Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Voice to Sooth the Blues

Garrison Keillor is speaking in Seattle later this week. While he's probably best known for Lake Wobegon Days and a Prairie Home Companion, those are not my favorite of his works.

The summer after I graduated college, I was stashed for a couple of months in Arlington VA. My dad worked in an office near mine and we used to drive in to work together (I'd take the train home a couple hours earlier than he in the afternoon). At 6:15 every morning, a few minutes into the drive, the local NPR station would broadcast a Writer's Almanac and we would stop our conversation (if there was one that early) and listen. I loved knowing that my dad, career Naval officer, engineer, owner-of-every-tool-imaginable, and Redskins fan, would stop and listen to snippets of poetry and literary trivia. Every now and then I'll be in the car at an odd hour of day or night and catch the Almanac on the radio and I remember that summer now 10 years past.

After I got out of the Navy, I moved to Richmond, Virginia, where I spent a fair amount of my free time mourning a break-up and exploring the internet. Thankfully, during that time I discovered Mr. Blue. Mr. Keillor's advice column was funny, touching, and above all, right on the money. From his responses to questions, I realized that time really does heal all wounds, and that when they heal, there will be travel, love, literature, and adventure on the other side of heartbreak (and on the other side of 40 or 60, for that matter). He was exactly what I needed at that time.

So, I won't be listening to his show this Thursday, I'll be hoping I catch him on the radio, and might revisit those old columns. You never know when you need Mr. Blue.


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