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Dear Mr. Keillor, I am

December 14, 2005 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,

I am an English teacher at an affluent liberal school on the upper west side. Whenever you are purportedly in town, I walk from school down Broadway to columbus circle in the hope that I run in to you. I am the mid-thirty year old in, yes, red tennis shoes. I also carry one of your books in my back pack and await your signature. I saw Fred Neuman leaving Circuit City last week. My hopes were elevated. You do tell stories about walking up Broadway; are these tall tales or will I see you walking up Broadway? Please do not change your walking route to Amsterdam or Columbus.

Best wishes,
Brian of Brooklyn

I will be watching for you, Brian. My hikes on Broadway are pretty much limited to the Eighties, down to Zabar's and Barnes & Noble, though of course I go up to the subway stop at 94th if I need to catch the express. And down to Lincoln Center and Lincoln Plaza movie theaters. I would never abandon Broadway for Amsterdam or Columbus. Careful with those red tennies in the winter slush—they will get old quick if you get them soused in salt. By the way, I met a boy who goes to your school, if your school happens to be Collegiate, and he thinks the world of it. He's an odd kid, as I was, and his enthusiasm about his school made me wish I'd gone to something similar. But then, of course, I would've had to grow up in New York, and New York has enough writers who grew up here, and I'd probably have become a teacher and be a fan of yours. Which maybe I am anyway, if you are one of his teachers.

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