Iowa
Saturday, February 23, 2002
Listen


(GK: Garrison Keillor; SS: Sue Scott: TR: Tim Russell, FN: Fred Newman; RD: Rich Dworsky)

(Brush rhythm/bass/smokey, jazzy under)

SS: What's the name of this tune? I can't think of it.

GK: Which?

SS: The one on the radio.

GK: I don't know. Give me the headphones.------ It's called "Midnight in Des Moines" ---- it's from an old William Crawford movie, "Prairie Express" --- Diana DeLong was in it ---- he's a private eye en route to L.A., the train derails in Iowa, she's the stationmaster's daughter, they fall in love, they walk around with stars in their eyes, he tells her about the big world out there and how they'll see it together, and the next day he catches the train to L.A. This is from the scene where he talks about the big world out there.

(PAUSE TWO BEATS)

SS: You ever think about moving to Iowa?

GK: No.

SS: I do.

GK: Why?

SS: I just do.

GK: Why Iowa?

SS: A person doesn't have to have a reason just to think something----

GK: What are you going to find in Iowa you can't find here?

SS: I don't know. A nicer life. Peace and quiet.

GK: Are you kidding? Life in Iowa is just as frenetic and confused and scary as life anywhere else.

SS: I just wish I lived someplace where people weren't always looking at their Palm Pilots or talking on cellphones.

GK: People in Iowa have Palm Pilots. Everybody has a cellphone.

SS: In Iowa?

GK: Children have cellphones in Iowa. And pagers. It's why, in two years, we'll have to go to 13-digit phone numbers, which happen to be longer than people can remember, so you'll have to store numbers in your cellphone, and it'll store about ten of those numbers, so you'll pretty much limit yourself to talking to ten people, meaning we'll have less communication because of all the communications.

SS: I think of moving to Iowa. All those sweet little towns with the nice brick houses and the yards and the hollyhocks and begonias. The Main Streets where you can walk downtown and have lunch and get your hair cut and buy your groceries.

GK: It's all at the mall.

SS: No, it's not.

GK: It is. You want lunch, you drive fifteen minutes to this huge place in the middle of 50 acres of asphalt and you go in a fast-food place run by surly teenagers and you get a 2000 calorie meal made from animal parts and containing your monthly recommended dosage of animal fat. All those little cafes called Mom's --- they're closed. They went the way of the LP. I'm sorry. It's the death march of progress. It isn't the past anymore.

SS: What's the name of this tune?

GK: Give me the headphones. ----- It's a John Coltrane tune called "Amesology".

SS: John Coltrane?

GK: He was on a train, Chicago to L.A. There was a 20-minute stop in Ames, he got off, looked around, wrote the song.

SS: Doesn't sound like Iowa to me.

GK: Things look different when you're on heroin.

SS: So we're always going to live here? We're never going to live anywhere else? Like Iowa for example?

GK: Tell you what. We'll get on a train to L.A. If it derails, we'll climb out and start looking around for a house.

SS: Promise?

GK: Promise.

(MUSIC BUTTON)

© Garrison Keillor 2002

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).

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