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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/16/16

Lake Wobegon Shuttered: Garrison Keillor is Retiring

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Garrison Keillor is retiring -- Oh God, what will us that really love America do? What will the pathological admirers of Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Carl Sandburg, Kurt Vonnegut and Red Skelton do? How do we that still hang on to the notion that America is great because it is funny and literate continue?

How are we, getting up in the morning still clinging to the notion of our neighbors as lovable eccentrics and cranks, going to have to admit that they may be fu**ed up and dangerous? I'm getting teary eyed as I'm writing this because even though David Bowie and Johnny Cash and whomever got my juices flowing -- Garrison Keillor is a vitamin or a necessary electrolyte; he is the soil, and the forest and the milk shake -- the others were the sprinkles on top of the cupcake.

There are few if any in the history of mankind that have chronicled the human condition with such empathy, pathos and good humor as Garrison Keillor. Well...maybe William Shakespeare. Any writer that wants to understand and seek America past and understand the proper way forward needs to listen to a Prairie Home Companion over and over and over.

He is the Mario Puzo of Minnesota -- Clemenza taught us to love spaghetti despite imminent mayhem, Guy Noir taught us to love Lutefisk or at least want to be close enough to it to effectively ridicule it despite imminent human foibles...well, that's not quite the same, but sh*t does happen.

How many folks out there secretly wanted to be North Country Lutherans on any particular Saturday morning? Lake Wobegon will live on in the hearts and actions of many in trailer parks and board rooms and bingo parlors and vestibules in all reasonable perpetuity. There should be a Boy Scout badge with a powdermilk biscuit on it.

I've been thinking and talking about the power of metaphor lately. Every Saturday morning it was in its full glory -- ringing through my shop, appropriately mingling with the clatter and the buzz. 'A Prairie Home Companion' encapsulated the best and the worst of what we are in farce and prose; sending us angels, dressed like us -- building empathy anew each Saturday on the streets of Lake Wobegon.

Thank You Garrison

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Kevin is an Artist, Writer, Carpenter and Gallerist in Texas.

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