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
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.
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
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.
by Barbara Crooker
We start by fanning out the money, colored
like Necco wafers: pink, yellow, mint, gold.
From the first roll of the dice, differences widen:
the royal blues of Boardwalk and Park Place
look down their noses at the grapey immigrants
from Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues.
My grandparents coming from Italy in steerage
measured their gold in olive oil, not bank notes
and deeds. The man in the top hat and tuxedo
always holds the good cards. The rest of us
hope we can pay the Electric Company.
We know there is no such thing as Free Parking,
and Bank Errors are never in our favor.
In the background, Johnny Mathis croons
Chances Are from the cracked vinyl radio.
We played for hours, in those years
before television, on the Formica table,
while my mother coaxed a chicken,
cooking all day on the back burner, to multiply
itself into many meals. The fat rose to the surface,
a roiling ocean of molten gold.
Barbara Crooker, “Monopoly, 1955” from Gold. © 2013 Barbara Crooker by Cascade Publishing. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of poet, novelist, and short-story writer Maxine Chernoff (books by this author), born in Chicago, Illinois (1952). She’s the author of American Heaven (1996) and A Boy in Winter (1999).
Claudio Monteverdi‘s opera L’Orfeo received its premiere on this date in 1607 in Mantua, Italy. It told the story of Orpheus, who descends into Hades to retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice. Around this time musical theater consisted largely of orchestral interludes between the acts of straight plays but some composers were experimenting with including music into the action of the play itself. L’Orfeo was the first fully developed work of the new genre in which all the actors sang, and people liked it.
Today is the birthday of Wilhelm Grimm (books by this author), born in Hanau, Germany (1786), who with his brother Jacob collected and compiled oral folktales from nearby villages. The brothers Grimm published their first volume in 1812. Many of the folktales were very dark and violent. While their original intent was only to preserve their culture’s oral folktales, they soon realized children were reading their book and the brothers began adapting the tales to take out out some of the more disturbing imagery. The old stories, which had previously performed the psychological function of preparing young people to deal with the harsh realities of medieval life, ended up as fairly sanitized cautionary tales about morality. They also provided a lucrative franchise for Walt Disney.
We can thank Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm for the tales of Snow White, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Sleeping Beauty, among others.
Today is the birthday of Jane Hirschfield (books by this author), born in New York City (1953). She went to Princeton, where she was in the first graduating class to include women — in 1973. She published her first poem not long after then went off to northern California to study Buddhism for the next eight years, during which time she didn’t write at all. She said, ” I don’t think poetry is based just on poetry; it is based on a thoroughly lived life. And so I couldn’t just decide I was going to write no matter what; I first had to find out what it means to live.”
Her most recent book of poetry is Ledger: Poems (2021).
Today is the birthday of Steve Jobs, born in San Francisco (1955) to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who placed him for adoption. Clara and Paul Jobs, an accountant and a machinist adopted him when he was still a baby. Growing up, Jobs and his father would tinker with electronics in the garage.
He dropped out of college after a semester, went to India in search of spiritual enlightenment, returned a devout Buddhist, experimented with LSD, and then got a job with a video game maker where he was in charge of designing a circuit board for one of the company’s games. In 1976, at the age of 21, he co-founded Apple Computers, and less than a decade later Apple unveiled the Macintosh computer. It was the first small computer to catch on with the public that used a graphical user interface, or GUI (sometimes pronounced “gooey”), where people could simply click on icons instead of typing in precise text commands.
The graphic user interface revolutionized computers and it’s on almost all computers today. It’s on a whole lot of other devices as well, like fancy vending machines and digital household appliances and photocopying machines and airport check-in kiosks. And graphical user interface is what’s used with iPods, another of Apple’s wildly successful products at the time.
Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. He opted for a variety of alternative treatments, but eventually — in 2004 — he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. His health began to decline in 2009 and the disease claimed him in October 2011 at age 56.
Jobs once said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®