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+
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
“Psalm 24,” public domain.
It’s the birthday of British essayist, philosopher, and historian Thomas Carlyle (books by this author) born in Ecclefachan, Scotland (1795), and best known for writing The French Revolution: A History (1837), which was Charles Dickens’ inspiration for writing A Tale of Two Cities (1859).
It was as a philosopher and social historian that Carlyle found his calling. He wrote The French Revolution, an immense tome, only to lend it to fellow philosopher John Stuart Mill, whose maid accidentally tossed it into the fire. Undeterred, Carlyle rewrote the entire manuscript from scratch.
He found a wife, Jane Baillie Welsh, but she was still partly in love with a minister and made no secret of not loving Carlyle. They lived in a farmhouse in Scotland for the first six years of their marriage, during which he wrote madly and she did housework. Over the course of their courtship and marriage, they exchanged more than 9,000 letters. They were intensely unhappy, often infatuated with others, but they remained together. A friend once said, “It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs. Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four.”
It’s the birthday of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (books by this author), born in Prague (1875). His family wanted him to be a lawyer and take over his uncle’s law firm. But he published some sentimental love poetry, and it inspired him to make his living as a writer. He went to Munich to be part of the arts scene, and there he met a woman. She was brilliant, she had been friends with Nietzsche, she was 15 years older than Rilke. And she took the young poet under her wing, helped him develop as a writer, persuaded him to give up writing sentimental poems, and become more ambitious. He followed her all over Europe. When they broke up, he traveled around and seduced rich noblewomen who would support him while he wrote. He wasn’t too handsome, but he was poetic and romantic, so women fell for him. Then he met the Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis. She was older than he was, and she thought he treated other women badly and refused to be seduced. But they became close friends and exchanged hundreds of letters, and Marie let Rilke stay in her castle in Trieste, on the Adriatic Sea. He loved it there, at the Castle Duino, and one winter while he was living there alone, he said an angel appeared. The angel started talking to him about life and death, about beauty and humanity, and Rilke went right to work on what turned out to be his most famous poems, The Duino Elegies, 10 long verses.
It was on this date in 1867 that Oliver Hudson Kelley founded the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, also known as The Grange. It’s the oldest national agricultural advocacy organization. Kelley was born in Boston in 1826, and moved to Itasca, Minnesota, to become a farmer when he was 23. After the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson sent him to the Southern states to report back on the condition of the farms there. It was during this trip that Kelley began to think about a fraternal organization, similar to the Freemasons, that would work to improve conditions for farmers and bring the North and South back together in a common cause. So he formed the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry for this purpose, and his organization was unusual for the time in that it encouraged women and teenagers to participate. In fact, the charter required that four of the elected positions must be held by women. The Grange represented the interests of farmers in disputes with the railroads, it established free rural mail delivery, and it helped farmers improve their lives through research-based education. It also championed non-agricultural causes like temperance and women’s suffrage.
It’s the birthday of mystery writer Cornell Woolrich (books by this author), born in New York City (1903). His first six books weren’t crime fiction at all but were Jazz Age novels inspired by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He first started writing detective stories under pseudonyms like William Irish and George Hopley. He was a contemporary of other, more famous crime writers like Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, and his stories and novels were adapted for radio and film noir, including The Bride Wore Black (novel: 1940; film: 1968) and Night Has a Thousand Eyes (novel: 1945; film: 1948).
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®