Never Too Young to Love Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor and Those Red Socks

Garrison Keillor and Those Red Socks

There are two storytellers I live to emulate, I long to be more like and I love to listen to.  And last night I got to hear one of them. Garrison Keillor broadcasts a weekly program called Prairie Home Companion from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul Minnesota.  He also goes on tour, visiting cities around the country and last night he stopped in Greenville. I was so excited to take my husband to the show– he has never heard a Prairie Home broadcast although we’ve read a couple of Garrison’s books together.

There are a few reasons why I love Garrison Keillor so much. First of all, he’s making fun of me. I grew up Lutheran, Midwestern, and my heritage is Norwegian. I understand Minnesota winters and I get the personalities of the characters he talks about.

Secondly, I have many memories of listening to Prairie Home Companion on lazy Sundays with my dad. Once in college a group of my friends and I– all broadcast majors– sat on a sidewalk outside the Fitz for six hours just to get tickets to the live radio show. We actually got to sit on the stage, staring at Garrison’s backside the entire time.

Finally, he’s an amazing story teller. The audience will roar with laughter one second with a description of a pudgy Lake Wobegon resident walking down the street whose pants resemble two dogs fighting in a pillow case, only to be brought to silent reflection at the mention of a long lost love. That ability to bring a crowd of thousands through such extremes of emotion collectively is what I admire.

Sitting in the very back row of the Peace Center, Garrison Keillor was a tiny fuzzy image up there on stage, all gray except the splash of red from his socks and shoes. He doesn’t use colorful props, a fancy set or an orchestra of musicians. It’s just him, a piano player and a microphone. And I could listen to it for hours. Especially when he recites poems like Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee which he did last night:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love –
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me –
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud one night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we –
Of many far wiser than we –
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling -my darling -my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea –
In her tomb by the sounding sea.



Filed under Funny, life, Observations, Writing

4 responses to “Never Too Young to Love Garrison Keillor

  1. Tim

    What a fun night!

  2. Alanna

    I am so happy you got to see him again! It overjoys me that a piece of my Minnesota “culture” inspires you so much 🙂 haha

  3. I just found your blog recently and I love Jon & Kate + 8 … I love Garrison Keillor … I just turned 30 on March 28 … and I love your posts so far!

    I can’t wait to read more …

  4. P.S. though my blog is coming up as MissCaron … I’m really blogging at … I’ll try and get that sorted out ASAP.

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