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

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March 8, 2007 | 2 Comments

Hey GK:
I recently started listening to A Prairie Home Companion online and I really enjoy it. I'm in my mid
twenties. I told my aunt about the show last week and she made a funny face. "Your great grandmother tried to get us to listen back when she was still alive," she said. "But we never did. All her friends at the home listened and it seemed too 'old' for us."

Am I getting "old" now? Am I losing touch with hip coolness, or is this just a retro thing, a case of everything old becomming new again? Whatever the case, I'll keep listening, even if it means I have to hike my pants to my armpits and yell at whipersnappers to get off my lawn.

Joe S.
Columbus OH

A funny letter, Joe, and funny is funny, if you ask me. Parts of Mark Twain are still hilarious and even parts of Chaucer, while some sitcoms written six months ago are dead on arrival. Your aunt didn't listen because her grandma did, and people in the Forties turned their backs on jazz of the Twenties, leaving it to people in the Sixties to rediscover King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five. These decade labels sort of wear out, and age becomes less important once you get past thirty. You go to the opera and see a higher proportion of old people, but if Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvostorowki are singing "Eugen Onegin" you don't really notice. The lights go down and you get absorbed in the story. The opera dates from back when my grandma was born. It doesn't matter. All I know is that I love the show and love live radio, which as you know died out in the late Fifties. And it warms my heart to think that you might be listening. Wear your pants on your hips, though, or slightly below, and don't use the word "whippersnappers". It dates you.


You're not "old", Joe. My daughters are 24 and 20 and were raised on PHC. They still enjoy it and one of our great memories is attending the Rhubarb Tour appearance at the Ohio State Fair a couple of years ago. They are otherwise quite cool and overflowing with hipness. Maybe it is a Central Ohio phenomenon. Perhaps someone should start an internet group for "Twentysomething Prarie Home Companion Fans", and you could have meetups where you gather around the radio on Saturday nights, pop popcorn and settle in for an evening as cozy as a down comforter on a Minnesota winter night.

i saw this and it made me laugh! i graduate from high school next year and i listen to PHC.

but it's a secret. :D

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