Post to the Host

Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

Send GK Your Question »

January 4, 2007 | 10 Comments

Dear Mr. Keillor,
I am the only student at Worland High School who listens to your show. How am I so certain you ask? While my fellow students are asking each other if they heard the latest song by some pop group, I am asking them if they caught last week's news from Lake Wobegon. The many stares and "Lake what" tell me that they have not. On Saturday nights my friends call and say "Don't tell me you're listening to that stupid show again." I ask them if they have been getting enought ketchup lately. I would much rather listen to the world's tallest radio comedian than play at the park on a cold Wyoming night. I always look forward to hearing the rad rhubarb script and smiling to the sound of Dworsky rocking out. There is a wonderful and complete feeling that I can only get while listeing to A Prairie Home Companion or when at my grandparents house. Your show really scratches me right where I itch.


Todd J.
Worland, WY

Thanks for the kind words, bucko. I admire you sticking up for our radio show there in Worland, Wyoming. You're a brave man. It's awfully easy to kowtow to the majority and mouth the prevailing wisdom and it takes integrity to say what you yourself think and believe in. We sort of expect that from westerners though, don't we? When Oscar Wilde came to America, the Easterners looked at him askance because he was rather flamboyant and even weird, but the cowboys and miners of the West welcomed him as if he were one of their own. Mark Twain got his voice out west and he was as independent as they come. So stick to your guns, and we'll try to make a show that's worthy of being defended publicly in your high school.


Am just getting around to watching the New Year's Eve show. Couldn't stay up that late so I DVRed it!
Great show and I'm glad I have it. My kids (11 and 8) let me listen to it when I have them on Saturdays! Now I can show them Fred Newman as well as you!
And what inspired me to write was that we also play FLINCH. I played it as a kid 50 years ago and have the same deck still. Passing it on! I hope you are planning to have it on the Norwegian cruise! I'll look for it.

Glenn S.
Easthampton, MA

Todd, good for you!! You seem like an intellegent young man, an independent thinker, a potential leader. All great leaders take the risk to stand alone & stand strong in their convictions. The fact that you do not allow others to dictate your life, interests & goals to you shows your integrity & strength. It makes some, who are weak in mind & spirit, uncomfortable to see others flying under the power of their own wings. Jealousy is a big part of it. Do not let it discourage you that the drum beat you dance to falls on deaf ears. Everything that is "old" becomes new again. Today there are many people suddenly tuning in to PHC who 10 years ago scoffed at such "fogey folly". Your classmates will come around. If not, it just means more first class leg room during your fantastic flight through life!

Peace & ketchup from Catharine

Todd seems like an extraordinary young man, and his exceptional attributes have not gone unnoticed and unrecognized. I think PHC should offer him an internship!

Todd - When I was a freshman at Colorado State University in 1982 I had a roomate just like you. She was devoted to PHC and always was talking about Lake W. I thought she was a total geek, but never took time to listen to the show, you know that ol' arrogance through ignorance lifestyleprone to teenagers.

Now 20 years later, I live in St. Paul and am a devoted listener. I have always regretted the way I scoffed at her taste; she was eons ahead of me. No doubt your dopey friends will come to regret their behavior once they've grown up!

So here's to you!
Happy New Year - Dana in St. Paul

p.s. Michelle, I'm sorry for being such an idot!

Todd from Wyoming is not the only teenager that listens to your show. I am 17 and I have been listening to your show for as long as I can remember, if not longer. I could not care less that my friends don't enjoy your show it's their loss that they can not turn off our ADHD culture for two hours a week. Your show gives me that warm, down home feeling that people search for so strenuously. The feeling that is so elusive that most can't even find it at home. I can always listen to your show on Saturdays and forget about work or homework for at least two hours, and luckly again on Sunday, due to WV public radio, while I'm out in the backyard building or fixing somethhing. Because when you live out in the country there is always something to fix. Thank's for the years of enjoyment and I'm looking forward to many years to come.

All the way from Fraziers Bottom,
That's right Fraziers Bottom,
Alex C.

If one thing the music and message of the PHC does is allow one to feel the independence of the musicians and artists who perform. And hopefully, it will give us the ability to dare to be independent ourselves, in an age of conformity.

"The quality of independence was almost wholly left out of the human race. The scattering exceptions to the rule only emphasize it, light it up, make it glare."
- Mark Twain's Autobiography

Todd, I am one of those people who scoffed at the likes of PHC as a teenager many moons ago. Maybe it was being a teenager on Long Island. And Keillor? Ahhh, he was for my dad. Big whoop.

Guess who's posting on this site now? Big geek that I am, I love the show. And yes, everyone else will catch up with you -- or at least the good ones will. After all, it was the woman that became my wife that introduced me to NPR and PHC. And I've never been the same since.

Good luck to you, kiddo.

Other people in the "hinterlands" of Worland, Wyoming listen to PHC, too. I am Todd's German teacher and Speech and Debate Coach, so Todd DOES indeed have an opportunity to discuss the show with another "enlightened" individual. Worland isn't exactly as "benighted" as Todd makes it sound.

My enjoyment of PHC goes way back to the days of "Powdermilk Biscuits" (Has YOUR family tried 'em?), when I lived in Wisconsin. We drove over to St. Paul one weekend for a live performance at the World (?) Theater. Garry is indeed quite tall and looked exquisite in his white duds--I still remember him doing a schtick about the king of Norway vistiting Lake Wobegone.

Worland was founded by a bunch of Volga Russian farmers, who spoke German (hence, my job here). So we can relate to all the Lutheran bachelor farmer humor in the show. Just call us "Lake Wo-rlandobegone."

I am wondering if the advertisements are legitimate. Are these ads really generating revenue for the program and public radio. Is there really a ketchup council and Powdermilk Biscuits? So much is fantasy on the program that I am wisked away and forget I'm even living in Maryland in the east. You are a breath of fresh air Garrison. And to me the best thing to come out of the midwest since Motown music and the Supremes!

Hey Todd, Good for you taking in the show and potentially carrying on the Art this show has defined (why not?). PHC takes us to a place that has become a home away from home. Being the first to discover and look beyond mass media will bear fruit for the rest of your life, first by ignoring much of the hype that goes on around us. I had to leave the country for a couple of years with Peace Corps to have that epiphany.

Dana Carmichael, makes a good point above, And if she is the talented writer I new at CSU back in 84 I would trust her words.

Previous Post:

Next Post:

Post to the Host Archive

Complete Post to the Host Archive

American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy