October 21, 2023
Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Greensboro, NC. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
September 28, 2023
Crest Theatre, Sacramento, CA
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Sacramento, CA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
September 17, 2023
The Caverns, Pelham, TN
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to The Caverns in Pelham, TN. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
August 27, 2023
Big Top Chautauqua, Bayfield, WI
Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Friends return to Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield WI. Singalongs, stories, duets, comedy and a hot band. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
August 7, 2023
Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Ctr, Old Saybrook, CT
Old Saybrook, CT (2nd show)
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Old Saybrook, CT. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
by Ann Fisher-Wirth
When I wake, afraid,
the light on the deck next door
where the frat boys live
who have tumbled into sleep
after much beer
and after sprinting up and down
the street with their
black Labs, chasing frisbees,
calling, Yo, got it man––
the light they forgot to flick off
after grilling burgers
on the deck, just like they forget
to water their yard or take
their garbage cans off the street––
this random, ordinary light
shines among the inky trees
and through the thick
music of locusts and tree frogs
as if to call me home,
like a candle in the window
of a fairy tale cottage
at the heart of the dunkel,
dunkel Wald––or the safety
I felt when I was small, when
my little sister and I would sleep,
legs curled around legs and heads
pillowed against the doors
in the back seat of the green
Chrysler, as our mother
rested her cheek on her hand
and hummed peacefully
out the side window,
and our father drove through
the cool September night from
the Tuscarora Mountains––
then I would wake groggy
to see the garage light
waiting for us, and one of them
would carry me up to bed.
“Tenderness” by Ann Fisher-Wirth from The Bones of Winter Birds. © Terrapin Books, 2019. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
Today is Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.” It’s a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It was on this date in 1865 that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to spread the word that slavery had been abolished. Of course, the Emancipation Proclamation had gone into effect some two and a half years earlier, in January 1863; most Confederate states ignored it until they were forced to free their slaves by advancing Union troops.
From the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, General Gordon read the contents of General Order Number Three: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
It’s the birthday of the film critic Pauline Kael (books by this author), born in Petaluma, California (1919). She was a film critic for The New Yorker for almost 25 years.
She said, “You have to be open to the idea of getting drunk on movies.”
It’s the birthday of Salman Rushdie (books by this author), born in Mumbai, India (1947).
It’s the birthday of the short-story writer and memoirist Tobias Wolff (books by this author), born in Birmingham, Alabama (1945). He is best known for his memoir, This Boy’s Life.
It’s the birthday of mathematician, physicist, and theologian Blaise Pascal (books by this author), born in Clermont-Ferrand, France (1623). A child prodigy, by the time he was 19 he had already perfected the first mechanical calculator for sale to the public. In the field of physics, he discovered that air has weight, and he conducted experiments to prove that vacuums could exist, which led him to formulate the hydraulic principle that “pressure exerted on a fluid in a closed vessel is transmitted unchanged throughout the fluid.” This principle is used today in devices such as syringes, hydraulic presses, automobile brakes, and aircraft controls. In mathematics, he founded the theory of probabilities and developed an early form of integral calculus.
He spent much of his life in conflict between science and religion, and was one of the first philosophers to seriously question the existence of God. But in 1654, he experienced a revelation, the account of which he carried sewn into his coat lining until his death. He came to the conclusion that there was no science to prove God exists; instead, humans must rely on their faith. He produced two great works of religious philosophy, Lettres Provinciales (Provincial Letters, 1657) and Pensées (Thoughts, 1658).
Blaise Pascal, who wrote, “In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.”
It’s the birthday of the music journalist and cultural critic Greil Marcus (books by this author), born in San Francisco (1945). He was named for his father, Greil Gerstley, who was killed in World War II before Marcus was born. Gerstley served on a Navy ship, one of three that were deliberately sent into a typhoon. Although the other officers urged him to mutiny, Gerstley refused, and all three ships sank. The incident inspired Herman Wouk’s novel The Caine Mutiny (1952). Gerstley’s son was born six months later, and when the boy was three years old, his mother married Gerald Marcus. Gerstley’s death was never discussed, and Marcus was an adult before he knew the full story of how his father died.
Greil Marcus said: “All our lives, from the time we became sentient beings and lost our lives to Little Richard and Elvis Presley, people were telling us ‘you’re going to outgrow this’…But when the Beatles showed up … suddenly we realized, ‘no, you don’t have to outgrow this.’ You can’t outgrow this, you shouldn’t outgrow this, and you won’t outgrow this.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by the United States Senate on this date, 55 years ago. It’s often viewed as the most important United States civil rights legislation since the Reconstruction, and it prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in employment, voting, and the use of public facilities. It was first proposed in 1963 by President Kennedy, but failed to pass. Lyndon Johnson put forward a more robust version the following year, but it had faced a long battle in Congress, including a 57-day filibuster organized by Richard B. Russell. Eventually, the Senate voted to end the filibuster and passed the act, with a 71-29 vote.