October 21, 2023
Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Greensboro, NC. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
September 28, 2023
Crest Theatre, Sacramento, CA
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Sacramento, CA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
September 17, 2023
The Caverns, Pelham, TN
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to The Caverns in Pelham, TN. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
August 27, 2023
Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, WI
Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Friends return to Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield WI. Singalongs, stories, duets, comedy and a hot band. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
August 7, 2023
Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Ctr, Old Saybrook, CT
Old Saybrook, CT (2nd show)
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Old Saybrook, CT. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
The newspaper sets out to cover the full gamut of experience, from the Personals (Man, 45, seeks younger woman for mutual adventure and comfort) to the 50th anniversary party, George and Francine in their old tux and sparkly suit, and also the Letters of the Lovelorn (“He flirts with old friends of mine and our children’s teachers.”). If the rich and famous wind up in divorce court, the story can get very thick, and if one lover shoots another, the story becomes a novel. What the newspaper can’t cover very well is ordinary happiness because there is much too much of it and for us happy people, that is completely proper. You want to be able to eat your eggs and hash browns and sausage in the Chatterbox Café without a man with a pad and pencil interviewing you as to the cause of your good temper.
One cause is that you look back at your mistakes and know for a fact that you won’t do anything that dumb again.
The world is in constant crisis, the prospects for catastrophe are ever favorable, the cruelty of dictators and the confusions of democracy are well-known, but as one gets older and even older than that, the front page starts to fade and you cherish your moments of ignorance, such as when I sit with Buddy and Carl and the world devolves to just us.
A table of women is thirty feet away and they are shrieking and all talking at once and we men do not shriek. A shriek would indicate a need for CPR. We sit and gently rag on each other and inquire as to each other’s beloved grandchildren, not mentioning the son in rehab or the QAnon sister.
We reminisce about our impecunious youth and the crummy jobs that put us through college and we avoid politics because we’re all wishy-washy liberals so what’s to talk about?
I love these lunches. Wish there were one every day. But life went off in other directions and the old gang is scattered and some came to a sad end. Our classmate Ben was electrocuted fifty years ago while installing a water pump in his basement and Buddy mentions that Ben’s daughter called him to ask about her dad — she was five when he died and hardly remembers him — and Buddy lauded Ben’s good qualities, not mentioning that he died because his little daughter, wanting to help Daddy, had plugged in the power cord to the pump. Life is perilous. All the more reason to take pleasure in what’s left.
True friendship means not feeling obliged to impress each other and so we don’t. We do light sarcasm and gentle mutual deprecation, we’re old Midwestern guys, we see that we’re all in the same boat, the equality of old age prevails. Health is what matters, not money, not prestige.
Carl mentions that his miserable ex-brother-in-law died, a thief and a hustler, a bad father who ran off with another woman years ago and who, in his final illness, returned to the family he’d abandoned and they took him in. Carl says, “I’m tired of crazy people. I grew up with a bunch of them, drunks and sociopaths, narcissists, they were a blight on the lives of others. I hate craziness. If the SOB had come to my door, I would’ve shot him. Accidentally, but cleanly.”
Carl is a Democrat and Democrats aren’t allowed to say “I’m tired of crazy people” or talk approvingly of gun violence but we let him talk. The SOB was a blight on the lives of his children and at the age of 82 he threw himself on their mercy. A moment of silence. And then Buddy says, “So a guy went to his brother-in-law’s house to beg for help and the brother-in-law pulled a gun on him and the guy ran away and the brother-in-law chased him and he was getting closer so the guy reached back and grabbed some and threw it at him.”
I love this joke. “Grabbed what?” I say.
“Oh. It was there. A whole lot of it.”
Friendship is what it’s all about. What it’s always been about. As Mr. Trump awaits indictment on one or more of four different charges, I hope he has at least a couple of close personal friends. Not managers, lawyers, admirers. Friends. They know he’s guilty but they still love him and they’ll have lunch with him and he won’t rant and rave, just reminisce about his wretched father.