27 March 2013

5 things that prove I love Garrison Keillor

My love of Garrison Keillor has finally paid off, in the way only an English major raised on a steady intake of A Prairie Home Companion would consider a pay off:

As a promotion for his new CD, My Little Town, he's doing a "submit your favorite story about your little town" contest, and he picked this thing I wrote to publish on his site. {I'll tell you more about the thing in a minute.}

  Note several things:

  • I keep saying "he," as if Garrison is there coding the submission form. {You can see it for yourself and admire his handiwork. Such a renaissance man, he is.}
  • Or as if he's staying up past his bedtime reading submissions from people around the country who are trying to make their town sound like Lake Wobegon.
  • I mean, I realize that Garrison probably didn't actually read my poem, but I'm going to pretend. After years of listening to him him spin tales about a town that seemed so familiar and home-like to me, I'm going to pretend that he read about my little town—out loud, obviously, in that deep, nostalgia-creating voice of his—and thought to himself, 'Well, oh my, I'd like to go to this town this Kamiah girl is from. Maybe the next time I'm doing my show at Ravinia, I'll pop out to Glen Ellyn and visit her. We'd get along like gangbusters.' I just know he'd use the word gangbusters.

Yes, I'm going to pretend that my poem has now become one of Garrison Keillor's favorites.

In my mind, he's going to read it on that Writer's Almanac podcast of his someday {which I just wrote about yesterday. Garrison and I are already displaying best-friends-who-think-alike behavior}.

Please don't take my fantasy away from me, but give an NPR nerd her moment in the pale Minnesota sun that's shining down on Lake Wobegon right now.

A Little More about This Thing I Wrote

All you had to do was tell a story about your hometown, and I, in a rare moment of turning my back on Iowa, submitted a poem about Glen Ellyn that I wrote about two years ago. The carnival comes to town every year, and there is nothing like the smell of corndogs to put me in a poetry mood. {That's just the kind of statement Garrison would relate to.}

You can read the poem here on my blog.

Or, if you'd like to see it in its Prairie Home Companion glory, you can see it here. {You, sadly, have to scroll down to the bottom. I need to call Garry and get him to put my poem on the top.}

So, there you have it: Garrison Keillor is, I'm sure, going to visit Glen Ellyn soon in order to meet me. If he comes during the carnival, I would most definitely buy him a funnel cake.

The following list may help really convince him that he should come.

5 Things that Prove I Love Garrison Keillor

  1. I own this t-shirt:

    It is, for those of you who don't know {I scoff at you}, the shirt for the Professional Organization of English Majors, this group that Garrison made up and sometimes does sketches about. If it were real, you know I'd belong.

    If you're an English major and you'd like a shirt, too, you should order one from Garrison.
  2. I once met him—at Tanglewood. My family, we're kind of Garrison groupies, and we went out to western Massachusetts to see him do his show live one summer. Afterwards, we stood in line to meet him. When he heard my name, he said, "Kamiah. Kamiah. That sounds like a name that belongs in a limerick," which is not something I've ever had said to me before, nor is it the conversation I envisioned having with him, but that is all right.
  3. When I was in middle school, someone asked what I liked to listen to on the radio. I said, "A Prairie Home Companion," before I realized that I should've said, "Really awesome music that kids my age would know."

    That experience mirrors the time in elementary school when we were asked our favorite band, and I said, "Peter, Paul, and Mary."
  4. My parents go on the Prairie Home Companion cruises almost every summer. I realize this doesn't really prove why I love Garrison, but it clearly shows that it's in the blood.
  5. Someone once told me, "Your stories sound like something Garrison Keillor would tell. You're like a 30something girl version of him." I had just recently met the person, and I wanted to hug them. That is the 3rd best compliment I've ever received.


  1. Congratulations Kamiah!

    If you were to recommend a work of his for a newbie to start with, what should we watch, read, or listen to?

    1. Thanks, Todd!

      I would just start out with the good old Prairie Home Companion: It's on every Saturday night from 5 to 7 on NPR (that'd be 91.3 in Burlington).

      It's set up like an old time radio show -- sketches, musical acts, that sort of thing -- and always Garrison tells a story from his fictional hometown of Lake Wobegon, MN. It could be because it was such a part of my childhood that I love it so much, but listening to it does bring a lovely steadiness to Saturdays.

    2. Thanks for the info. I'll try it next weekend back in Des Moines since I'll have company in Burlington during this week's show.

      Is this the show with the tagline, "...and the children are always above average"? Or am I thinking of something else?



Related Posts with Thumbnails