Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
Send GK Your Question »
August 9, 2007 |
A Note from Garrison Keillor:
Thank you for all the birthday wishes this week. I was in New York for the occasion and it sort of slipped by without my noticing and then that evening my New York nieces took me way downtown for dinner at one of those very hip restaurants where the clientele look like homeless people, or unproduced playwrights, but they don't blink at paying $23 for the monkfish and $9 for a glass of Pinot Noir, and then at the conclusion of dinner the waitress (in her black horn-rimmed glasses and crewcut) came sashaying out with a slice of chocolate cake and a candle in it and everybody kindly refrained from singing. I was easily the oldest person in the joint. And so what? Somebody's got to be. And it may as well be me as some person who is all jerked around about their age, like the 35-year-old guy with the three-day growth of beard sitting at the next table picking at his quail and telling his girlfriend that he is thinking about calling up the guy who taught that songwriting course, remember? The one Mr. Thirty-Five took a few years ago? He is thinking he might send him a CD but first he has to get a couple hours of studio time from Sean so he can re-do a couple of those songs. This poor yoink is trying to be twenty-one but he feels more like fifty. Deep in his heart, he knows that 35 is too late to be launching a career singing songs about your broken heart. You've got to get started when you're young, when you hardly can imagine what a broken heart is like. No, bubba, your career is over and meanwhile what do you have? You've got this terrific girlfriend. You ought to earn some money and save it toward a house, not be spending $23 on a serving of quail. There are thousands of 35-year-olds in Syracuse and Utica and Buffalo who figured out a long time ago that they were not major songwriters and they are way ahead of you. And she knows this.
And now she glances over at me, the old guy (what? Forty-five? Fifty?) drinking his espresso and the two babes in their mid-twenties, and her eyes widened in wonder. What is his secret? she wondered. I'll tell you: it's heredity and good luck and a positive attitude. Onward.