All Good Things

Last night I drove to Btown to see Garrison Keillor at IU Auditorium. I got tickets with Ern and her clan months and months ago. She and her beau later decided to get married yesterday morning. Someone we work with managed to pass that info along to GK at a cocktail reception before his performance. Not long after he came on stage, he said their names and wished them well. Then he lead the entire audience in a few stanzas of “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” To hear the whole of IU Auditorium cooing softly in honor of love was so tremendously beautiful and moving, I cried.

GK’s performance was wonderful. He pontificates on sage truths and woes but manages to wrap them in cozy, casual humor, making everything deliciously palatable. His two-hour story-telling adventure covered cruel realities such as Tennessee Williams’ sister’s lobotomy and nocturnal excess eating disorder. He breezily interwove several tales surrounding his aunt’s death, all culminating in a naked parasailer getting a cold-nosed booty sniff from a stinky pooch. My favorites of the witticisms he shared include*:

  • His early determination about good writers: “The surest sign of talent is to be really screwed up.”
  • On post-9/11 security: “Someday someone will come to the airport wearing an underwear bomb and life will become very interesting.”
  • A fact of winter in the Midwest: “Every year, nature makes a series of attempts to kill you.”
  • His summation of Lutheran sentiment: “If it ever seems light and pleasant, don’t worry – this too shall pass.”

The best part of the evening was when he expatiated on how despite adversity, we’re so blessed to have opportunities to share jokes and stories with true friends. He suggested we embrace that good fortune for all its worth, reminding us how the easy, lingering conversations between close pals make us, “Friends are people with whom you are at your very best.” 

P.S. I noticed an autograph on the program of a woman sitting near us, the unpredictable scrawl simply offering: “All good things – Garrison Keillor.”

*I was trying to write in the dark, so my dictation may be off by an article or two.

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