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Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

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Dear GK: What happened? Once,

October 11, 2004 |

Dear GK:

What happened? Once, you were on the radio. Then, I heard you died. Or retired or something. And now you're on the radio again. Don't get me wrong; I love your wit, your talent, and your show, and I never want it to end, but could you please explain yourself?

--Ray Quintana (pronounced Keen-tah'-nah)

Ray, I was on the radio and then in 1987, in a fit of exhaustion, I brought the show to an end. I moved away and lived in Copenhagen for awhile and in New York and wrote for The New Yorker and worked on a novel. One fine autumn day I was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, walking around the battlefield, near where Pickett’s troops began their terrible charge across the cornfield against General Meade, and a man called out to me and said, “When are you coming back to radio?” He said this in a sort of matter of fact way, and it stuck with me. A few months later, Minnesota Public Radio asked if I wanted to start a new show from New York, so I did ---- it was called “The American Radio Company” and it had a big rollicking band called The Coffee Club Orchestra (which went on to stardom in the musical “Chicago”) and we did a few seasons from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Symphony Space, and the Lambs Club ---- and then we brought it back home to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. And renamed it “A Prairie Home Companion,” which was what it really was. And here we are. Marriage, divorce, and remarriage to the same woman. Life is good. Glad you caught up with us.

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