Saturday, November 23, 2002

Long ago I used to schedule my Saturdays to make sure I would hear A Prairie Home Companion. The highlight was generally The News from Lake Wobegon, with a wry but affectionate view of archtypical Minnesotans.

The show stopped when he ditched his lover/helpmeet for a rediscovered old sweetheart and moved to Europe for a while. I rather selfishly regretted more the loss of the show than the damage to the lives of people I'd never heard of before.

My Saturdays reorganized (having children will do that for you), and when the show returned with a New York home it wasn't so convenient to listen to any more, but I tried. The "Hear the Old Piano" opening seemed a trifle tasteless, under the circumstances, but the big change was the bitterness. Garrison didn't seem to like the folks in "Wobegon" any more, and it showed. I haven't tried to put a finger on a word choice and say "He used to do it this way, and now its changed," but I probably could. He also seemed a bit more impersonal with the guests, but that might just have been the pressure of a New York venue.

I'm not over-fond of bitter humor, so I quit bothering to make the effort to tune in PHC, but I'd hear it off and on over the years when driving at night. He seemed to have lost some of the bitterness over the years. I hope it is true.

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