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.
After the Fires
by Linda Gregg
Now that you are old, you have moved inland,
surrounded by trees and a river hidden below.
You walk there with your life inside you.
The scenes, the arrangements and dissertations
on the bounty of women, the flecks of their color,
and all the rest. With your age upon you,
your boxes of papers and pictures cut out of
the National Geographic ranging from the forties
to the present, to know the world that was yours.
It makes me remember the fires that were built
on the beaches when I was young. Huge fires
made out of what was there. I remember what
they looked like when the fires went out.
Plenty of logs left blackened, held by the wet
and high tides. I stand with the size
of the burnt-out fires the morning after
and listen to the quiet young ocean.
Linda Gregg, “After the Fires” from All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2000 by Linda Gregg. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org. (buy now)
On this day in 1607 a group of about a hundred English settlers arrived on the west bank of the James River to found a colony they called Jamestown. The fleet was made up of three ships, 39 crew members, and 103 passengers — all men and boys; the women wouldn’t come along for another year and a half. The expedition was driven by entrepreneurial motives: the Virginia Company of London hoped to reap the bounty of the New World. A couple of weeks earlier, the fleet had arrived in the Chesapeake Bay. They made landfall at a cape they named Cape Henry.
Upon arrival at the bay Captain Christopher Newport opened the sealed orders from the Virginia Company. The orders directed the settlers to choose an inland site for their colony, so the men got back on their ships and began exploring the bay, eventually making their way up the James River. They landed on an island that appeared to be easy to defend. It was also near water that was deep enough to anchor a large ship. They soon found out that island they chose was in the middle of Algonquian-speaking Indian territory with some 14,000 people already living there.
After four months at sea the colonists’ provisions were already running low when they arrived at Jamestown. They wasted no time in unloading their ships and breaking ground on their new settlement, which they named Jamestown in honor of their king, James I. The governing council chose Edward Wingfield to be the colony’s first president. One of the seven council members was a man named John Smith, who originally had been sentenced to hang for mutiny until the orders revealed that the Virginia Company had named him to the council. John Smith was leading two other men on a search for provisions when some Indians captured them. Smith’s companions were killed and Smith was taken back to the Indian village as a hostage. His life was saved after Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, interceded on his behalf. Powhatan and Smith established a trade relationship in spite of the tension between their two factions.
But the Jamestown settlers were fighting an uphill battle on a number of fronts. Aside from the lack of provisions and the tenuous relationship with the Algonquian people, the water near the settlement wasn’t fit to drink. The climate was also much different from what the English colonists were used to, and the area was in the middle of a severe drought, which made matters worse. On top of all of these hardships, most of the settlers were upper-class Englishmen who had little to no experience in labor, skilled or otherwise.
Women began arriving in 1608 but the men vastly outnumbered them. John Smith was in charge of the colony by this time, and he had a pretty good trading relationship with Powhatan and his people. But when he was injured by a gunpowder fire he went back to England, never to return to the colony. Things fell apart after he left: the colonists fought with the Indians, and were unable to supply enough food for themselves due to the prolonged drought. In their weakened state they were more susceptible to illness and many of them died from starvation or disease. They referred to the post-John Smith era as “the starving time.” By the spring of 1610 they were talking seriously about abandoning the colony and returning to England when a fleet arrived from England bearing provisions and a charter that put Jamestown under military law. It also brought new settlers with fresh moneymaking ideas. Not all of the ideas worked, but in 1613 they decided to try planting a cash crop: tobacco. The colony grew rapidly after that, both in geographical size and in prosperity. The first African indentured servants arrived in 1619, and by the middle of the century the slave trade was firmly established in the colony of Virginia.
On this day in 1637 Cardinal Richelieu of France invented the table knife. Distinguished by its rounded tip the Cardinal ordered his kitchen staff to file off the sharp points on all the knives to improve his guests’ table manners. It was common at the time to stab meat, eating it off the knife, and to pick ones teeth with the instrument after the meal. This also had the side effect of making dinner a much less dangerous affair and, in 1669, King Louis XIV banned all pointy knives at the table and on the streets of France.
It’s the birthday of Arthur Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan, born in London in 1842. He wrote the music for their 14 comic operas which included H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), and The Mikado (1885). He said, “One day work is hard, and another day it is easy; but if I had waited for inspiration I am afraid I should have done nothing. The miner does not sit at the top of the shaft waiting for the coal to come bubbling up to the surface. One must go deep down, and work out every vein carefully.”
It’s the birthday of novelist Daphne du Maurier (books by this author), born in London (1907). Young Daphne grew up surrounded by writers, including J.M. Barrie, whose Peter Pan was inspired in part by her cousins, and she wanted to be a writer herself, but found that her muse only spoke to her when she was at her family’s summer home in Cornwall, on the southwestern tip of England. She once wrote of Cornwall, “Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known … Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone.” She set many of her books and stories there, including Jamaica Inn (1936), Rebecca (1938), and Frenchman’s Creek (1941).
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®