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 noticing a good many books and articles about masculinity in crisis these days, and am faithfully avoiding reading them, since I’m not in crisis myself and I’m on a campaign of clearing out clutter in my life. I have just cleared off the top of my desk and am feeling good about myself, even though some of the flotsam got stuffed into the desk. I am now going to rid myself of books I’ll never read and clothes I never wear.
Sometimes I sit in the evening drinking ginger tea and watching baseball on TV with the sound off, two teams I don’t care about and so it’s not about winning, it’s about the art of baseball, the sharp reflexes of infielders and the unique windup of each pitcher, the occasional incredible full-tilt leaping outfield catch that kills the rally and the fielder casually tosses the ball into the stands. It’s such a cool move. Home runs mean nothing to me but that beautiful high-speed intersection of outstretched glove and ball and there’s no victory dance, just cool disdain. Tough luck. The fielder heads for the dugout, the ball goes to a kid in the grandstand. The commentary of the announcers is worthless; it’s all about the beauty of youth and agility and discipline. In another ten years, that fielder will be a civilian like you and me.
This love of silence may be a benefit of three years of pandemic isolation. Or maybe it’s something that comes with being 80. I don’t have a lot of spare time to read righteous writing about other people’s crises: I have no time to spare, in fact, and want to enjoy what’s left to me. I discover that I truly enjoy silence. I know people who, when they have guests for dinner, like to play background music, and it drives me nuts. I hear souped-up cars and Harleys sitting at a red light, revving their engines, and see porky men with thin gray ponytails at the wheel, and wish they could be locked up in a treatment center. I live in an apartment building that, because it’s expensive, has no residents under forty, so there aren’t loud parties on Saturday night.
I went to loud parties fifty years ago and hosted some of my own, and now the thought of it strikes me as torture. My favorite social interaction is daily marital congeniality and my second favorite is when the phone rings and a friend is at the other end who is a good conversational partner and we do a very delightful verbal dance for half an hour and say goodbye. This, to me, is one of the supreme pleasures of old age. In the course of living your confused and sometimes crazy life, you’ve managed to collect an assortment of people you love to talk with.
Unfortunately, they die off. Margaret Keenan is gone, Bill Holm, Louis Jenkins, my brother Philip, Roland Flint, Arnie Goldman, but others are waiting to be discovered. I don’t text, I don’t TikTok, because there’s no feeling there, no meaning, it’s like waving from a passing car.
My brother was an engineer, a very different line of work from mine. I’m in the amusement business and he was a problem solver. In my life, I’ve tended to be a problem creator, but in my new octogenarian life I’m trying to atone for that. It is never too late to make amends.
I’ll keep two suits to wear to church, and I’ll give away ten others and also the four tuxedos I wore back when I did shows with orchestras: no occasion for them now, so some homeless guy may enjoy looking snazzy. My uniform is jeans and black T, I don’t go for shirts with humorous quotations, so my closet is small. One pair of comfortable shoes. A belt. I’ve lost weight lately and once, carrying groceries to the car, my jeans slipped down to my knees before I could set the groceries down. A woman whistled at me. I did not respond, didn’t know how to.
Less is more. I went through some tumultuous years and don’t miss them. In this whole day, I only want to do a few things right. Dive to my right, backhand the hard grounder, jump up, throw the runner out by half a step at first. Know when to use a semicolon instead of a comma. Put my hand on her shoulder and tell her I love her.