Off the Air

A collection of press clippings, special projects or appearances including Garrison Keillor.

Summer Love Tour: Richmond, VA

August 13, 2010

PHC staffer Nic Vetter is on the Summer Love tour with Garrison, Sara Watkins, Fred Newman and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.

So my role for this tour is to essentially be a fly on the wall of every city and try and blend in like a local and make keen observations that will be turned over to GK who will, in turn, make it all humorous and special. I can do it easily in places like New York City because I've mastered appearing nonchalant while crossing streets before the light turns; if my mother saw me she'd try to hold my hand at every intersection. It's harder to go unnoticed in places like Richmond because my appearance screams "YANKEE IMPOSTOR!!!" so I optimized my few hours of on-the-ground research with nice and knowledgeable native escorts who can drive me around.

Today we were taking a little tour of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler are buried there as are many Confederate generals and soldiers.

It was nice, and I kept getting out of the car to take pictures and the old Nissan Pathfinder we were in suddenly refused to start. We would have been stranded but a nice gentleman appeared and kindly took pity on us and went off to get some tools to fix the starter, when a sweet lady also appeared and insisted in her Virginian drawl that it was probably the battery, and I believed her because her accent was confident and convincing. After a while the car mysteriously started back on it's own (it was Friday the 13th and we were in a cemetery...) and I got back in time to pass on the info to GK.

Southern hospitality lives in Richmond — it's a great old town with a lot of character. And if you should ever come, try the BBQ at Buz and Ned's. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens rival the Meijer Gardens (the roses are in full bloom!). They even have a little tree house here.

Oh, and if I ever didn't know the definition of "dog days of summer" I sure do now — us Northerners don't take to the humidity very well. We're not bred for it.

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