Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Classic Storyteller

There aren't too many of them left anymore are there? Think of people like your grandpa or your great-uncle. My Dad is definitely one of them. He has us roaring when he recalls events of his childhood such as:

--the time he and his friends set a field on fire (by accident, of course), then ran home and upon being asked by his mother if he knew about the fire he said, with singed eyebrows, "what fire?"

--playing poker in his friends basement in high school while the parents were "out-of-town" only to have them arrive and open the basement door to billowing cigar smoke and utter "Lawrence, are you down there?"

--He and his friends (maybe about 8 of them) went in on a car together, a real clunker. They never licensed it or did much legally with it, and after it was parked, broken down, with about 100 parking tickets, decided they just had to abandon it.

Matt and I had a chance to listen to a classic storyteller last night, Garrison Keillor. I can remember listening with my Dad to public radio as a kid to his "A Prarie Home Companion" show and hearing tales of Lake Wobegon. Hearing songs about Powdered Milk Biscuits and listening to the stories of all the townsfolk, including Ralph, of Ralphs "pretty-good" grocery store ("if you can't find it at Ralphs, you can probably do without").
Hearing Garrison Keillor recount memories (made up or not), of growing up in midwest winters, and share his thoughts on aging was a fantastic evening. He wore his classic red sneakers and socks (perfect for a Nebraska audience). Before the show as I looked on the huge stage I wondered if he was ever intimidated. . .all that was there was a small table with a couple of bottled waters, a stool and a mic and mic stand. But from the moment he took the stage, I could tell we were in for a great night, and it was. He told his fantastic stories for almost 2 hours straight, never stopping for even a drink of water, keeping the audience captivated the whole time.
This is how Garrison Keillor always ends his shows and programs. . .(we once gave my Dad a plaque with this saying), "That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average."
In a couple of weeks we'll be able to hear from our great family storyteller, my Dad. Why? you ask? It's Grandpa Camp time again!! (2 different links there. . )


compulsive writer said...

I love me a good story and I've been hearing a lot about A Prarie Home Companion lately. I'll have to check it out!

Rachel said...

We've listened to him for forever, growing up and now. He's so great.

Lyle said...

My grandpa could always make the simple life of western Colorado very entertaining through his stories.