High Point, NC
Garrison Keillor and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet (Robin & Linda Williams, Prudence Johnson with Dan Chouinard) comes to the High Point Theatre for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. Tickets $60-$40
Garrison Keillor and the Hopeful Gospel Quartet (Robin & Linda Williams, Prudence Johnson with Dan Chouinard) comes to the Waynes Theatre for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 7:00PM $55 reserved
Garrison Keillor and the Hopefuls (Robin and Linda Williams) comes to the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center for an Evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. Tickets $30 reserved/ $10 children
Carrollton, GA Luncheon
Garrison Keillor will join guests for a casual Luncheon in the Lobby of the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center, where he will talk about how it all began and where he thinks he is going. Tickets: $45
Garrison Keillor Tonight with opener Debi Smith comes to The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA for an Evening of poetry, Sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. Tickets $45.00.
The word from back home is that the sweet corn is not as good as hoped for due to the lack of rain at crucial junctures but I’m guessing the truth is that we expect too much of sweet corn, those of us who grew up with big gardens expect it to be redemptive whereas it is only a grain trying to be a vegetable. My father was a postal worker, a federal employee, not easily moved to rapture, but our sweet corn, which was 30 seconds from stalk to boiling pot, husked en route, made him very happy.
This was why God created suburbs, for the gardening, so that good country people with high standards wouldn’t suffer the indignity of packaged vegetables. My dad would’ve happily planted sweet corn right up to the foundation of the house, no need for grass (we had no cows), but Mother was a city girl so we kept a yard. Dad never bragged about his children but he was proud of his corn: it was the best in the neighborhood. And now, the garden suburb where I grew up is tending toward cellblocks of condos, the very prison life my father sought to escape. Standards are falling all around.
I thought about this on Monday, eating supper alone — my wife at a family reunion in Connecticut — I had cooked three ears of sweet corn, store-bought, days old, microwaved, but thanks to childhood memories, I imagined it was good. It was around 3 p.m. I like eating a light breakfast and a big meal in mid-afternoon, which seems to give me a richer dream life. The other night I sailed a four-masted schooner on Lake Superior and my late brother, who was a real sailor, gazed at me in astonishment as I bossed the crew around, tossing off nautical terms I’d never heard before. To finally win the admiration of my older brother, who due to his untimely death is now eight years younger, is an amazement. The dream was long, very detailed, and I loved it, the body freed from the drudgery of digestion, now devoted to dreaming.
The phone rang as I was husking the microwaved corn. This is a problem with 4 p.m. dinner, the phone rings. Had my wife been home, I would’ve let it go but I thought it might be her so I answered. It was a friend asking if I’d read the magazine article she’d forwarded to me about anthropologists who say that mankind has, not once but several times, come close to extinction.
I said I had not. I said, “I’ve been finishing up my novel.” This is an advantage of being a writer: you always have work to do that serves to get you out of what others expect of you. You are never at a loss for an excuse.
I went back to the corn and the phone rang again, a Connecticut number so I answered and it was a pal who was in a lather about the Times’s coverage of Mr. Obama’s 60th birthday party at his Martha’s Vineyard mansion. Due to COVID fears, the guest list of 475 had been scaled back, and that was the big story — who was out, who was still in — which offended the pal, who is a righteous man, that the Times, at a time of apocalyptic weather and fires out West and the Big Lie about the election and Republican intransigence over the January 6 insurrection, should be so fascinated about showbiz celebrities. “We’re seeing weather never seen before. Republicans act as if it’s 1953. We’re supposed to care whether Jay-Z and Beyoncé are coming?”
I’d read the whole Times story and liked it, mainly because I’m an old man and it’s interesting to read about famous people and see how many of them I don’t know from a bale of hay. Also interesting to see the Times had corrected a misspelling of Stephen Colbert’s name in an earlier edition. When a celeb’s name gets misspelled as Steven, you can hear the bells tolling.
I listened to the righteousness for almost half an hour, quietly eating my corn, mooshing in my mouth to stifle the crunch. When a friend is talking apocalypse, it’s hard to pull the conversation over to sweet corn, so I didn’t try. Extinction is no distinction but I do believe the Lord has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies and that there is sweet corn on it and it is a shame not to enjoy it to the fullest extent possible.