Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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July 27, 2007 |
I have to say you are the only person I am aware of with such a first
name. And a fine, noble moniker it is. Did your parents have a particular reason
for choosing it?
My son's middle name is Garrison, being a twist on the term, "Gary's son."
I'm afraid there are a number of other Garrisons running around, most of them under 15, who got tagged by parents who listen to "A Prairie Home Companion," and I always shudder inwardly when I meet one, and say a little prayer that the name will not be too clunky for them. I went to school with a Herman and a Sheldon whose names were a little heavy for them, I think. Though there also was a Thatcher in our class and he loved his name and carried it with elegance. I am responsible for the name Garrison, not my parents. My mother named me Gary which was a popular name in 1942 thanks to Gary Cooper the movie star. When I got to junior high school and started writing poetry for the school literary magazine, I thought I needed a pen name and I picked up Garrison I liked the sound of it and the meaning of it (fortress) and it was the first name of Garry Moore, a radio and TV star who was especially beloved in our home and I used that through high school and then in college, and it stuck. I'm used to it now, of course, but sometimes it strikes me as clunky or pretentious, which it is, but here I am. Family and old friends call me Gary, and maybe I'll go back to that someday.