Historic State Theater
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The Lives of the Cowboys
SS: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS....brought to you by the American Horse Hockey Association. It’s a sport you and your horse can enjoy this winter. And now today’s exciting adventure.
(NIGHT CAMP SOUNDS.)
TR: Lefty? ---- Lefty, you asleep?
TR: Oh. How close are you?.
GK: I was right there.
GK: I was at a big party and music was playing and glamorous women in black dresses and sparkly masks were begging me to dance with them.
TR: You were fast asleep.
GK: I believe I was.
TR: Sorry to wake you up.
GK: What do you want?
TR: Just wondering if you were asleep.
GK: You woke me up to ask if I was asleep?
TR: Well, if you weren’t asleep, then I thought we could talk.
GK: Talk about what?
TR: Anything you want.
GK: I don’t.
TR: Okay. I was just thinking it’d help me relax so I could get to sleep.
GK: You woke me up so I could talk you to sleep.
TR: Okay, never mind ---- sorry to bother you ---- goodnight.
GK: Goodnight. Don’t wake me up again.
GK: I'm tired.
TR: Yup. Me too.
GK: See you in the morning.
(PAUSE. THEN PIANO INTO GRAND VALSE.) (GK & SS DANCING)
SS: You’re a fabulous dancer. Fabulous.
GK: Thank you.
SS: I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.
GK: I am. Yes.
SS: I never knew cowboys could dance like this. Wow.
GK: I see by your outfit that you are a writer.
GK: What do you write? Anything I would have read?
SS: I doubt that very much. I write romance. The name is Soisonne. Susanne Soisonne.
GK: Not THE Susanne Soisonne, author of “The Clock Strikes Twelve” ---- author of “Green Eyes In Candlelight” ----- not to mention “Pale Hands On White Linen” -----
SS: (GASP) You’ve read them?
GK: Over and over. Those books saved my life.
SS: How so?
GK: Found ‘em in a hotel room in Durango. Took em with me on the trail and had em in my shirt pocket when this bad hombre sprang out from behind cacti and shot me with a bullet aimed at my heart.
SS: Oh my gosh.
GK: Yep. Your books were right there in my pocket. Bullet penetrated through “Clock Strikes Twelve” and “Pale Hands on White Linen” to page 103 of “Green Eyes In Candlelight” ----
SS: Page 103 ---- where he and she are in a hotel room and it’s bitterly cold and the phone rings and it’s Barack Obama and he tells them to love each other and be happy.
GK: Exactly. The bullet stopped there.
SS: But what about the first 103 pages?
GK: Your narrative was so clear, the writing so fine, that I was able to follow the story even with a hole in the middle of each page.
SS: (PAUSE) Forgive my forwardness, but -----Are you married?
GK: Not married. I’m a cowboy.
SS: Well ---- I was looking for an adventure.
GK: Were you----- me too.
SS: So here we are----
TR: Hey, Lefty---- you still awake?
GK: Go away. Quit bothering me.
SS: I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
GK: No, not you---- him.
TR: You talking to me?
GK: Miss Soisonne? Suzanne?
TR: No. The name’s Dusty.
GK: She’s gone. Where am I?
TR: You’re sleeping in the lobby of the State Theater in Minneapolis, pardner.
GK: Minnesota??? How’d we wind up here?
TR: Well, we haven’t wound up here yet. We’re still mobile.
GK: We were headed for the Gulf of Mexico. Some place with a swimming pool and drinks with little umbrellas.
TR: That’s after you get on the radio show and sing your song and collect your talent fee.
GK: What show?
SS: Excuse me?
GK: Yes, ma’am?
SS: You here for the radio show?
GK: Don’t I know you? weren’t we dancing before?
SS: You play the guitar?
GK: Yes, ma’am. Could I have a minute to warm up?
SS: Just play something for me.
GK: Right now?
SS: Right now.
GK: Okay. This is the Ode to Joy by Beethoven. Big favorite out on the trail. (GUITAR STRUMS)
ODE TO JOY BY LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN IS MY FAVORITE SONG
PLAY IT JOYFULLY ON HORSEBACK AS THE CATTLE MOVE ALONG
THERE IS NOT MUCH JOY ON THE TRAIL AND NOT MUCH PURE EUPHORIA
NOT THAT MUCH HILARITY OR ANGELS SINGING GLORIA
BEETHOVEN HE WROTE CONCERTOS, AN OPERA, AND NINE SYMPHONIES
YET HE NEVER MADE MUCH DOUGH OR HAD A GIRL, A MAJOR SQUEEZE
AND HE COULDN’T HEAR VERY WELL, HE COULDN’T HEAR HIS OWN DARN SONG
WHICH DOES NOT SEEM JOYFUL TO ME THOUGH OF COURSE I COULD BE WRONG
(SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT)
THANKS FOR YOUR MUSIC, LUDWIG
GK: That’s my song. Ode to Joy.
SS: I see. How long you been playing guitar?
TR: Thirty years.
GK: A cougar bit my fingers and it sort of changed my style of playing.
SS: You learn from a book or what?
TR: Learned by trial and error. Mostly error.
GK: I had a tape machine and I wore it out. Play and rewind, and play and rewind.
TR: He didn’t wear it out. I shot it. Shot the tape too. One of the happiest days of my life.
SS: Well, thanks for playing. And we’ll let you know.
GK: Okay. Thanks. C’mon, Dusty.
TR: “We’ll let you know.” Sort of like a woman saying, “I hope I see you again sometime.”
GK: Yeah, well, you have to keep trying. Gotta give the world a chance to make you lucky.
TR: So where you want to spend Thanksgiving?
GK: Well, there’s a home for lonesome hoboes up in New Hope, Minnesota. They take in refugees too but you have to have tuberculosis and been let out of prison and the victim of at least two car crashes. And there have to be dog bites on you.
TR: Sounds like a sad place to spend Thanksgiving.
GK: Nope, they’re happy as can be. In addition, to all the above, they also have to have been engaged in farming for fifteen years. Or taught public school.
TR: Oh boy.
GK: Everything bad that could’ve happened to them has already happened. They’re tickled pink.
SS: Lives of the Cowboys. Brought to you by North Fork. When you come to a fork in the road, take the North Fork. Six out of ten times, it’s going to be the right one. North Fork. It’s your best bet.
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).