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Garrison Keillor entertains

January 25, 2010 - Chuck Hunt
Do you know who Garrison Keillor is? I thought everyone did, but I guess I am wrong. Last Saturday (Jan. 23) I had a chance to attend his show at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. It was great. What you get to attend is the actual production of the live show, 'A Prarie Home Companion,' being broadcast on Minnesota - and National - Public Radio. Usually the show is produced at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, but Keillor takes the production on the road much of the time as well. His weekly radio show is on at 5 p.m. on Saturday nights, and rebroadcast on Sundays at 11 a.m. I have been a fan for many years, listening to the show, as well as having his books and audio tapes of the show. When I was telling people about going to the show in Rochester, I was amazed how many people have just a bare knowledge of who Garrison Keillor is, what his show is all about, or a few who have never even heard of him. Wow! There is even a movie made about his show, called A Prairie Home Companion. I own that as well, and love to watch it. It stars many Hollywood actors, such as Meryl Streep, portraying 'guests' on the radio show. But, I guess some people are just not aware of the show, or of the 67-year-old host, Keillor. I have always wanted to go the live taping of the show in St. Paul over the years, but have never gotten it done. Now I did, although the show was being done in Rochester. I have heard Garrison speak three times. At the Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention, and at the National Newspaper Convention. The third time was in the tiny southwest Minnesota town of Tyler. Tyler is a Danish heritage town, and Keillor spoke at the Danish Fall Meeting held at the Danebod Lutheran Church there in Tyler. Keillor had once been married to a Dane, and lived in Denmark for a spell. his speech in Tyler was about his experiences of living in Denmark. It was slightly similar to his tales from Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. Except he added a lot of personal reflections on his life, marriage, and divorce. After his talk, he hung out with Bill Holm (author, poet and professor) and Howard Mohr (author of 'How to Talk Minnesotan') and me. It was a very interesting evening of witty conversation. Not from me - I just had the priviledge of listening to the three of them tell one humorous story after another. For me it was a pretty special evening. For someone who had never heard of Garrison Keillor before, it might not have meant as much. Give the show a listen sometime if you never have.


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