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Dear Mr. Keillor, I now

June 9, 2005 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
I now listen to your show with a full heart. My late mother and I spent many long car drives from Toledo to Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus listening to your CDs. Our favorite was the 25th Anniversary Collection. They were difficult drives, a mother trying desperately to survive leukemia, and a daughter savoring every moment, laugh and smile. I can remember a time when both of us laughed so hard while on the highway I considered pulling over. Oh, how that monstrous fart in the elevator nearly killed us! Mom was no longer able to read novels, and music on the radio seemed to make her nervous. But she was able to listen to Prairie Home Companion. She desperately clung to the CD jacket and would always tell me what story or song was coming on next.

Mom wasn't very good at storing her things. When she left for heaven I searched her drawers for those precious CDs. They fell out of the cases, but I found them. Unfortunately, they suffered scratches. I was sad to hear Iris Dement singing "Our Town," mom's favorite, suffering skips. Ah, well, I still love it, skips and all. There is good news though: Some of the CDs survived scratch-free. And now my children love listening to "grandma's stories and songs."

I was able to attend your monologue last year at Owens Community College. Although the sound was too low and my rear hurt from the folding chair, the smile wouldn't leave my face. Surely my mother would have gotten a kick out of you!

So here I am Mr. Keillor, tears at the ready, thanking you for the memories.

Donna Biddle
Toledo, Ohio

Dear Donna, I had forgotten all about that elevator story. It seems to me that it was based on experience and it took place at a medical clinic in Minneapolis. So if you and your mother listened to it as you drove to the medical center in Columbus, I guess that fart came full circle. I'm honored to think that I could make your mother laugh hard in the midst of a worrisome time and I will now think of her when thinking about the show. Sorry the show at Owens was uncomfortable.

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