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
West Bend, WI
Garrison Keillor brings his show to West Bend, WI for a performance of sing-a-longs, 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. 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 Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, WI
Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Friends (Fred Newman, Heather Masse, Rich Dworsky, Richard Kriehn & Dan Magraw) bring their show to Big Top Chautauqua for a performance of night of laughter, song and The News from Lake Wobegon.
Love and Life
by John Wilmot
All my past life is mine no more;
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams given o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.
The time that is to come is not;
How can it then be mine?
The present moment ‘s all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
Phillis, is only thine.
Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows;
If I by miracle can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
‘Tis all that Heaven allows.
“Love and Life” by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Public Domain. (buy now)
It’s the week of May Day, a time to celebrate spring.
On this day in 1922 writer E.B. White (books by this author) wrote to his mother from Columbus, Ohio. He and a friend were on a road trip to Seattle and he was writing to congratulate his parents on their wedding anniversary. He said:
“Spring has arrived in Ohio. This is a flat state where red pigs graze in bright green fields and where farms are neat and prosperous — not like New York farms. We roll along through dozens of villages and cities whose names we never heard. […] Sheep come drifting up long green lawns where poplars throw interminable shadows, come drifting up and stand like statues beneath white plum blossoms, while far down the land and off in the fields a little Ford tractor moves like a snail across the furrows. Lilacs are in full bloom and the lavender ironwood blossoms are coloring all the roads.”
On this day in 1934, two weeks after the publication of his novel Tender is the Night, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (books by this author) wrote a letter to his wife, Zelda, who was institutionalized for schizophrenia. He wrote to her:
“The chances that the spring, that’s for everyone, like in the popular songs, may belong to us too — the chances are pretty bright at this time because as usual, I can carry most of contemporary literary opinion, liquidated, in the hollow of my hand—and when I do, I see the swan floating on it and — I find it to be you and you only. […] The good things and the first years together, and the good months that we had two years ago in Montgomery will stay with me forever, and you should feel like I do that they can be renewed, if not in a new spring, then in a new summer. I love you my darling, my darling.”
It’s the birthday of novelist Bernard Malamud (books by this author), born in Brooklyn, New York (1914). His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia and they struggled to survive on the income from a tiny grocery store. He fell in love with movies when he was a kid, especially Charlie Chaplin movies, and found that he enjoyed retelling the plots of those movies to his classmates. He wanted to write, but he graduated from college in the middle of the Depression and he was struggling just to earn enough money to eat and pay the rent. In 1940 he got a job as a clerk in the U.S. Census Bureau. He spent mornings checking drainage ditch statistics but as soon as that work was done he would crouch over his desk and write short stories on company time.
Having discovered what he wanted to write about, Malamud decided to find a job that would give him more time for writing. So he applied for a position teaching freshman composition at Oregon State College and it was there, thousands of miles away from his hometown in Brooklyn, that Malamud began to write stories mixing Jewish mysticism with his memories of people from his old neighborhood. They would eventually become the stories in his first collection, The Magic Barrel (1958).
It’s the birthday of ornithologist John James Audubon (books by this author), born in Les Cayes in what is now Haiti (1785). His father was a French naval officer and plantation owner, and his mother was a Creole chambermaid.
Audubon loved birds from early on. He said:
“When I had hardly yet learned to walk, and to articulate those first words always so endearing to parents, the productions of Nature that lay spread all around, were constantly pointed out to me. They soon became my playmates; and before my ideas were sufficiently formed to enable me to estimate the difference between the azure tints of the sky, and the emerald hue of the bright foliage, I felt that an intimacy with them, not consisting of friendship merely, but bordering on frenzy, must accompany my steps through life.”
Audubon grew up in France and when he was 18 years old his father managed to get him a false passport to escape the Napoleonic Wars, and he headed to America. Fascinated by all the new American birds he saw he began to study them more closely. He found some Eastern Phoebes nesting in a cave. He had read that they returned to the same spot to nest every year and he wanted to test that idea. For days he sat in the cave with them and read a book until they were used to him and let him approach. He tied string to their legs to identify them and, sure enough, the next year the same birds were back in the cave. It is the first known incident of banding birds.
Audubon fell in love with a woman named Lucy Bakewell. Her father objected to Audubon’s lack of career goals, and insisted that he find a solid trade before marriage. So he opened a general store in Kentucky on the Ohio River and, soon after, John and Lucy were married. Audubon was a terrible business owner — he preferred roaming the forests of Kentucky and drawing to actually taking care of his store. He was thrown in prison for debt. Finally he realized that his best chance for success lay in his birds after all. He dissolved his business partnership and set out on a quest to catalog and draw every bird in North America. He traveled from New Orleans to the Everglades, from Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes up to Newfoundland in Canada, down the Mississippi River, and all the way to Texas, and published his masterpiece Birds of America (1838). The book was two feet wide and three feet tall with 435 life-sized hand-colored plates of birds.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®