STRONG WOMEN, GOOD LOOKING MEN AND ABOVE AVERAGE CHILDREN
10 November 2003
I love Garrison Keillor.
I can't remember the first time I ever stumbled across "Prairie Home Companion," but I was mesmirized. As I got into the show and became a fan, I realized that what Keillor had done was to reinvent radio...or at least to make it popular again, as something other than just a place to hear music or get the news. I wrote an entry about how Keillor evoked memories of myself being a kid, growing up with radio (it was a good entry, if I do say so myself!)
When I heard that Keillor was going to be appearing here in Davis, I was thrilled. It was the one event at the Mondavi Center that I definitely wanted to attend.
Of course everybody else in Davis had the same idea, and the tickets were sold out to season subscribers without ever giving non-subscribers a chance to purchase any.
I knew it had been a pipe dream. I was disappointed, but not surprised. I hadn't thought anything else about it until yesterday.
Yesterday, I received a call from Dr. G. "Would you like tickets to hear Garrison Keillor tomorrow night?" he asked me.
Needless too say, I jumped at the chance, thanked him profusely, and told him I'd be down to the office today to pick them up. At that moment I didn't care if I was selling my soul to the devil again. I was looking forward to hearing Keillor.
I had an errand to run that would take me by the office in the late morning and I hoped to find Dr. G in. He wasn't, but the new office manager (the third since I left) was there and said he'd left a message that he'd be in by 11:30. It was now 11. I was going to go and come back, but she and I started talking and the time passed quickly.
He has an interesting person in this woman. She's delightful, very comfortable in herself, neat and tidy (I know he loves that), and a no-nonsense kind of person. She's worked for a difficult doctor before, so she seems to have a good grasp of his foibles.
By the same token, there are things about him that she hopes will change over time and I had to tell her that they were the same things I'd been trying to deal with and that she shouldn't hold her breath.
There were things she definitely was not happy about which she hoped would change, or she'd have to rethink this whole job business.
It's a toss up. I think she is the kind of person who could stick it out, but for all the same reasons she may be the kind of person who will wise up sooner than I did. It will be interesting to watch.
He never did come in and I finally left sometime after noon, leaving him a note to call me when he did get in...which he did about 10 minutes after I returned home. I went to pick up the tickets.
While I was there, he asked if I would like to come back to work 2 hours a week, to give the new office manager some breathing room. I was very good about hiding a smile as thousands of thoughts raced through my mind, but I was very polite and professional and told him that no, I didn't think I would be coming back in to help his new office manager get some breathing room.
I took the tickets and beat a hasty retreat.
Keillor was a delight. This was his one-man show, which was like an extended "News from Lake Woebegone."
I admire the way he is able to seemingly effortlessly (I'm sure it's not....that's the art of making things look effortless--they take a lot of work) string random thoughts together until he's woven a tapestry that comes full circle at the end, with bits taken from his life, and bits from that fictitous land in Minnesota, some home spun philosophy, lots of laughs, and then back to the point he meant to make at the beginning, about life being too short to take ourselves seriously.
It was a delicious evening and a delightful surprise to have the chance to attend.
Dr. G does have his good moments.