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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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May 25, 2007 |

Dear Garrison,
In your most recent Old Scout column, you mentioned an 80-year old friend of yours who has written a memoir. Did she write it for publication? I'd like to read it, if so. I love to sit and listen (and read) to the life stories of the seasoned. And, I'll sit and look at anyone's old photographs, whether I know them or not. I think that's because my parents hardly took any photos of me (an only child). It just didn't occur to them. A friend of mine recently sent me a picture of her, her sister and me when we were about 8 or 9 years old. It was early spring or summertime, maybe just after supper—I am squinting at the sun, and we are wearing the pedal-pushers of the early 60's. Her mother had found it at the bottom of an old box of pictures. There was a part of my life I could hold in my hands, not just try to reach back and try to remember. I cried for an hour.

It's good to listen and look at another person's life and experience. It's one way to learn. Sometimes, I've found that all of our lives really aren't so different. And then sometimes, they are, and then, it's pure entertainment.

Let me know, if you can, and thanks.

Angela C.
Genoa, IL

The friend is Arvonne Fraser who has been a big player in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party of Minnesota for more than fifty years. She started out working for Hubert Humphrey when he was starting out, and then married Donald Fraser and ran his campaigns for Congress — he was elected to many terms from Minneapolis, later was mayor of Minneapolis — and she and Don have always represented the basic decency and patriotism of most people in politics, Democrats or Republicans. Her memoir is entitled She Is No Lady and it's coming out in the fall and I find it quite an astonishing book for its frankness and its wit and its sheer grasp of detail. The woman has a clear mind. It's the best political autobiography I've read in many years and I'm just proud of her.

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