Category Archives: Life Is Good

Garrison Keillor Returns: Still Good-Looking & Above Average

Hey, Garrison, ‘bout time you sent us a postcard. Where are you and what are you up to?

Why I am in Minnesota, if you wish to know
The Column: 01.20.23 — GARRISON KEILLOR

We came back to Minneapolis to see snow on the ground, there being none in Manhattan yet, and to drive around the old neighborhood where I lived when I was broke. It was 1969, I’d quit a comfy job at the U so I could write a novel and become famous. I had an infant son and he and my wife and I lived there for several months, then the money ran out. Continue reading Garrison Keillor Returns: Still Good-Looking & Above Average

More of My 2022 trip

This first question below has not yet been asked aloud. But it still rankles: why should I have to even think about this before she is much older? Why do I keep wondering what I’d say if her mother turned to me and said, “Let’s ask Grandpa . . . .”

Not to mention if they were in Texas last spring, that awful, awful day . . .

As much as possible, I preferred to focus on our little piece of turf, which the Fair Wendy was turning from the conventional “lawn” into a “rewilded” patch of habitat.

We started this spring by needing to take out the small maple tree, which we had found to be very diseased. Wendy refilled its space with a mix of wildflowers.

She did a fine job.

But I kept being buffeted by stuff from outside; you know. . . .

And the continuing presence of 45 . . .

And the labor of keeping up with the war . . .

The hearings went on, magnificently. Finally there were the midterms . . .

. . . when the long-dreaded Red Wave did not arrive . . .

Eventually the frosts of autumn came. The wild yard died back, to compost til spring.

And despite the recent bitter cold, my mood, at least was lifted measurably from the last winter.

Then at the sunrise of New years Eve, I looked out the kitchen door to catch a glimpse of the future, but . . . all was shrouded in mist and fog, with rain to follow.

But undaunted, later the Fair Wendy and I went out to get some fare to mark the occasion, I had a yen for a COSTCO pepperoni pizza: big, hot, greasy, yummy and inexpensive. I arrived just in time to see the very last Costco pizza of 2022 emerge slowly  from its big oven- the heat and aroma so near — and yet so far,  as it was meant for someone else; then they were all out!

But we found an inferior version at a nearby supermarket, and with it I drank a bottle of Coke made in Mexico, and a quiet time was had by all. Is that enough to sustain hopes for the new year?

I guess it better be.

So near, so aromatic, so affordable, and yet so far . . .


Washington Post: A Quaker Takes Charge of His Dying

The Friends burial ground at Limerick, Ireland Meeting.

[Note: We’re obliged to start with another, “Happy Holidays, you’re fired!” report, in that industry where they are a near-daily occurrence: The Washington Post announced last week that it will kill its sixty year old Sunday magazine. Its ten staffers have their pink slips, and the final issue will hit the streets on Sunday December 25, ho ho ho.

But that death is not the topic here; it’s mentioned because this post is drawn from the magazine’s next-to-next-to-next-to-last issue, namely December 4th. Continue reading Washington Post: A Quaker Takes Charge of His Dying

Star of the Week: Gladys Knight And her Storied Career

[NOTE: i saw Gladys Knight perform with The Pips in the early ‘70s. It was in a seedy, low-light club in Boston. I wasn’t a clubber; the tickets came from a stash of freebies collected by a local music editor I wrote some reviews for. The passes were also the paper’s substitute for decent paychecks for our efforts. But I was too young to care: what was catching up on the rent compared to catching up with Gladys? (I began to figure that out later.) And they did put on a heckuva show: Gladys belted them out of the park, and the Pips were not only fine backup, they could, as Gladys explains below, dance their precisely choreographed behinds off. A fine moment in a long-lost youth, and it’s great to see she’s getting some overdue mainstream propers.]

Washington Post, December 4, 2022

Gladys Knight has always been ‘a singer’s singer

Gladys Knight, today

It’s something that came to me that wasn’t forced,’ says the ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ singer, who won her first vocal competition as a child

By Helena Andrews-Dyer
— November 30, 2022

 – It is much too easy to take Gladys Knight for granted.

Her sound is so pure, her steps so graceful, her smile so disarming that the vocal powerhouse’s sheer presence seems at once natural and divine. Wrapped in a magenta turtleneck, she tells the handsome waiter pouring her iced tea that he “should be in the movies” before launching into a humble story about how she discovered Michael Jackson. As the Atlanta native peppers her sentences with y’all and fussin’, she makes it easy to forget that she is the prototype. Continue reading Star of the Week: Gladys Knight And her Storied Career