We are big NPR geeks. [That's National Public Radio, just in case you're reading from abroad and scratching your head.] We have been known to schedule our day around "A Prairie Home Companion" choosing what time we might depart from a location, based on being able to hear the broadcast during our travel. When we were driving home from my big NYC tour last month we pulled off the amazing techie-cyber trifecta, of tapping into the local Columbus radio station broadcast on my laptop, which was being routed thru Allen's cell phone, stream it in real-time, and then run it through the car's speaker system thru a patch and magic wires cooperating!
Anyhow these are shots from yesterday. I'm taking the risk of getting things out-of-chronological order, in the hopes of filling in the gap later on, but I just feel compelled to reflect on our experience of yesterday, before it meanders too far from my recall.
When we arrived in Florida we made a pact to take advantage of the various cultural events in the area and stumbled into the fact that Garrison Keillor was going to be speaking, under an hour down the road. We were disheartened to see that the only tickets available were fairly far deep into the auditorium, but we took the plunge and ordered a couple.
This was my first time to see him "live" as I have had conflicts arise on the two previous occasions that we had secured tickets. The man is a marvel. What more can be said? He told a story, a tale perhaps, that meandered uphill and down for over ninety minutes -- complete with the leading of a couple of songs acapello and the recitation of a VERY lengthy poem, the details of how, why and where he was conceived -- all the while bringing focus to religion (the happy Lutheran-vein of his heritage vs. the darker Lutheran-vein of his uncle-in-law) ethics, morals, scouting, families, growing old, music appreciation, politics, New Age theology, travel, seasonal garb, love, celebrations, poetry, the Liberal Arts vs the mechanical arts, cremation and speedo swimsuits to name but a few.
The auditorium's main central seating was flanked by two aisles giving way to narrow wings on the outside edges. Our seats were about 55% of the way to the back wall on the furthest outside edge. Imagine our surprise when after his introduction and the opening applause subsided, he left the stage area and came down that interior aisle-way, to perch at the end of our row for a lengthy, lengthy part of the woe-be-gotten saga. He then traversed the floor in front of the stage and went down the other aisle way perching there and then he would gradually shuffle his way back to our side. He made this circuit the entire length of his tale. He was never on the stage. The people in the front row were very seldom able to see him by looking forward. We were tickled & delighted.
The whole way home we kept talking of parables where the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Fitting for just such an afternoon.
It is amazing to observe someone at the height of their capability. Inspiring.
***That last photo is of his leaning against the front of the stage as he concluded our time together weaving all of those many seperate strands of thought into a conclusion, worthy of a thunderous ovation.