Post to the Host

Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

Send GK Your Question »

The Dales

August 27, 2009 | 12 Comments

Post to the Host:
Whatever happened to THE DALES shopping centers? I haven't heard about them on the show in years! Did they terminate their corporate relationship with the show, or did you decide that, in Today's World, they were no longer representative of the strong, Down-Home Values and morals necessary to keep our children Above Average? I'd certainly appreciate an update.

Mary S.
Richmond, VA

--

Bertha's Kitty Boutique was located in the Dales, and some other sponsors, and we dropped it because ---- well, because it was a local joke and the show went national a long time ago. Minneapolis, you see, has the honor of being the home of the First Large Indoor Mall ---- Southdale was considered the prototype, followed by Rosedale, Brookdale, Ridgedale, and so forth. To which we added Clydesdale, Chippendale, Airedale, and Mondale. Turning Fritz Mondale into a shopping mall was a lovely thing, but we killed off the joke before it got too old.


12 Comments


Mondale and the others were amusing, of course, but my favorite was RoyanDale.


I miss Bertha's Kitty Boutique. I always thought she was a little storefront in Lake Wobegon, not in the Dales. I may be from Iowa, but I knew about the real Dales long ago. I used to go on business to MN and bought clothes that were not only a few years ahead of styles we could buy in Iowa, but MN didn't have sales tax on clothing. Iowa still does.

You ought to do a story line about the bus tours that take quilters to fabric shops all over Minnesota. There have been several such tours in MN (and many other states) this year, and I was on one that was a 3 day, 5 state tour. You could bring back Bertha's by having a bus tour to other kitty boutiques around MN. I do believe you would have enuf people who would appreciate and relate to the concept. It's a hoot.

Hearing about Bertha's Kitty Boutique back in the 1970's is what started me listening to PHC. Seriously! When friends described the new PHC, I said, "well, sounds okay, maybe." Then when my friends said "Bertha's Kitty Boutique", I was tuning the dial immediately.

Bring back Bertha's! Bring back Bertha's! Yes you can!


Yoou may have thought the show was all local to Minneapolis but the rest of the country has claimed it as well, and Lake Woebegone is not so different from a lot of places --- certainly a lot of places in our memories. We all have "small town" or "farm" in us somewhere and those references catch us up with more pleasure than the current bathroom humor that gets the cheap laughs now. I'm still hoping you'll get back to the Dales and even give a renewed rendition of your beautifu Farm Song and "Brownie and Pete" from the good old days of PHC.. (See, I've been with you a long time!)


Dear Mary S. - thanks for asking that question which has been on my mind lo these many years since first I put the CD player, Garrison, and PHC in the car. Living here in der Schweiz contributed to making that "dales" reference otherwise meaningless, but I can still recall the cadence of the summary, and smile. Thanks Garrison, for clearing this up, and always THANK YOU for you and the gift of laughter to relative good health. Bill


I think Harmar mall was the first enclosed mall, but i coould be wrong being i grew up in south Mpls and not in L.W. so I would be mearly average.


i was thinking of Apache mall and i have found that it was the secound to the one you correctly mentioned in your column. sorry for wasting your time with all this reading


Please bring back Bertha's Kitty Boutique! Please! I love the decorator cats! I still love my Bertha's Kitty Boutique t-shirt. There are many persons who care about cats around. BTW, my children can sing the "Bertha's" song.


Dear HOST and Kind Reader/Posters,

Thank you ALL for reading and responding to my query. Special thanks to LINDA, SHIRLEY, and BILL, who seem to best understand the concept that, regardless of how "local" or "out-of-date" The Dales are, they are OUR ROOTS and, thereby, a very important part of our heritage.

You tickled my funny bone with your reference to Fritz. I agree, wholeheartedly, that turning him into a shopping mall was simply delicious. But once you ended The Dales' sponsorship of the show, we never heard of or from the poor man again ~ and I can say that now without further comment as to whether or not that was a good thing.

With all due respect, Kind Sir ... APHC WAS "national" long before you took it there, apparently, as evidenced by well over thirty years of contributions that rolled into NPR, from listeners all over the country, specifically because of their love for you and APHC. In my own Mid-Atlantic family, I can boast FIVE GENERATIONS of devout listeners ~ and supporters. Saturday night from 6pm to 8pm is APHC Time ~ Family Time. I raised my children and grandchildren listening to your show. They kept beat with the musical selections and, as they grew, they even laughed at the stories and jokes. I rocked many a wee babe to sleep to the soft, gentle lull of your voice delivering News from Lake Wobegon.

And while Minneapolis may have the honor of being the home of the *first* large indoor mall, indoor malls were popping up all across the country. That was a 70's Thing ~ again, part of our roots and heritage. As SHIRLEY mentions in her comment, the rest of the country embraced Lake Wobegon as our own, because of the "farm" and "small town" and "down home" that exists in each of us.

I still have a faded cassette my sister and I made of "APHC Finale" (circa 1987 was it?) when a soft Norwegian whisper drew you away from us. I cried like a baby that night; not only was I going to lose you and APHC, but my sister, as well, who, shortly thereafter, lost her eighteen year battle with cancer.

But Life Goes On. We roll with the punches. We ride the waves. We adapt, we learn, we live, we love, we lose. But even as we move upward and onward, we bring with us the fragile bits and pieces that made us what we are today. It is, therefore, totally appropriate ~ and necessary ~ to blend The Old with The New. THE MANY FINE DALES are timeless and could return, as could Bertha's Kitty Boutique.

Thank you for the part you and APHC have played in making me who I am today. And please? Just for me? Sing "Hello, Love" one more time?

Mary S.
Richmond, VA


Back in the day of the Dales, some friends and I spent an evening or two working on new additions to the list. An obvious one was Robin Hood's Alan-a-Dale. Pretty soon we got to adapting almost-but-not-quite dales: "Sundale" had a nice sound, "HayDale" amused us, and "TherebyHangsaDale" kind of rolled us on the floor. I will concede that some of the beverages we consumed contained non-negligible amounts of alcohol, but even so. . .

Harold
Pleasanton, CA


Dear Harold:

Down Home family, friends, and I also came up with "Hillandale," which is actually a small town in North Carolina! But, without a doubt, your "TherebyHangsaDale" is utterly priceless! My good Episcopalian upbringing taught me that the consumption of non-negligible amounts of spirits, especially while listening to APHC or during the discussions that always followed doing so, was not necessarily a bad thing back in those days, because it kept us off the streets and certainly added lively substance to our discussions!

Mary S.
Richmond, VA


My favorite was RoyanDale!


I seem to remember "Beerandale" in there at least once.
-"BB"-

Previous Post:
« GENERATION NEXT

Next Post:
Content and its Discontents »

Post to the Host Archive

Complete Post to the Host Archive


American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy