Byways, October 15, 2011

The Fitzgerald Theater

Saint Paul, MN


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Byways

Listen (MP3)

(THEME, BIG WIDE OPEN SPACES, GRANDEUR)

TR (ANNC): And now, Rainbow Motor Oil and the Rainbow Family of Automotive Products, brings you...... ONE MAN'S JOURNEY.

(INTERIOR, CAR AMBIENCE)

GK: How did I ever get on this road? I was in the suburbs and then suddenly ----- out in the woods. Haven't seen a house for miles. Darn cellphone ran out of power so I don't have a GPS and I didn't think to bring a map and ----- I'm down to a quarter-tank of gas and---- Oh look. A hitchhiker. With a cardboard sign. (CAR SLOWING DOWN) "I AM NORMAL & CARRYING NO WEAPON." .... Huh. Oh what the heck.

(PULLS OVER ON GRAVEL, WINDOW ROLLS DOWN. SLOW FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL)

DR: Hi.

GK: Hi. Need a ride?

DR: How far you going?

GK: I donno. Got to find the main highway. I'm lost.

DR: Yeah, me too.

GK: Get in.

DR: You sure? There's two of us. Me and Bobbie.

GK: Okay.

DR (OFF): It's okay!!!! (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

GK: Hi.

GW: Hey, mister. Thanks for stopping. You're the first car we've seen in about six hours.

DR: Kind of a deserted highway.

GK: Well, get in. (THEY SLIDE IN, DOOR CLOSE. CAR PULLS AWAY) What brings you out to this part of the country anyway?

GW: We're drifters. Vagabonds, or whatever you want to call it. Wandering is what we do. One place is the same as any other place. Just keep in motion. That's us.

GK: Well, to each his own.

DR: How did you feel about our sign?

GK: "I am normal & carrying no weapon"? Well, it got my attention.

GW: I was frankly pretty surprised you stopped. Traveling alone through a remote area and you see a drifter by the road holding up a weird sign.

GK: Well, I was sort of surprised I stopped, too.

DR: Yeah, no one around for miles. Just a long lonely stretch of nothing. I suppose you were thinking you'd enjoy a little company, huh? Somebody to talk to. Right?

GK: I guess so.

(DRIVING IN SILENCE, LONG BEAT)

DR: And now you're starting to wonder if it was a terrible mistake. Aren't you?

GK: Yeah, a little.

GW: You're probably thinking what kind of crazy person would stand there holding up a cardboard sign that says "I am normal" ----- right?

GK: Little bit.

DR: And now here they are in your front seat and you're all alone on this godforsaken highway with a ΒΌ tank of gas and if they should pull something, there's nothing you could do about it except yell and honk your horn and nobody'd hear you.

GK: I guess I could drive the car into the ditch but it's not a very deep ditch, and there's just underbrush, no big trees or anything. What are you reaching into the backseat for?

DR: My guitar. (STRUMS)

GW:
I am hitchhiking
down the highway
I'm glad I met you
going my way
DR: I know I'm dirty
And unshaven
Walking barefoot
On the pavement
GW: Our clothes are ragged
We look erratic
But we're not crazy
Not psychopathic
I have a family
sweet and gentle
A dog
A cocker spaniel
I am a normal girl

GK: Well, that's good to know. Puts my mind at rest.

DR: Course we could well be lying. Could be a couple of escaped felons who've been locked up for an unspeakable heinous crime and now we'll do anything to win our freedom.

GK: Could be.

GW: We could be running away from our family who kept us locked up in a shed for years and we never had any schooling to speak of and we've been so mistreated that it's made us sociopaths and sadists and now we've got you at our mercy and we're thinking of unspeakable things we might do.

GK: I suppose that could be so.

DR: But it's not true. We're normal people. Mostly.
(STRUMS, SINGS)
I had a job once
But I got tired
I fell asleep
And my pants caught fire

GW:
I am a Christian
Musician
Looking for some
Recognition
I'm not so crazy
Just maybe sorta
Just some attention
Deficit disorder

I have a family
sweet and gentle
A dog
A cocker spaniel
I am a normal girl

(DRIVING IN SILENCE)

GK: How did you get way out here in the country?

GW: We walked.

GK: That's a long way.

GW: I know.
(SINGS)
I am a runner
I'm a hiker
I'm a jogger
And a biker
I'm an endorphin girl.

DR: I see you've got your radio pre-set to 91.1. Public radio.

GK: Yeah, I listen sometimes.

DR: Ever think of becoming a sustaining member?

GK: No.

GW: Public radio depends on the financial support of listeners like yourself.

GK: No! No!

DR: 50 cents on the dollar comes from listeners just like you.

GK: Please. Stop.

GW: Just. Like. You.

DR: So if you value this radio service, why not support it?

GW: Call now. It's easy.

DR: Operators are standing by to take your pledge.

GW: Think of what life would be like if public radio simply went away.

DR: No more "All Things Considered," no more Terry Gross, no "Car Talk," no "American Roots" -----

GW: Programs you've come to rely on.

DR: You can become a sustaining member for as little as ten dollars a month.

GW: And choose from

GK: What do you want?

GW: If you value this listener-supported service, let them know with a contribution.

GK: Please stop.

GW: Only a small fraction of our operating budget comes from tax dollars, most of it comes from people like yourself.
(SHE SONGS)
They have families
Kind and gentle
And a dog
A cocker spaniel
And they are normal folks.

GK: Go away! Leave me alone!

(THEME)

TR (ANNC): Join us again next time, when a lonely man makes poor decisions on America's byways, on: ONE MAN'S JOURNEY.

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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