From the Desk of Garrison Keillor
A prolific writer, Garrison Keillor is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and abroad. To the right, you find a selection of articles published since 1989, and a few unpublished pieces.

Welcome to St. Paul
September 23, 2006

Welcome to St. Paul, a modest river town downstream from Minneapolis which, as you probably have heard, is a cultural mecca and one of the greatest cities of all time. St. Paul is not. We have the state Capitol, designed by Cass Gilbert, and the Cathedral of St. Paul, built by Archibishop John Ireland and designed by Emmanuel Masqueray, and we have Candyland on Wabasha which sells excellent popcorn (buttered) and very good pecan turtles. The Twin Cities are an island in a sea of corn and beans and dairy farms, Minneapolis the consumer of vast quantities of vinaigrette dressing and half- raw tuna, St. Paul a good town for meat loaf and spuds with sour cream and Bac-o-Bits. We are only a small homely metropolis, not so different from Sioux Falls or Eau Claire, whereas Minneapolis, home of the internationally-renowned Walker Art Center, known to many as the Paris of the Midwest, is probably where you intended to be and you are regretting that you landed here instead, sophisticate that you are, among us peasants.

Well, get a grip and try to enjoy the show.

Granted, this isn't the greatest show around. It isn't Conan O'Brien or Craig Ferguson. Among other things, our show lacks:
  1. a warm-up guy whose head is shaved and who runs around in the audience for fifteen minutes before the show to get you all whomped up and ready to scream and yell;
  2. scantily-clad actresses here to flack their latest flick;
  3. a stand-up guy who will do five minutes about his difficulties in getting a date with women;
  4. animals.
Nonetheless, it isn't the worst show you ever saw either.

And after the show, there is a street dance and party outside. There is no extra charge for this. It's the last outdoor party until the St. Paul Winter Carnival in February. It's a chance to eat and drink and cavort and also win valuable prizes in the Beautiful Baby, Loon-Calling, Seed Identification, Salsa Dancing, and Mr. Wonderful contests.

St. Paul can disappoint a person and be a stone in your shoe, but there is a spirit here that is wonderful, or at least not so bad, and good people galore, some of whom you may meet, you never know. There may also be an underlying passive-aggressive trait, an ability to use self-effacement as a blunt weapon. But that's nothing we would know anything about.

-Garrison Keillor.



Past Articles
  • Phil Keillor Benefit for the Tenney Park Shelter (04/17/09)
  • Bill Holm, 1943–2009 (02/26/09)
  • Happy New Year, Friends (12/29/08)
  • Talk of the Stacks (11/17/08)
  • What Makes St. Paul So Great? (09/03/08)
  • GK On Historic Preservation (10/05/07)
  • Welcome to St. Paul (09/23/06)
  • "Homegrown Democrat," Chapters 1-4 (08/10/04)
  • Sing the National Anthem—and Try it in the Key of G (07/02/04)
  • Holiday Greetings from Garrison Keillor (12/23/03)
  • Remembering Plimpton (10/01/03)
  • Crankiness in Decline, Says the Old Guy (04/19/02)
  • A Governor Works in Mysterious Ways (10/19/01)
  • In Praise of Laziness (09/10/01)
  • I Just Needed a Valve Job (09/13/01)
  • A Eulogy for Chet Atkins (07/03/01)
  • A Foot Soldier in God's Floating Orchestra (04/01)
  • Exile on Main Street (10/02/00)
  • Walking Down the Canyon (07/31/00)
  • The Mysteries of Prom Night (05/15/00)
  • How I Write (12/04/99)
  • The Christmas of the Great Flu (12/99)
  • Let Jesse Be Jesse (10/10/99)
  • The Rice, the Bat, the Baby (09/06/99)
  • Faith at the Speed of Life (06/14/99)
  • The Republicans Were Right, But (02/15/99)
  • Minnesota's Excellent Ventura (11/16/98)
  • The Dangers of Christmas (04/06/98)
  • Gasgate (11/10/97)
  • Talk Radio (10/97)
  • The Seven Principles of a Successful Christmas (09/08/97)
  • The Seven Deadly Sins—Envy (04/97)
  • You Say Potato (04/04/96)
  • The Poetry Judge (02/96)
  • With All the Trimmings (11/27/95)
  • In Autumn We Get Older (11/06/95)
  • Minnesota's Sensible Plan (09/11/95)
  • The Art of the Embrace (02/95)
  • The Voters are Angry (08/94)
  • Word Play (05/18/90)
  • We Are Still Married (12/18/89)
  • Elevator Tales
  • A Graduation Speech


  • Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

    Old Sweet Songs

    Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

    Available now»

    American Public Media © |   Terms and Conditions   |   Privacy Policy