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May 10, 2007 | 10 Comments

Dear Garrison,
I was looking at pictures from your April 28 performance in Columbus, GA and it would appear that you are growing a beard? Please say that this is poor eyesight on my part. I don't mean to be dismissive but it's not going to work. I speak from experience, it's just not going to work!

If your daughter hasn't told you (your wife won't, at least not until someone else does) then you should hear this from an admirer. I feel it my duty. Of course if my eyesight is failing me and you're not growing a beard, then never mind.

Al E.

I started a beard a few weeks ago and it was on its way to becoming semi-distinguished and then, on a sudden impulse the other day, I had a barber shave it off. It was a grayish beard and similar to one that Kevin Kline grew for "King Lear" and he was my inspiration. His was gray and trim and gave him a sort of moral grandeur that we all aspire to. So I started in and kept at it. I had a beard back in college and then again in the early years of the show. So this was a retro beard. Nobody at home said a word against it, and a few people intimated that they liked it, but of course most people chose to ignore it. They looked at me and thought whatever they thought and decided not to comment. An interesting episode, all in all, to take a long step toward becoming somebody else. The way you do when you put on dark glasses, or a cowboy hat. I may do this again but no time soon.


I was reading your comment about looking like Kevin Kline, who I love as an actor. I though did you ever think that Kline's was probably died to look the distinguishing grey that so many men aspire to achieve?? Few can pull of wearing a nicely groomed beard, but even fewer can pull it off as they age.

I understand this completely. A few years ago, post divorce, I shaved my head. I enjoyed both the shaving and the subsequent convenience. Unfortunately, people are driven almost crazy with concern when a middle aged grandmother shows up bald. Come to think of it, I enjoyed that part, too.

Aw, Garrison-- grow it back, I say! You'll look so distinguished, so writerly. Your posture will improve, your square your shoulders, and your stride will lengthen.

Beard or not, you're our storyteller, our Twain. You have added so much to my life over the years, and I'm forever grateful for you.


The comments about your beard reminded me of one of our all-time favorite films, "La Moustache". Yu would enjoy it. Here's a web site where you can read about it.

Judith (Garrison Keillor groupie)

Yes, Garrison...
I too saw your beard in the show's pictures and I too thought "OH NO! He's reverting to his earlier years....(and I must say those earlier pictures of you, in your 30's maybe, were Quite Distinguished! (rather Hippie-ish..and nice and free spirited.) I liked your earlier dark beard, but when I saw the new one coming in...I thought "OH NO"! Doesn't look good , doesn't look good...too shaggy..too shaggy..and gray.
So now I am very glad that you have come to your senses and have shaved it off. You're much more handsome without it! (I'm sure your wife and daughter agree!)..:)
Hope you are enjoying the beauty of Spring and the beauty and hope of May in particular...the most beautiful month of the year. Everything(including ourselves, comes back to life!!). Enjoyed your poetry show, by the way, ...very nice, very nice..
Stay well and take care of yourself. WE NEED YOU!

Tina Scherr
Fort Collins, CO.

It's funny to see one Brooklyn Park boy (Garrison) mention a another Brooklyn Park boy (Kevin Kling). I'll have to find a picture of Kevin's beard since it is hard for me to imagine it after the wisp of a beard I recall Kevin trying in high school.

I love the beard! My husband and I used to go to your outdoor summer shows in the 1970's. I still imagine you with your white suit and beard whenever I hear your voice. My husband had a beard also, and he finally shaved it off a few years ago. I miss both yours and his, gray streaks and all. My husband thinks your stories of Lake Wobegone are influenced by my home town of Magnolia, Minnesota, also hometown of Cedric Adams. Nancy Cooper, Springfield, Missouri

The song "She's in the jailhouse now", Saturday, May 12 (2007) was inapropriate. I do not even like Paris Hilton, but the song was inapropriate by any standards.

It's funny, people's reactions to beards. My late husband went through all sorts of configurations during his lifetime. When he was a young professional he grew a moustache, thinking it might make him look older. Not sure about the older part, but the moustache was interesting. Then he added a beard, but that made him look rabbinical, which was not his goal. He very briefly (think goodness) flirted with a beard but no moustache - perhaps we should consider that his Amish period. Then clean-shaven entirely was his mode until the last years of his life, when he grew back a full beard and moustache that remained to the end. I liked it. For one thing, it came in grey, which went better with my own increasingly silvery hair. He always looked unique, in any case.

Men can flirt in these ways with facial hirsuteness. Women, however, cannot. Perhaps that's for the better.

I was born in the thirties and grew up on a farm. I saw many an animal shot. Every winter, we butchered a steer and a hog. It was food! Even had venison (deer meat) if we could get one before hunting season ended. As for the groundhog being shot, for pete's sake, it was a MONOLOGUE! A story!

Political correctness has gotten waaay out of hand. Geeee.

As for our "leaders" in government, my favorite shows are when they make an "appearance" on PHC. "Imitation is the purest form of flattery"- don't know who said that, but people have been doing it for years. Apparently some people haven't heard "The Capitol Steps" parodies. It's all done in fun, just like the jailhouse song. Relax and enjoy it!

Good heavens, people. Lighten up! Eat more ketchup and have a piece of rhubarb pie!

Keep up the good entertainment, Mr. K.

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