Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Frankfort, KY 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 bring their show to Maryville, TN for a performance of classic love songs, poetry, The News from Lake Wobegon, and a conversation about Why You Should Go On Getting Older
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
Palm Desert, CA
Keillor & Company with Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard bring their show to Palm Desert, CA for a performance of holiday songs, humor and The News from Lake Wobegon.
Town Hall, New York City
A Prairie Home Companion American Revival comes to Town Hall in New York City with Christine DiGiallonardo, Heather Masse, Rob Fisher and the Demitasse Orchestra, Rich Dworsky, Walter Bobbie, Sue Scott, Fred Newman and Tim Russell.
NO TURNING BACK
by Gary Johnson
Well-to-do, middle class, broke,
Whether you doze or are woke,
If you’re still alive
At age 65,
Remember this, Jack,
There’s no turning back,
You’ve joined us elderly folk
And you won’t get out till you croak
So accept it as God’s little joke.
The byword is “patience.”
Have a drink. Perhaps a smoke.
Gary Johnson, “No Turning Back.” Use with permission.
It’s the birthday of Fannie Lou Hamer, born in 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi, the twentieth and last child of sharecroppers. The family was poor, and Hamer set out for the cotton fields with the rest of them when she was six years old. But she managed to go to school for a few years and learned to read and write. In 1961 she went to the local hospital for minor surgery. A white doctor performed a hysterectomy without her knowledge. Forced sterilizations of poor Black women in that time were so commonplace they were called “Mississippi appendectomies.” The incident helped set her on the path to activism, and she went to work in voter registration campaigns.
In 1964, she spoke at the Democratic Party national convention in Atlantic City in favor of seating an integrated Mississippi delegation and she described her struggles for voting rights, how she’d been threatened, fired from her job, jailed, and beaten. President Lyndon Johnson was afraid of losing Southern white votes and he scheduled a press conference to conflict with her speech so it wouldn’t be broadcast, but the effect was to only postpone it until evening when it was seen by a much larger audience. Hamer said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
It was on this date in 2007 that Jason Lewis and the Expedition 360 team completed the first entirely human-powered trip around the world. Steve Smith first had the idea while sitting in his office in Paris, so he invited Lewis, a college friend, to accompany him. They had a pedal boat built, which they called the Moksha, a Sanskrit word that means “liberation.” They set off from the Meridian Line in Greenwich, England, on July 12, 1994. They headed southeast, pedaled their boat across the English Channel, and cycled through France, Spain, and Portugal before embarking on their crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean crossing took 111 days, and they landed in Miami, Florida. They biked and skated across the continental United States. Steve Smith left the project in Hawaii to write a book about the first leg of the journey.
The team had to stop from time to time to raise money to fund the trip; Lewis took odd jobs at cattle ranches and funeral homes. About a year into the expedition, his journey very nearly ended altogether. He was rollerblading along the side of a Colorado road when he was run over by an 82-year-old drunk driver. Both of Lewis’s legs were broken, and he narrowly missed having one of them amputated. He spent six weeks in the hospital and a further nine months recovering before he could resume his journey. There were other low points, like being arrested in Egypt as a suspected spy, contracting malaria, having two hernia operations, and being robbed at machete-point. He only returned home once during his journey, to visit his ailing father, before resuming the trip from where he left off. He crossed the Meridian Line on this date in 2007, more than 13 years after he left it.
Lewis followed the definition of circumnavigation set forth by Explorer’s Web: he started and finished at the same point; he crossed two diametrically opposite points on the globe; he crossed the equator at least twice; he passed through all longitudes; and he traveled at least 40,000 miles. He was assisted by a team of volunteers after Smith left, but the entire journey was made on human power alone, with no help from motors, animals, or even sails to capture the wind.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®