Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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Dear Garrison, We love your
February 2, 2006 |
We love your show. Everything you talk about reminds me of where I grew up in San Rafael, CA. which was once a "small town" settled by Italians. In the 1950's this old man named Charlie used to bring his horse-drawn buggy to my grandmother's door and all the old Italian ladies would come walking down the street to talk and visit with their neighbors and buy fresh vegetables from him. We knew the milkman, the garbage man and the mailman by their first names. My mom would bake cookies for them at Christmas time. Up until about 1973 I could ride my horse anywhere downtown and tie him up to a parking meter and get an ice cream at Woolworth's for a quarter. In grammar and high school, my mom made us walk to the bus even in the pouring rain. There were these things called umbrellas and rainboots that kids these days don't understand because their parents don't want them to feel unloved if they don't schlep them to school each day in the Mercedes.
Then something happened about five years ago. The old traditions died, kids moved away for good after college, families split up and now our parents are going to Heaven (we hope!). We are left with memories but the landscape has changed. Snobby young yuppies with their whiney, undisciplined kids have moved in and all everyone seems to care about is how much money you have and what kind of car you drive and how much "stuff" you have. It's all about how good you look in spandex while getting your decaf-soy-non-fat-latte at Peet's Coffee and talking about how sore you are because you just worked out for 2 hours at 24-Hour Fitness.
So now we are looking into new places to live - something we never thought about before - but this doesn't seem like "home" anymore. We don't know where that will take us. Maybe north to Washington which we hear is very, very nice. But every Saturday night from 6-8pm Pacific Time, we tune in to your show, cook dinner, drink wine and listen in front of the crackling fire. Thank you.
San Rafael, CA.
San Rafael will be poorer if you leave, my dear, and those whiney children will be even less likely to hear about the old Italians of the town, which would be a pity. So if you do leave for the north, make sure you write up your memoirs of San Rafael in the Fifties (leaving out the complaints about yuppies) and put it where anybody can find it. Those old Italians you remember may have missed their youth back in the Depression years when people cared about each other and weren't spoiled by postwar prosperity and the big cars with fins and the TVs. They looked on the children around them as somewhat whiney and spoiled, surely. Which I'm sure you were not, dear. But do a local history project before you go.