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
March 4 in Kent, OH 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
Keillor & Company: A PRAIRIE HOME HOLIDAY. Let’s come together for a Christmas sing-along, some Poetry, the News from Lake Wobegon and some holiday cheer with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard.
Dec 11 in Joliet, IL Keillor & Company: A PRAIRIE HOME HOLIDAY. Let’s come together for a Christmas sing-along, some Poetry, the News from Lake Wobegon and some holiday cheer with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard.
Dec 10 in Ottumwa Iowa Keillor & Company: A PRAIRIE HOME HOLIDAY. Let’s come together for a Christmas sing-along, some Poetry, the News from Lake Wobegon and some holiday cheer with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard.
by Barbara Crooker
She wasn’t a good cat. Wouldn’t let us pick her up
or cuddle on the bed. Sometimes she’d permit
petting, but only if she was in the mood, and on
her own terms. If she was perched on a chair, perhaps
you might approach. But now, at fifteen, she’s stopped
eating and drinking, sleeps all day. Instead
of wrestling the white Christmas Teddy, taking him down
to the bottom of the stairs, she’s huddled next to him
on the landing. Will even let me sit with her
and stroke her fur. I think she’ll slip from us
peacefully, but she’s starting to stagger, can’t
use the litter box, and her cries are terrible
to hear. So I take her to the vet–the place she hates
most in this world–because what else is there to do?
There’ll be no return trip. I hold her in my arms,
a fur-wrapped bag of bones. She’s gone beyond fear.
It’s not like I’m saying good-bye to a beloved friend–
she’s been peeing outside the box for months,
and “Aloof” is her middle name. But she’s purring
under my hand, as the vet slips the needle in, murmurs
appropriate clichés. I’m not sure what kind of loss this is–
how can you love what doesn’t love you back?–but for the rest
of the day, I wander through the empty rooms, looking
for a trace of orange, glimpse of a whisker. For she
was beautiful, and she knew it. No wonder the Egyptians
thought cats were gods. And now, we’re left, not bereft,
exactly, but stranded, washed up on some strange shore,
wandering, in the country of the merely ordinary.
Barbara Crooker, “Penny” from Some Glad Morning. ©2019 University of Pittsburgh Press. (buy now)
It was on this day in 1940 that Winston Churchill delivered a speech to the House of Commons with the famous line: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.“ The Battle of Britain was raging and he was referring to the small group of the Royal Air Force who had successfully held off the much larger Luftwaffe, the German air force.
Churchill wrote all of his own speeches, and he was a gifted orator, but people thought that his vocabulary and style of speaking were old-fashioned. But after the beginning of World War II, Churchill’s dramatic rhetoric fit the mood of the country.
His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, served in the Parliament and was a talented debater, famous for making spontaneous speeches. Winston, on the other hand, labored over every speech. He brainstormed, researched, planned out the speech in his head, then dictated it aloud to his secretary. From there he revised it several times and typed it up in what he called “psalm form.” His speeches looked like blank verse poetry on the page so that the rhythm and pauses were laid out just how he wanted them. Before Churchill delivered a speech he would practice over and over, sometimes in the bathtub.
It’s the birthday of architect Eero Saarinen. The designer of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was born in 1910 in Kirkkonummi, Finland, which was then part of the Russian Empire.
He competed in the nationwide contest for the design in 1948 with his father, Eliel Saarinen, who was also an architect. But the younger man prevailed. Each of the arch’s two legs were built separately, with individual sections shipped via train from Pennsylvania. As the pieces were placed one atop the other, measurements had to be extremely precise, with a margin of error of 1/64th of an inch. Otherwise, the halves would not meet properly at the top.
Saarinen never lived to see the arch completed – or even started. He died of a brain tumor in 1961; construction began two years later.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®