit its brakes and stopped. Men in real life gave up that tone of voice some time ago when we took up cool irony and learned to say, “If you happen to hear me, maybe you could give me a lift,” which is a line that can’t be shouted.
I remember, on a movie set, the assistant director saying, “Lights. Camera. Action!” and later “Cut!” and I remember my Uncle Jim getting horses to pull the haywagon with a “Hyuh” and then, of course, a “Whoa!” to stop and I remember train conductors shouting “Board” and making a two-syllable word of it. Now I love to watch baseball so I can see the home plate ump do that dramatic ripping motion for a called third strike, “Steeeee-rike!” I wish I had an authoritative moment or two in my life and the plain fact is that I don’t.
My wife does. She says, “Don’t put your coffee cup down on the table. Use a coaster.” She says, “Turn on the light when you get up to pee at night.” She says, “You’ve been sitting at that computer all day, you need to go out for a walk.” I have no commandments whatsoever. I am Moses with two blank tablets.
She went up to Boston last week and for excitement I went to a clothing store and looked at suits without her there to tell me which one looked good, but there was a saleswoman who saw that I was helpless and she showed me a number of ugly suits, dark plaids and patterns, clothing I’d associate with used condo salesmen or content providers, whereas I am an American author, but I could not bring myself to say, “No,” all I could say was “I don’t know, maybe not.” I was hesitant to take issue with her. Let’s just say it in simple English: I’m scared of women. She touched me once on the arm in a friendly way, and then she did it again. I would no more touch her arm than I’d play with a loaded pistol.
I finally settled on a suit, navy blue — how can you go wrong with navy blue? — but it’s still at the store, getting alterations, so my wife hasn’t seen it, and she’ll leave for Florida the day before I pick it up, and I’ll go on tour for a couple weeks and do shows in front of audiences that include women who’ll look at me and think, “How could his wife let him go out in public in a suit like that?” I can sense the critical glance of women, even in a darkened theater. I don’t care if I offend men — I consider that a badge of honor — but the disapproval of women has always made me shrivel. My aunt Eleanor and aunt Elsie approved of me and on the strength of their approval and that of my teachers LaVona Person and Helen Story, I ventured into the field of literature. In 1985, a woman named Veronica Geng gave me a four-star front-page salute in the New York Times Sunday Book Review and the book became a bestseller. My wife and daughter both think highly of me, as do several womanly pals and my cousin Elizabeth and a few nieces. This is all a man needs to stay afloat.
But I can’t forget the guy who yelled “Taxi!” and the taxi stopped. I’ve been using Uber but I am practicing yelling “Tax-EEE” with the emphasis on the EEE, which is the sound that carries on a busy street, and if I can make a cab stop, I’ll be happy, even more so if the driver is a woman.