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January 29, 2007 |
Dear Mr. Keillor
Just wondering why you were so mean-spirited about the city of Philadelphia this past show in Philadelphia, PA on January 27th. You went out of your way to remind us--and your national audience, of unpleasant events in our past; a barrage of mud spewed from your microphone regarding events that happened over 20 years ago. Was it to egg us on to boo you? Which we did. That had to be a first for you. I don't recall similar attacks on the character of cities you preformed in; you never mentioned rampant gang violence in Los Angeles or the high homicide rate in Dallas. You have lost your shine with my wife and I. We'll still listen, but it can never be the same. Philadelphia is a wonderful city to visit--and live in. We welcomed you here with a sold-out show and you treated us with disdain.
Edward S., Jr.
Other Philadelphians who were at the show went out of their way to thank me for the little essay on their city and they felt that it was complimentary. At a reception afterward, one man said, "You let us off easy," and a roomful of people nodded. The show was anything but disdainful. Go back and listen to it again. I think Philly is a great city that is on the rise. A lot of young people are discovering it and finding that it has big city advantages along with pretty reasonable rents. And that it's interesting and lively. But the city has its problems, including corruption and violence, and the bombing of the rowhouses in 1985 was a historic event. As for the booing, it was a joke, as you would know if you had been there. I mentioned the Eagles fans who booed Santa Claus at a game at the end of a lousy season and the audience responded a few minutes later by booing me. They were laughing as they did it. I felt honored.