A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Akron, OH with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to Scranton, PA with Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard and Dean Magraw bring their show to Spokane, WA for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour comes to the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX with our favorite regulars, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman. Additional guests to be announced.
New Philadelphia, OH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Kent State University. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon.
I flew down to Florida for a few days and regret missing the blizzard in Minnesota. I love snow, but I’m afraid of slipping and falling and joining the Joint Replacement Society, whereas in Florida you’d only slip on a banana. I needed to walk and take long strides, which facilitates clear thinking. And what I think, after a brisk walk, is that Florida is a lovely place if you don’t have anything to do and want to be with other people who don’t either. The major industry is relaxation. The bars open at noon, people have a few screwdrivers and go home and take a two-hour nap and watch a golf tournament and then maybe read Instagram or hang out with their iguana. The air conditioning is so cold, you have to wear a parka indoors. There is background music everywhere. Every lobby has a television on that nobody’s watching, music that nobody’s listening to, an environmental drug to keep people from thinking.
Northerners go to Florida to find happiness and after about thirty-six hours they realize that climate does not solve their problems: even though it’s 75 degrees, they still are themselves and that’s their problem. They feel isolated, their life is purposeless, they believe stuff they know is not true. You don’t notice this sort of thing in Minnesota because you’re struggling for survival. Your sidewalk is under deep snowdrifts you are morally obligated to shovel, otherwise you’ll be a pariah in the eyes of your neighbors, and they will never invite you to their potluck again, so you pick up your shovel and heave heavy snow ten feet over the snowbanks and then sit down on the icy sidewalk to rest and the coronary hits you and now you notice the coyotes closing in. You live in south Minneapolis but carnivorous animals are on the lookout for the halt and the lame so you call your wife on the cellphone and she comes out with the shotgun and kills a couple of coyotes and hauls you on a toboggan out to the street where the EMTs pick you up and take you to the hospital where you find out it wasn’t a coronary but a colonary — when you sit down on ice, you get polaroids. So you sit on a butt warmer and you’re fine.
In all of this, you never feel isolated or pointless, just terror.
In Florida, people live in dormitories for the elderly, watching golf on TV, which turns your mind to lime gelatin. In their working lives, they practiced law, healed the sick, managed money, and now they doze in a perpetual twilight and seem to prefer this life to their former working life, which calls into question the very meaning of our free-enterprise culture. I mean, if Methodists preferred to be mollusks, then why bother going to Bible Study?
Senator Scott of Florida had a good point when he suggested cutting back on Social Security and Medicare. Why should our tax dollars go to subsidize inertia?
I had a couple empty days in Florida and missed out on the snow adventure in Minnesota, a bad choice, though the 16 inches they actually got fell far short of the historic Halloween blizzard of 1991. That was a high point of my life. I was living in a log cabin in the woods, snow up to the windowsills, my water heater frozen, power lines down, pump was dead, and brown bears were clawing at the windows, making deep anticipatory feeding sounds. I was resigned to meeting my Maker when instead a young woman rapped on the door. She was on skis, holding a flare to scare the bears. She came in, lit a fire in the fireplace, taped up the power lines, started the pump, the water heater came on, and she made a pot of dandelion tea. I married her of course and it’s been thirty years of happiness, aside from a couple of misbegotten vacations in Florida. Florida gives a woman a chance to show off her legs, but Minnesota winter demands competence, which is a better basis for falling in love, so I have found. Opening a window to a chill wind gives you reason to crawl into bed with your arms around each other. Sitting in adjacent chaises and clinking your pineapple mai tais is not the same thing.
If you read about a snowstorm forecast for Minnesota, get on a plane with your lover and head for Bemidji, the headwaters of the Mississippi. It’ll be an experience you’ll cherish forever. Guaranteed.