Saturday, November 05, 2011

Garrison Keillor Night

I never posted about the fact that I saw Garrison Keillor "in concert" in Chattanooga back in mid-September.  The tickets were $38.00, I'll never get the chance again, and I was happy to go.  My observations.

He knows his audience.  And he puts on a good show, although some of it devolves into silliness.  The music is awesome, probably the best part.  The theme of this show tour was "Summer Love," based on the quote by Henry James that just appeared in my Franklin-Covey Planner (for some reason in late October)Summer afternoon, summer afternoon: to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  (Mr. James obviously did not live in north Georgia.  Summer evenings, maybe, but not afternoons).

All of Keillor's stories somehow had to do with summer love and summer afternoons, which was charming.  Except for one, they were heartfelt and fun.  My favorite part was intermission.  He said we could leave the auditorium, but he would stay and we could all sing.  Which we did.  We sang patriotic songs, hymns (a beautiful rendition of "It is Well with My Soul" filled Memorial auditorium) and finished off with a Beatles song and an Elvis song. 

My two "uncomfortable moments" were his insulting of Chattanooga for doing something to Bessie Smith that caused her to run off to parts north and become a blues singer because she really could sing the blues from having lived in Chattanooga. No one in the room was probably even alive when Bessie Smith was singing, so why he saw fit to insult the town people live in is beyond me.  That's rule number one; never insult people's hometowns.  They are allowed to insult it all they want, but outsiders (especially from god-forsaken places like Minnesota) don't get to. We never would have elected Al Franken to the Senate, so we can't be that stupid!)

The other uncomfortable part was a poem he recited (don't know if he wrote it) about having sex with some woman and it was just too graphic.  That's one of those pictures I'm going to have a hard time getting out of my head.  He seems to think he is irresistible to the ladies; maybe that's his ironic sense of humor.  He's really quite homely and gangly. 

That said, I loved it and am so glad to have gone.

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