Wednesday, October 28, 2009

People and Things We Don't Want to Lose

A while back Garrison Keillor suffered a slight stroke. We have listened to his radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" broadcast from St. Paul, Minnesota, for several years, off and on. I think the best years might have been the ones when we listened to them. The show is set in Lake Wobegone, Minnesota...a fictional place, but magical in the telling about the inhabitants. If you saw the movie it was true to the radio show, but the radio show is better. We used to listen while I was cooking dinner for us on Saturday evening. Garrison had a new story about what had happened in Lake Wobegone during the past week. They had performers who sang old songs and told stories, too.

There aren't many of us left who understand the joy of listening to the radio while stories are spun out. When I was a little girl I'd listen to some soap operas while my grandmother sewed on her treadle sewing machine. To make it even a little more difficult for her I'd be on the floor "helping" with the treadle. As I grew older I found "The Shadow", my favorite of all time. But in between there was "Amos and Andy", "Fibber McGee and Molly". But as I said "The Shadow" was my favorite and I really believed that Lamont Cranston "knew what evil lurks in the hearts of men"...and that he would do something about it. He was on the side of all that was right and good.

I guess that set me up for "The Prairie Home Companion", because it is based on the good folks who live in Lake Wobegone. There is the Lutheran Pastor Ingqvist and the Catholic Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow, and the Norwegian bachelor farmers and all the neighbors. It is a rich and wonderful auditory experience to not listen to anything but the radio for a while. The stories are so real sounding the little town sort of becomes real to you. A long time ago when we only had radio for evening entertainment we would sit in front of the console radio and listen raptly to whichever show was on. We faced the radio, too. There was no tv at that time. The people who live in Lake Wobegone have the same issues to deal with as we all do, GK just gives them a little humor as he tells their story.

I was very upset when I heard he had suffered a mild stroke and have been checking the news about his condition frequently. He says it wasn't that much of a big deal. He has been resting a bit after that happened. I know I would have to just lay down for a while, pretty long while if I have ever have a small stroke. Also, I've told my husband that if I ever do, to let me lay there for a little while and not to pull the plug too quickly. My sister and I have a pact, too. We will check each other for signs of life before we allow anyone to pull the plug on us. We don't trust our husbands all that much on the life and death thing. Once after I came out of surgery my husband and my aunt came back to intensive care to check on me. They went to someone else's bed. They talked about how bad "I" looked and Jeeze who knew if "I" might make it or not. The nurse finally steered them to where I was...but I still haven't forgotten that little mistake. My HUSBAND AND MY AUNT didn't even recognize me. That is just pitiful.

The show airs from 5pm to 7pm Saturdays on National Public Radio, and really is worth a visit, even if you just stay a while. The show is rebroadcast on Sunday at 11AM. I'll be checking to see what time the sun goes down, since Saturday evening is Halloween, too. Maybe, I'll have time to get it all in before the trick or treaters come out. The website says it is CST, but Saturday night is still just check for an hour to see if it is on.

Oh yeah...just heard on the news about getting ready for the HUGE Rainstorm that is coming, but will be gone before Halloween, so the little ghosts and goblins won't get soaked or have to wear a raincoat over their cute costume. That would be dreadful for them.


  1. Funny thing. We're going tomorrow to update our wills and power of attorney. We've always thought that having two loving members of the family make the plug decision is a good thing.

  2. I know a little about Heifer Intl. But their local fame is their "green" building and grounds. There are regular tours of how they converted their location and recycled and continue to recycle every inch of everything.

    Their philantrophic causes are far reaching and amazing. I think a lot of their clients are corporate entities. I give a to a lot of causes but $1000 a whack is not common.

    I have friend who attends all things that will save the planet; she has toured Heifer Int and came back raving about it.

  3. Oh Msribeth I think you are so on the right track. I was kidding about the mix up after surgery, but there is some truth to it. I don't have to worry about my aunt any longer, bless her, but my husband...I dunno. *grin*

    That is so wonderful to hear about and next spring maybe hubby and I will try to get up there. I would love to see it. I think I always wanted to be a pioneer or hippie, but never made it and would have been terrible at it. I'm watching a series about only eating food that is produced, grown, or found within a 100 mile radius. And now I think I'm going to get into green houses. They are starting tonight with Houston, out west somewhere and in Australia. That one looked so interesting. At night you pull up a wooden "drawbrige" and it keeps the cool in the house...I guess. Haven't seen it yet. Make sure you get plenty of rest before hitting the road again. I just noticed it is raining again here.