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Hello Garrison — These cold

February 18, 2005 |

Hello Garrison —
These cold winter days make me yearn for warm weather and a time when we sat in a parking lot outside in St. Paul watching you do PHC. So many things, good and bad, have happened to all of us since then, I wonder if you even remember those old days of small audiences and fresh air. Would I ever be able to see you do another outdoor show?

Sioux Bescher
Clear Lake, IA

Sioux, I'm trying to remember an outdoor show done near a parking lot in St. Paul — could it have been the Como Park bandstand back in the late 70s? There's a big lot right next to it there on Lexington Avenue looking out over the lake. We did the show there because I have all sorts of pleasant memories of Como Park, the zoo, the softball fields where the Jack's Auto Repair team played and where Kevin Fitzpatrick, a poet and rightfielder, lifted some towering home runs, the sort that come crashing down in the infield of the adjacent diamond, startling the pitcher. And some of our Denham family picnics were held there too, so Como is associated in my mind with Aunt Elsie's potato salad and Aunt Ina's peanut-butter cookies and also frankfurters roasted over a fire on a stick, which is the only way to do hot dogs. Boiled dogs are nothing compared to dogs slightly charred and split open by direct contact with flame. I have no memory of the show we did at Como but I could reconstruct a family picnic for you in some detail. We do outdoor shows — we'll do the State Fair again in September and we do quite a few on the road — and maybe we should consider doing one in a parking lot. You could hear the show on your car radio and bring your own food and drink and during the slow parts you could tilt your seat back and snooze. And if the host said something untoward, you could honk at him — you could express show rage.

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