Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
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, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw 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, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw bring their show to Wichita, 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
I am feeling good about myself today, if you can believe that. I come from simple peasant stock in the middle of Minnesota (not the end of the world but you can see it from there) and I’ve lived my life with a severe sense of inferiority. My parents never praised me lest it lead to arrogance, and teachers didn’t praise us: if you got a good grade, you were simply working up to your ability, and our preachers didn’t tell us that God loves us, though Scripture says He does, but emphasized our abject iniquity. And so, though I’ve written a couple dozen books and done hundreds of radio shows, I never came away from one with a feeling of elation and if someone said, “That was terrific” (or “awesome” or even “rather good”) I shook my head and said, “I don’t think so,” which, as my wife said, was rude — when someone praises you, you should say “Thank you,” but I honestly felt that everything I did fell short. Until today.
It was a gorgeous October day in New York. I took a cab to an appointment at the podiatrist’s and got out of the cab and a moment later, as he pulled away up West 72nd Street, I realized that I didn’t have my billfold. I had had it in the back seat of the cab and I didn’t have it anymore. He was about thirty yards ahead of me and I did something I haven’t done in years — I broke into a run. I’m eighty years old, I had heart surgery two months ago, but the thought of having to replace credit cards and driver’s license and insurance cards was too awful to contemplate. At this age, one doesn’t have time to waste on the unnecessary. And I dreaded going home and saying, “I left my billfold in a cab,” which might lead to my beloved putting me under guardianship and hiring a walker to accompany me. All of this flashed in my mind, the tedium of replacement, the suspicion of dementia, and so I ran.
The light turned green and he got well ahead and I galloped after him. Though it wasn’t a gallop so much as the headlong hurtling of a terrified goose, and surely it was a sight to behold, but I hustled onward and almost caught him a block later but he turned left and I ran diagonally across the intersection, heard a bicyclist yell at me from nearby, and then, thanks to slow traffic, I caught up and rapped on the cab window and opened the door and there was my billfold. “Thank you!” I cried, grabbed the billfold. An exuberant moment. Hours, weeks, on the phone with bureaucracy (“Using your keypad, tell us the number of the driver’s license you’ve lost”).
A young woman asked, “Are you all right?” She’d seen me galumphing past, perhaps an elderly lunatic running from his custodian, and I said, “I’ve never been better.” Which was the simple truth. I had made a mistake and then set out to correct it, avoiding death by bicycle or sudden coronary. I held up the billfold in triumph.
I walked back to the podiatrist. My heart was pounding. I was also aware of the pain in my left foot. The deformed nail of the big toe hurts when I walk and it hurt even more after my gallop. That was the reason for the appointment with the podiatrist.
She was a very cheerful person and went right to work with her clipper and I sat and felt triumphant. It’s good to think of triumphs now and then. I recently sang with Heather Masse and Ellie Dehn a Grateful Dead song, “Attics of My Life,” and we knocked it out of the park and the audience cheered. I savored this memory and also the memory of the lunch in 1992 where I first met my wife. So, as I left the podiatrist, I called her. She was nearby. We met for lunch, an hour after I’d cheated mortality and chased down the cab. She was her usual effervescent self and talked about the Rauschenbergs she’d seen at the museum. Somehow I won this woman’s heart thirty years ago and now autumn leaves, podiatry, a three-block sprint, marital love, and a hamburger had all joined harmoniously together. In a few months we may be on the road to fascism. As my dad used to say, “Enjoy your ice cream before it melts.