Gone, But Not Forgotten...
Yes, some more of Garrison Keillor, but not directly from A Prairie Home Companion. This is is a very interesting and surprisingly informative interview he did with CBS Sunday Morning that aired before his final broadcast as host.
What's most notable is him talking about how the shyness he has always talked about the the air, that perhaps had it most notable outlet with Powdermilk Biscuits "that give shy people the strength to get up and do what needs to be done," wasn't a gimmick for the show. Nor was it mere shyness for his own sake, but rather he was diagnosed later in life as being on the "autism spectrum," though a high-functioning form. As he notes in the piece, it's part of why he has a hard time looking at people in the face who are interviewing him. After he says this, it's fascinating to see that absolutely clearly throughout the rest of the interview. And when I went back to find some earlier interviews he done with David Letterman more at the start of his national popularity, you can see there, too, that he rarely looks at Dave in the face. It may also explain his remarkable ability for focusing on such poetic detail when telling his "News from Lake Wobegon" stories from memory.
Also, because I'd been out of town dealing with my dad's estate affairs at the time and not watching much news, I had no idea that he's suffered a nocturnal brain seizure only a week or so before his final show, but recovered enough and quickly to go on. Something he talks about here, as well.
But mostly, I love the piece because it includes more than a bit of footage of the show from its earliest days. This is mot notable around the 1:20 mark when he's singing, "Hello, Love," the song that he opened the broadcast with for several decades. And there at the piano is my fave PHC's longtime music director Butch Thompson. And as the camera pans, we see the wonderful Peter Ostroushko, who was a semi-regular for many years -- one of whose songs Keillor sang on his final broadcast -- playing the mandolin.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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