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August 8, 2005 |

Mr. Keillor,
I read the article in The Washington Post about the Prairie Home movie, to which I am looking forward, by the way; I figure if you've endorsed and involved yourself in it, the final product must be good. However, I noticed that Peter Kaufman referred to Tim Russell as Tom Russell. Is this an alias of some sort, an attempt to throw people off the trail, or was Mr. Kaufman simply not paying attention?

Jenn German
Elkridge, MD

Jenn, it's an alias. Tim Russell is forced to work in movies under the name Tom Russell because he's been blacklisted for communist activities. His parents, Bertrand and Jane, were a well-known pinko couple in Tinseltown and Tim never accepted the fall of the Soviet Union. He still goes around singing those old Pete Seeger songs like "Peat Bog Soldiers" and "The Banks of Marble" and "We will not be afraid of Franco's fascists even though the bullets fall like sleet/ Round us stand those fearless men our comrades and for us there can be no defeat." He is a nice person in every other respect, but as a known Red he cannot work under his own name.

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