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!
Making Things Clean
by Wesley McNair
One would hardly recognize him like this,
the high-school shop teacher, glasses off,
bent over the kitchen sink. Nearby,
house dresses and underpants flutter
in the window of the Maytag he bought
for his mother. Its groaning is the only
sound while she washes his hair,
lifting the trembling water in her hands
as she has always done, working foam up
from his gray locks like the lightest
batter she ever made. Soon enough,
glasses back on, he will stand
before students who mock his dullness;
soon, putting up clothes, she’ll feel
the ache of a body surrendering to age.
A little longer let him close his eyes
against soap by her apron, let her move
her fingers slowly, slowly in this way
the two of them have found to be together,
this transfiguring moment in the world’s
old work of making things clean.
Wesley McNair, “Making Things Clean” from Lovers of the Lost: New & Selected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Wesley McNair. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of David R Godine, Publisher, Inc., www.godine.com (buy now)
It’s the birthday of Amy Bloom (books by this author), born in New York City (1953). She’s the author of the novel Love Invents Us (1997) and the collection of short stories A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You (2000). She is a practicing psychotherapist and began writing fiction in her spare time. Many of the characters she writes about suffer from mental illness. She says that psychotherapy and writing are both about using small details to find out what’s going on as opposed to what people say is going on. She says that both fiction and psychotherapy are about putting your hands on people’s lives, to be intimate.
It is the birthday of musician and songwriter Paul McCartney (1942), born in Liverpool, England, where he picked out chords on a family piano. When he was 14, he learned to play a left-handed guitar and met a local art student named John Lennon.
It is the birthday of novelist Gail Godwin (1937) (books by this author), born in Birmingham, Alabama. Her first big success was the novel A Mother and Two Daughters (1982). Godwin’s next two novels were set in the South and drew upon her own life experiences. A Southern Family (1987) was based on the suicide of her half-brother Tommy and Father Melancholy’s Daughter was based on the depression that plagued Godwin’s father for most of his life.
On this day in 1923 Checker Taxi put its first cab on the street. The boxy yellow cars became American cultural icons and featured in movies like Taxi Driver (1976), as well as the TV series Taxi, The Simpsons, and Friends. Checker was the first cab company to hire African-American drivers and it was also the first to require its drivers to pick up all fares, not just Caucasian ones. You could grab a ride in a Checker cab in many American cities but they became closely identified with New York City.
The last of the roomy gas-guzzlers rolled off the company’s Michigan assembly line in 1982, and The New York Times published the headline, “Checker Taxi, 60, Dies of Bulk in Kalamazoo.” The cars became an increasingly rare sight on the streets of New York and the last Checker cab was retired in 1999 with almost a million miles on its odometer.
On this day in 1812, Congress declared war on Great Britain. The War of 1812, as it came to be known, was triggered in part by the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France. Neither of the two squabbling nations wanted the United States to trade with its rival. Britain went a step further by seizing U.S. citizens off of American ships and impressing them into service with the Royal Navy. This didn’t sit well with Americans, who were irritated with the British for not withdrawing from territory around the Great Lakes and for supporting the Indians in conflicts with settlers in the northeastern United States. President Jefferson first tried to put pressure on Great Britain through its pocketbook with trade embargoes; these ended up devastating the American shipping economy without doing much to hurt either Britain or France. Finally, in 1812, President Madison signed a Declaration of War, which was narrowly approved by Congress. Unknown to the United States, Britain had agreed to repeal the offending trade orders two days before, but the news didn’t reach our shores for nearly a month.
Most of the land battles took place along the border with Canada, and Britain also set up a naval blockade off the U.S. coast. British forces more or less had the upper hand in 1814 and even occupied and burned Washington, D.C. After Napoleon’s first surrender and exile to Elba they could devote more resources to fighting the Americans but, after having been at war in Europe for more than 20 years, the British were tired of fighting. Peace was eventually negotiated through the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814. Again the news was slow to arrive to American shores, and one of the most decisive battles of the war — in which Andrew Jackson and his army defended New Orleans against British forces — actually occurred after peace had been declared.
On this day in 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium. Napoleon and Michel Ney led the French army of around 69,000 troops against the Duke of Wellington and about 67,000 multinational — British, Dutch, Belgian, and German — troops, with the added forces of Gebhard von Blücher’s 48,000-strong Prussian army, which arrived near the end of the day. Napoleon had surrendered the previous year, and was exiled to the Island of Elba off the coast of Italy; he escaped in March 1815 and regained control of his empire, and the allied forces reassembled to depose him once again.
It had rained heavily on the night of June 17, so Napoleon delayed the start of the battle from early morning until midday, to give the ground time to dry out. That delay gave the Prussian army time to meet up with Wellington’s forces and cost the French the battle.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®