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
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Torrance, CA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Fort Lauderdale, FL for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
by David Shumate
You see them in their black carriages along the highway as if they
got separated from some funeral cortege and now must deliver
the dead on their own. The men wear beards but shave their
mustaches. The women wear long dresses and tight bonnets.
The children play with wooden toys and point when they pass
televisions glowing along the roads as if each house had a soul
all its own. They keep bees. Raise crops. Train teams of horses so
large they look like they’ve been exaggerated. If an Amish man
promises to meet you at noon by the courthouse with a dozen
cages of chickens, he’ll be there. When the children are about to
turn into adults, they go on a rumspringa to see which world suits
them best. Girls dangle jewelry from their ears and necks. Smear
makeup on. Boys get behind the wheel of a car. Barrel down gravel
roads. Stop in a field. And baptize themselves with a bottle of gin.
A few go out for football. The girls join the cheerleading squad.
Then return home smelling of perfume or cologne. Giggling as
they stumble up the stairs, long after the candles have been blown
“Amish” by David Shumate from Kimonos in the Closet. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of writer Jon Krakauer (books by this author), born in Brookline, Massachusetts (1954). He was raised in Oregon where he took up mountain climbing. He worked as a carpenter and a commercial salmon fisherman to support his climbing habit. After he’d done three Alaska climbs he was asked to write an article about it, which turned him on to magazine writing.
In 1993 he got an assignment from Outside magazine to write about the story of a young man who’d graduated from college, changed his name, left his family and savings behind, walked into the Alaskan wilderness to make a new life, and perished four months later. That became Krakauer’s first book, Into the Wild (1996), a best-seller that was later made into a movie.
The year that book was published Krakauer took on another assignment from Outside to ascend Mount Everest for an article that was supposed to be about the commercialization of climbing. But a blizzard struck during the expedition and eight of 23 people died. Krakauer continued to report throughout the disaster, filling nine notebooks with his observations with a special pen that could write in extreme cold. The only day he failed to write was the day he reached the summit, drastically sleep- and oxygen-deprived; although he attempted to take some notes early that morning they were illegible and insensible. Realizing that his own memories were unreliable, Krakauer interviewed the surviving climbers.
He returned, wrote a very long article as promised, and vowed to put the subject out of his mind completely. But after discovering that his article had included a mistake about one of the climbers who’d died he began to obsess about how he hadn’t been able to tell the full, complicated story in his article. In nearly three months, writing 14 to 20 hours a day, he finished Into Thin Air (1997) which became another best-seller.
Flaubert’s first novel, Madame Bovary, was published on this day in 1857 about a woman who has multiple affairs to stave off the boredom of her empty existence. The novel caught the attention of the authorities and Flaubert was charged with corrupting public morals. He was acquitted and the publicity from the trial made the book a best-seller.
It’s the birthday of Gary Soto (books by this author), born in Fresno, California, in 1952, the son of Mexican-American factory workers, with an abusive alcoholic stepfather. It was in his college library, at the age of 19, that he pulled down a book from a shelf at random and read the Edward Field poem “Unwanted, ” the last stanza from which reads, “Warning: This man is not dangerous, answers to any name/Responds to love, don’t call him or he will come.” It expressed “exactly how I felt at the time, unwanted,” Soto said, and he decided on the spot to try writing poetry.
Soto started keeping a journal, took a creative writing class, and published his first book when he was 25: The Elements of San Joaquin (1977), a collection of poems about his father and factory workers like him. It helped to earn him a professorship at Berkeley.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®