Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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March 20, 2007 |
Dear Mr. Keillor,
As a loyal fan (even during the hiatus years) since 1978, I cannot help but wonder when "A Prairie Home Companion" will feature a talent show for us chronologically challenged types who have talent, but not youth.
The world may truly belong to youth and the young, but don't we the not-so-young deserve what may be our last chance to wrest a morsel of air time from those who will ultimately inherit our jobs, fortunes and breathing space as we slip off into that good night?
Is there even a glimmer of a chance that us over-50 types will have our own opportunity to (metaphorically, if not oxymoronically) shine over the radio airwaves?
The Forgotten Middle-Aged Talent
You touch my heart, dear, but the truth is that America wants youth. Them is the breaks. Time runs out eventually. Age does dreadful things to the human voice, not to mention the memory and coordination. We've held innumerable talent contests and almost every time, the youngest contestant has been voted first prize by the audience. Some worthy person my age stands up and strums and warbles and the crowd listens politely and then a 12-year-old girl with braces and wavy blonde hair and glasses comes out in her plaid skirt and Mary Janes and sings "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and that's it, it's over, hello Heidi, goodbye gramps. Shirley Temple upstaged Bill (Bojangles) Robinson and kids have been doing it ever since. So we'll do the Talent Under Thirty contest in April and let the youngsters fight it out among themselves and you and I can sit off to the side and make sardonic comments.