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June 30, 2004 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
I am studying abroad this year in the U.K. and, while I'm having a great time here, I occasionally get homesick and like to listen to old shows archived on the website.

I recently listened to a show from 1985 that sounded somewhat familiar, one with Chet Atkins and Willie Nelson, which aired the day before my third birthday, and remembered that my parents taped it and used to play it during long car rides to keep us from throttling each other. Thanks to whoever keeps the website.


Dear Alison,
Glad that your studies are going well and that our website can help cure the foreign-student blues. Ill bet your emotional connection to that old show is five times stronger than anything Id feel if it brings back memories of the back seat of the parental car and you and your siblings in a parlous state. I remember that it was in the hills east of California, and Id been on the road a lot and had to write the show in one afternoon in a motel room. Chet and Willie and I posed for a photograph on the loading dock behind the theater. Willie seemed extremely shy, very polite, and the consummate pro. He had a big hit back then, which I wrote new cat words to (For All The Cats Ive Ever Known) and which he sang with good humor. And thats all I remember. We did the show and I went back to the motel and slept and in the morning I got on a plane and went somewhere else. It was a furiously busy year. And I still found time to fall in love and carry on a courtship and marry. Please dont do that right now, Alison. Or ask me before you do.

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