July 8, 2023
Lime Kiln Theater, Lexington, VA
Garrison Keillor and Robin & Linda Williams come to the Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, VA for an evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 8:00 PM
July 6, 2023
Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, PA
Garrison Keillor and Robin & Linda Williams come to Sellersville, PA for an evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon.
April 30, 2023
Paramount Hudson Valley, Peekskill, NY
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
April 29, 2023
Park Theatre, Jaffrey, NH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Jaffrey, NH. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
April 27, 2023
Cary Memorial Hall, Lexington, MA
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Lexington, MA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
Excerpt from “As You Like It”
by William Shakespeare
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Excerpt from “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare. Public Domain. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of short-story writer Lorrie Moore (books by this author), born in Glens Falls, New York (1957). She’s the author of the short-story collections Like Life (1990) and Birds of America (1998). She skipped a grade in school when she was growing up, and the difference in age between her and her classmates made her feel especially small and shy. She said, “I felt so completely thin that I was afraid to walk over grates. I thought I would fall down the slightest crevice and disappear.”
She started writing in college and published her first story in Seventeen magazine. She was so happy that she then proceeded to send them everything she’d ever written. She said, “They couldn’t get rid of me. I was like a stalker. I sent them everything, and of course they didn’t want anything more from me.”
It was only after she told her parents about her publication that she found out they had both wanted to be writers themselves. Her father went up into the attic and brought down stories that he’d once submitted to The New Yorker and her mother admitted that she’d given up journalism for nursing.
In grad school she realized she had to decide whether she wanted to devote her life to writing or to the piano, which had been her first love. She said, “The typewriter and the piano were actually similar ideas, for my mind and for my hands. I was completely unaccomplished musically [but] I was having ecstatic experiences in the practice room and wasn’t getting any writing done. So I had to choose.” She chose writing, and published her first book of short stories by the time she was 26 years old.
Lorrie Moore’s first book was Self Help (1985), in which the stories were written in the style of how-to manuals, including “How to Be an Other Woman,” “How to Talk to Your Mother,” and “How to Be a Writer.”
“How to Be a Writer” begins:
“First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star/astronaut. A movie star/missionary. A movie star/kindergarten teacher. President of the World. Fail miserably. It is best if you fail at an early age — say, 14. Early, critical disillusionment is necessary so that at 15 you can write long haiku sequences about thwarted desire.”
When she was once asked in an interview why she writes so often about characters who make lots of jokes she said:
“I feel that when you look out into the world, the world is funny. And people are funny. And that people always try to make each other laugh. I’ve never been to a dinner party where nobody said anything funny. If you’re going to ignore that [as a fiction writer], what are you doing?”
Moore’s most recent book is her Collected Stories, published in 2020.
On this day in 1968 country musician Johnny Cash recorded a live concert at Folsom Prison in California. Back in the early 1950s, while serving in the Air Force and stationed in Germany, Cash had seen a documentary on life inside the prison. This inspired him to write the song “Folsom Prison Blues,” with its haunting lines, “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.” He included it on his debut album, With His Hot and Blue Guitar, in 1957 and began dreaming of some day playing the song live for the inmates there. In 1968, after a personnel shake up at his recording label, Cash pitched the idea to a new producer. He was enthusiastic so the record label contacted both San Quentin and Folsom prisons. Folsom responded first and the plans for a live concert went into motion. The band set up a two-day rehearsal nearby, along with Carl Perkins, the Statler Brothers, and June Carter.
The day before the concert was to take place a prison chaplain approached Cash, asking him if he would take the time to listen to a song recorded by a Folsom inmate. The chaplain thought that if he could mention hearing the song while on stage, it would touch the inmate, named Glen Sherley, who was serving a 5-to-life sentence for burglary. Upon hearing “Greystone Chapel” Cash was so enamored with the song that he resolved to perform it live as part of the show.
The set list mixed songs of prison life with humor and despair. While remixed in the studio to sound rowdy and responsive to any lines about prison, the inmates were actually well behaved during the concert, wary of losing the privilege. Two concerts were recorded that day, but the second lacked the same energy and only two songs from that session made it onto the final record. Released just four months after the concert, Live at Folsom Prison reached No. 1 on the country charts and was a huge pop crossover. It reignited Cash’s career after it had stalled due to his own increased drug use. He married Carter later that year, and ABC offered Cash his own television show after the success of the live album. In 2003, the Library of Congress included it in its 50 recordings to be added to the National Registry of Music.
Cash said, “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®