July 8, 2023
Lime Kiln Theater, Lexington, VA
Garrison Keillor and Robin & Linda Williams come to the Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, VA for an evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon. 8:00 PM
July 6, 2023
Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, PA
Garrison Keillor and Robin & Linda Williams come to Sellersville, PA for an evening of poetry, gospel, sing-alongs and the News from Lake Wobegon.
April 30, 2023
Paramount Hudson Valley, Peekskill, NY
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Peekskill NY. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unite us.
April 29, 2023
Park Theatre, Jaffrey, NH
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Jaffrey, NH. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
April 27, 2023
Cary Memorial Hall, Lexington, MA
Garrison Keillor brings his solo show to Lexington, MA. Be prepared to laugh and sing along as you celebrate all that unites us.
We came back to Minneapolis to see snow on the ground, there being none in Manhattan yet, and to drive around the old neighborhood where I lived when I was broke. It was 1969, I’d quit a comfy job at the U so I could write a novel and become famous. I had an infant son and he and my wife and I lived there for several months, then the money ran out. She suggested we live in her parents’ basement and instead I applied for an early-morning shift at KSJR at St. John’s University and Mr. Kling hired me. I was the only applicant, I discovered later. That shift led to “A Prairie Home Companion” and forty-two years of amusing myself on radio. So when I drive by that house, I see an enormous canyon between what might have happened and what actually did, and I say a little prayer of gratitude.
Gratitude is one good reason to come back and another is to be with my sweetie who is playing in the orchestra for the opera at the Ordway in St. Paul. One effect of COVID and the monastic life it imposed is that it’s painful for me to be without her. So I tag along. I also see some old friends though I wish I had some young ones too.
(Did I write about this last week? I forget.)
I’ve told my friends: no talk about knee replacements or an ophthalmologist sticking needles in your eyeballs or a colonoscopy or even a semi-colonoscopy. These are not things we discuss over cheeseburgers and fries. And please, no politics. I’m done with all that noise. I’m tired of listening to old liberals moaning and regretting and reminiscing about Gene and Arvonne and George Latimer. I wish I had some Republican friends so I could hear all about the stolen election of 2020 — that is better than “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” — but there are no Republicans in the city of Minneapolis, only young progressives who are devoted to diversity now that they’ve driven the Reps out to the burbs with the botanical street names.
Minnesota is a crystalline paradise in January, especially since my sweetie won’t let me go outdoors for fear I’ll slip on ice and fall and break a knee, which will need replacement or, worse, hit my head and damage my brain, which is irreplaceable and I’d wind up in a locked ward in a nursing home staffed by former kindergarten teachers who will teach me about shapes and sharing. So I look out our dining room window at the snowy landscape and I work on my book about cheerfulness and when I have finished a good passage, I reward myself with a Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll.
The Pearson’s factory is over in St. Paul. It’s a local delicacy. I googled “Salted Nut Roll” when I was in New York and the spinner spun and there were beeping sounds like crickets in the weeds and then my phone went dead and it’s been dead ever since and that’s another reason I came to Minnesota. I know my way around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Without the GPS on my cellphone, I’m lost in Manhattan, but here in Minneapolis we have a telephone with a curly cord on the kitchen wall and when I pick up the receiver I hear a comforting dial tone and then Sharon the operator comes on. “How are you doing today, Mr. Keillor?” she says. I am one of her few remaining customers; the others have died or gone gaga.
I say, “Connect me to Stephanie Beck, please.” And she says, “Stephanie isn’t home, she went to Virg ’N Don’s grocery in Dinkytown to buy veal cutlets, she should be home in an hour. Anyone else?”
“Hillary Speed’s phone is disconnected.”
“She isn’t at St. Olaf college?”
“She married and moved to Tallahassee and has two kids. Write her a postcard.”
Sharon is a miracle. She’s a saint. (Have I written this before somewhere? I apologize if I have.)
“Sharon, is Pearson’s making a salted nut roll that is non-GMO and substitutes lentils for nuts so it can be eaten by kids with nut allergies?”
“No,” she says. “It’s the same as it’s been since your parents were dating, it’s peanuts with a marshmallow nougat and caramel core. If you like, I could call Virg ’N Don’s and have Stephanie bring you a couple.”
I made a little joke about Don not being a virgin and she said, “That’s an old joke. Find something new.”
An operator who will tell you the hard truth. We need more of that in this country. I’ve said it before and now I’ve said it again. Anyway, it’s snowing here and it’s beautiful and I’m indoors, safe and warm. Let’s have lunch.