Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
by Jim Harrison
On Easter morning all over America
the peasants are frying potatoes in bacon grease.
We’re not supposed to have “peasants”
but there are tens of millions of them
frying potatoes on Easter morning,
cheap and delicious with catsup.
If Jesus were here this morning he might
be eating fried potatoes with my friend
who has a ’51 Dodge and a ’72 Pontiac.
When his kids ask why they don’t have
a new car he says, “these cars were new once
and now they are experienced.”
He can fix anything and when rich folks
call to get a toilet repaired he pauses
extra hours so that they can further
learn what we’re made of.
I told him that in Mexico the poor say
that when there’s lightning the rich
think that God is taking their picture.
Like peasants everywhere in the history
of the world ours can’t figure out why
they’re getting poorer. Their sons join
the army to get work being shot at.
Your ideals are invisible clouds
so try not to suffocate the poor,
the peasants, with your sympathies.
They know that you’re staring at them.
Jim Harrison, “Easter Morning” from Saving Daylight. Copyright © 2007 by Jim Harrison. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, coppercanyonpress.org. (buy now)
Today is the Christian holiday of Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead three days after his crucifixion. Easter is a moveable feast; in other words, it’s one of the few floating holidays in the calendar year, because it’s based on the cycles of the moon. Jesus was said to have risen from the dead on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. For that reason, Easter can fall as early as March 22nd and as late as April 25th. Easter also marks the end of the 40-day period of Lent and the beginning of Eastertide. The week before Easter is known as Holy Week and includes the religious holidays Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
The word “Easter” and most of the secular celebrations of the holiday come from pagan traditions. Anglo Saxons worshipped Eostre, the goddess of springtime and the return of the sun after the long winter. According to legend Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became our Easter Bunny. Eggs were a symbol of fertility in part because they used to be so scarce during the winter. There are records of people giving each other decorated eggs at Easter as far back as the 11th century.
It’s the birthday of novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter Marguerite Duras (books by this author), born in a small village in French Indochina near what is now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 1914. Her parents were teachers, but her dad became ill there and died. Dumas had an impoverished miserable childhood in which she was abused by her mother and brother.
When she was a teenager, she became lovers with a wealthy, older Chinese man whom she met on a ferry boat between Sa Dec and Ho Chi Minh City. She wrote about him in her books The Sea Wall (1953), North China Lover (1991), and The Lover published in 1984.
Marguerite Duras said, “When the past is recaptured by the imagination, breath is put back into life.”
“When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed — “To Whom It May Concern” — that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson. Our parents had decided to put an end to their calamitous marriage, and Father shipped us home to his mother.”
An American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.
Angelou died on May 28, 2014, at the age of 86.
It’s the birthday of blues great Muddy Waters (works by this musician), born McKinley Morganfield in Rolling Fork, Mississippi (1915), who taught himself to play harmonica and guitar, played on the south side of Chicago in bars, and in 1950 he made one of the first recordings for Chess Records, a tune called “Rolling Stone.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®