Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Jaffrey, NH. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Garrison Keillor returns to Boothbay Harbor with his solo show. Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Beverly, MA with Poetry, Limericks, Sing-Along and the News from Lake Wobegon
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour will visit to the Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL with our Special Guests: Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Howard Levy, Chris Siebold, Larry Kohut, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman.
St. Paul, MN – 3rd show – Limited Seating
A Prairie Home Companion’s 50th Anniversary Tour returns home to The Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN for THREE SHOWS with our Special Guests: Heather Masse, Christine DiGiallonardo, Rich Dworsky, Sue Scott, Tim Russell and Fred Newman and more.
I don’t listen to the radio or watch TV except for baseball and even then I turn the sound off because the aging mind is so susceptible to irritability and who needs to go around in a state of irk. My favorite medium is the telephone and the comedy routine of talking with old friends. As the body falls apart, people get funnier and funnier. I also like the scraps of phone talk overheard on walks, the woman walking into Walgreens who said, “Jesus, where are you?” and the woman who said, “I know what you said, I’m not deaf.” I cherish these things. “Jesus, where are you?” has become a part of my life.
But on New Year’s Eve, I walked by a party and I heard the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” and days later I rode in an Uber and heard Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs” and they’re up in my head, and I can disperse them with a Chopin étude or a Bach chorale, but they come back, and for some reason, so does “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener,” and this is very irritating when a man is trying to write a novel.
My friend Sally tells me that, since her husband died, she needs to keep a radio on all day and into the night, to keep loneliness at bay. Okay. Fine. I’ve gone into restaurants where recorded music was playing and I turned around and walked out. I went to dinner at friends’ once and they played Judy Collins through the whole meal and it about drove me nuts.
Silence is a basic necessity. I’m an early riser and as I make coffee and take my meds, my dreams evaporate and my waking mind is open to inspiration and sometimes finds it — I suddenly know what’s next in my novel, I think of a letter I need to write to someone, and I don’t want an Oscar Mayer wiener to butt in. The thought of wanting to be one, of wanting to be eaten, a jingle about cannibalism. I’ve been off Oscar Mayer for decades, I eat a Nathan’s now and then but what I crave is the Kramarczuk’s bratwurst from the Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company on East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.
A Kramarczuk’s brat, steamed, on a lightly toasted bun with some mayo, chopped onions, and a mighty mustard, is a sausage worth singing about.
When I’m down and hopes are shot,
Give me a Kramarczuk’s brat,
In a bun with mustard, hot,
And suddenly life is not
Near as bad as I had thought,
And I’m grateful for the brat I’ve got.
Just remember the c and z
And life’s as good as it can be.
In my mind I am walking through downtown Minneapolis and across the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, the frozen Mississippi below, the foundations of old flour mills and it’s a bitter cold day and I’m miserable because my life is one failure after another, I was a dorky kid in high school and I developed literary pretensions in order to distinguish myself from others, but it’s all too clear to me that I am a fake and a fraud, and then I smell the sausage factory, and I step into the deli and order a brat and a cup of coffee, and sit down and eat.
Sausage teaches a writer an excellent lesson. A sausage is not made of filet mignon, it is made of various things, some of which you’d rather not know about, but with the proper seasoning, it becomes a masterpiece, and so can writing. Look at this column, which is about silence and it works in Jesus and the telephone and Chopin and a bad jingle and a cold winter day and then a magical bratwurst. I wrote it at one sitting early in the morning and I think it’s the best column I ever wrote. When my beloved wakes up, I’m going to read it to her aloud and her laughter is priceless to me, better than a Chopin étude.
I may put it in my novel. It’s an autobiographical novel about an old writer who looks back on his life and sees all the sloughs of despond and I think a bratwurst can be to me what that madeleine was to Proust. You never know when joy might strike. Enjoy the silence and be alert and you may be amazed what will come to mind.