Friday, September 15, 2006

Garrison Keillor Groupie

So this past Tuesday Paul and I had an amazing opportunity to listen to Garrison Keillor at the VBC during the Huntsville Public library's Vivre le Livre. John and Maggie joined us for the evening and we had a wonderful dinner with a 1000+ other fans and then listened to Mr. Keillor speak of the library with its "islands and archipelagoes of books," speak of the Elizabethans "banging on your ears telling you don't take this moment for granted," sing a sad ballad about the WWII invasion of Anzio, and quote Shakespeare like he was reading it from a book. He is such an amazing public speaker, allowing his thoughts to meander and then get pulled back to his main topic, meander, topic, meander, and topic... weaving the warp and weft of words. The talk was so much more - funny - serious - inspiring - poignant. His deep baritone voice is mesmeric on the radio, and if I miss the Writer's Almanac at 9AM (central time) I feel that my day hasn't started properly.

One of the Vivre le Livre banners at the entrance.

John and Maggie at our table (#52).

After closing remarks we were all offered the chance to meet him and give him a book to autograph. I bought "Good Poems for Hard Times" and Paul & I stood in line for about an hour. They had us write our names down on a yellow sticky so Mr. Keillor wouldn't have to ask for the spelling, and when it came our turn he shook my hand and pronounced my full name correctly - and with his sauntering baritone it will ring in my ears for quite some time. He didn't seem rushed and actually spoke to us for a while, Paul offered him an opportunity to go caving the next day and he said "I cringe at the thought of going caving" and then told us he's claustrophobic. I'll bet that's a little known fact about Mr. Keillor.

When Paul asked him if we could take a picture he said ok - that he needed to strike a dashing pose. He made me feel pretty short - he doesn't sound that tall on the radio.


At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

Yes, a most amazing public speaker and I was honored to take Brina Bat to the dinner. She's so cute! Wonderful pauses in his speech. No "you knows", "uh's", but wonderful contemplative pauses. I have to go see his "Prairie home companion" show sometime. It is always fun to hear on the radio.

At 11:00 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Wow, that must have been so much fun! And I didn't think he was that tall, either!


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