St. Michael, MN
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director CHANGE: JULY 4, 2021, 4:00 PM Le Musique Music Room 4300 O’Day Ave. NE, St. Michael, MN 55376 $42/$15 Due to the extreme heat, we have moved this concert […]
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director July 2, 2021, 7:30 PM BIG TOP CHAUTAUQUA, BAYFIELD, WI Reserved $60/$52/$42 SOLD OUT Live Stream available (only 7/2 7:30PM) The Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua is a 900-seat […]
Just Added: Stillwater, MN 6-29
GARRISON KEILLOR and some friends from Prairie Home Poetry, Stories, and Classic Duets Featuring: Prudence Johnson Bob Douglas and Adam Granger Dan Chouinard, music director JUST ADDED June 29, 2021, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM THE AVALON, STILLWATER, MN St. Croix Boat & Packet Co., 525 Main Street South, Stillwater, MN 55082 DINNER, CRUISE, […]
Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
by W.S. Merwin
It is hard now to believe that we really
went back that time years ago to the small town
a mile square along the beach and a little more
than a century old where I had been taken
when I was a child and nothing seemed to have changed
not the porches along the quiet streets
nor the faces on the rockers nor the sea smell
from the boardwalk at the end of the block
nor the smells from the cafeteria in a house
like the others along the same sidewalk
nor the hush of the pebbled streets without
cars nor the names of the same few hotels
nor the immense clapboard auditorium
to which my mother had taken me
to a performance of Aida
and you and I walked those streets in a late
youth of our own and along the boardwalk
toward music we heard from the old carousel
W.S. Merwin “One Summer” from The Moon Before Morning. Copyright © 2015 W.S. Merwin, used bp permission of The Wylie Agency LLC. (buy now)
On this day in 1921, and the next, 100 years ago, a white mob looted and burned 35 city blocks in the Greenwood District of Tulsa. It was a thriving Black business and residential area in the years after World War I. People called it Black Wall Street. The destruction started after word spread of a supposed assault by a young Black man against a white woman as they rode an elevator together. Dick Rowland was arrested and charged, but the charges were later dismissed. The Tulsa Tribune printed an article titled “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator.” Angry crowds gathered, and the outnumbered Black residents of Tulsa feared Rowland would be lynched. Local officials did little to quell the unrest; some encouraged it. Deputies gave guns and ammunition to whites, and the National Guard jailed all Black Tulsans who were not already in custody. More than 6,000 people were held at the fairgrounds and the convention hall.
A day later Greenwood lay in ruins. An estimated 1,200 homes were destroyed, along with virtually every other structure — a hospital, churches, schools, the library. As many as 300 people died. Following the practice at the time, the Blacks who had been held in custody were not released unless a white person vouched for them. No one was ever prosecuted. Historically, the event was termed a “race riot;” calling it a riot meant that insurance companies did not have to pay claims to Greenwood residents whose property was destroyed. The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum now calls it the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
Also on this day in 1937 aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, left Oakland, CA, on their ill-fated around-the world flight. Their Lockheed Electra disappeared after a stop in New Guinea on June 29 of that year. They had only 7,000 miles to go. Neither their bodies nor the plane has ever been found. In a letter to her husband she wrote, “Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
It’s the birthday of poet John Masefield (books by this author) born in Ledbury, England (1878). His writing often took the sea as its subject; his first collection was titled Salt-Water Ballads (1902) and included one of his most beloved poems, “Sea-Fever,” which begins: “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,/ And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.”
Masefield was chosen as the U.K.’s poet laureate in 1930 and kept the post for 37 years.
It’s the day we celebrate the birth of Dante (books by this author), born in Florence, Italy, in 1265. No one knows for sure the exact date. What is known about the poet is that he met his great love and muse, Beatrice, when he was about nine years old. It was love at first sight. Three years later he was promised in marriage to another girl, but that didn’t stop him from writing about Beatrice in his poetry, where he referred to her as his main reason for living.
Dante had political aspirations, and because the law held that public officials had to be a member of one of the professional guilds, he became a pharmacist. He had wanted the Vatican to have less influence over Florence — but opposing forces came to power and he was exiled to Rome. With his fortunes left behind and his great love Beatrice now dead, Dante had nothing but time to devote to his poetry; it was then, toward the end of his life, that he began work on his “Divine Comedy.”
Dante chose to write the poem in colloquial Italian rather that Latin, which had been the language for Western literature for more than a thousand years. It was also the first epic poem in Western literary history in which the author served as the main character.
He was 55 when he died of malaria, shortly after completing “Paradiso,” the third and final part of “Divine Comedy,” following the “Inferno” and “Purgatorio.” In the years after his death, as the influence of his work helped establish Italian as the world’s accepted language of great literature, his hometown of Florence came to regret having banished Dante and requested that his remains be transferred back for burial, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the city officially rescinded his sentence of perpetual exile.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®