Neil S. Blaisdell Center Concert Hall
GK: I'm from the Midwest and we use the word Fine quite a bit. As in "I'm just fine." Which, translated emotionally means, "Help me, I'm dying on the inside." And so when we came to Hawaii and my wife was looking at a tourist brochure and said:
SS: This looks good. Hawaiian Adventure. Rock-climbing, surfing the big waves on the North Shore, swim with killer sharks and a humpback whale. Sound like fun?
SS: Oh no.
SS: It says, "Must be in shape for strenuous physical activity." Well, that eliminates you.
GK: I'm fine.
SS: I don't think you should try this.
GK: It'll be fine. ----- And that's how I wound up, a few hours later, (SCUBA) in a steel cage on the ocean floor, as fifteen sharks came surging at me (SFX) and two humpback whale was mating, which isn't as beautiful as it sounds (SFX),
FN (WITH MASK): You okay?
GK: I'm fine. ------and then a crane pulled me up to the surface (SFX) and they tied me to a surfboard (SURF) ----
TR: Just go with it, dude.
TR: Hang with it, dude. Wicked.
GK: And I clung to the board as it raced down into a trough (SFX) and a tidal wave pushed me at astonishing speed (SFX) across the open sea and then crashed on top of me (SFX) and I went underwater for a horrifying ten seconds until the wave threw me up on shore (SFX) like a piece of garbage.
TR: Hey, way to ride. Want to go again? (STING)
GK: My wife was at the spa, getting a facial (SFX) and a manicure (SFX), and a hot stone chakra massage (SFX) And that afternoon I was hanging from a rope (ROPE TAUT, SWINGING SLIGHTLY) fastened to a wedge stuck in a crack in the sheer rock face thirty feet above me, and rope dangling down five hundred feet below me and my instructor, a woman named Melissa, was standing on a four-inch ledge next to me. (WIND, BIRDS FLY BY)
ER: How are we doing?
GK: Fine. Are we going up or down?
ER: Either one. Where do you think we should go?
GK: Hey. (ROPE CREAKING) Is this rope going to hold me?
ER: How about you stand on this ledge here.
GK: It's only four inches wide.
ER: Wide enough.
GK: Okay. Fine. But the rope is going to hold, right?
ER: I don't know.
GK: You don't know???
ER: I've never been rock climbing before.
GK: You've never done this before?
ER: Duh. That's why I'm taking lessons from you.
ER: You mean, you're not the instructor??
GK: I thought you were the instructor.
ER: I thought you were. You're not?
GK: I've never done this before either.
ER: But you seemed so sure of yourself. You marched up and grabbed the rope and threw it over your shoulder and said, "Okay, I'm fine. let's get the show on the road."
GK: I tend to be that way around women.
ER: Oh boy. Five hundred feet up a sheer rock face and I'm with an amateur who needs to impress women.
GK: It's okay. We're going to be fine. (ROPE CREAKING, BIRD FLIES CLOSE, SQUAWKING) Hang on.
ER: Hang onto what? ----What are you doing?
GK: I just felt sort of dizzy for a moment. WHOOOOOOOAAAA.
ER: DON'T GRAB ME LIKE THAT.
GK: I'm fine now.
ER: Okay. But if you fall, don't take me with you, okay?
GK: Sorry. I'm fine.
ER: My heart is pounding so hard, I'm afraid it's going to knock me off the ledge.
GK: Take a deep breath. You'll be fine.
ER: Okay. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
GK: What do we do now?
ER: We go back the way we came, I guess.
GK: That's a long step down.
ER: Hold onto the rope and reach down with your right foot, but don't put all your weight on the rope in case it breaks.
GK: You think it might break?
ER: It's sort of unraveling.
GK: So why am I holding onto it?
ER: For confidence.
GK: What confidence?
ER: Reach way down with your right foot and I'll hold your right hand but don't grab me, okay? Let me hold you. Okay?
GK: Are you going to hold on if I fall?
GK: I didn't think so. Okay, here goes.
HM: HEY. DON'T PUT YOUR FOOT IN MY FACE.
GK: What are you doing down there?
HM: I'm coming up.
ER: We're here.
HM: So move over.
ER: There isn't room.
HM: Just slide over to your right. I'm coming up.
GK: Don't grab me, okay?
HM (EFFORT): There. Made it. Hi.
HM: I'm Stephanie.
HM: Could you move over a couple feet?
GK: I'm standing on a four-inch-wide ledge of rock that feels like it's crumbling under my feet and I'm pressed against a sheer rock face with no footholds and I'm holding onto a fraying rope tied to a wedge in a crevasse that feels a little loose and you want me to move over?
GK: Okay. (SHUFFLING FEET) Okay?
HM: C'mon up, Leslie.
GK: Who is this?
SS (EFFORT): Got it. Wow. We're way up, aren't we. Let me turn around-----
ER: Don't turn around!!! (CRUMBLING, SLIDING)
SS: There. Made it. Wow. Look at that. We are way way up------
HM: Leslie, like you to meet Carson and Melissa.
SS: Hi. ---- (SHE FALLS) Whoaaaaaaaaaaaa.
HM & ALL: REACTION. (ROPE CREAK)
GK: You okay?
SS: Yeah. Thanks for letting me grab your rope.
GK: I'm not sure it's going to hold.
HM: Hold on, honey.
SS: I'm trying.
ER: How about we go down there and then you'll have more room?
GK: I don't think this rope is going to hold two of us though.
SS: I don't know how long I can hold on.
HM: Hold on.
ER: I'm going to just slip past you here---- excuse me----- and reach way down with my foot----- almost there------- almost there-------
GK: Who's this?
FN: Hi. Coming down. (LITTLE LANDSLIDE)
GK: You're knocking a lot of loose rock down on us, mister.
FN: Don't have a choice. Here. Let me put a spike in here. (BANGS ON IRON) There. Now I've got a foothold. Who's that hanging from the rope?
HM: My friend, Leslie. I'm Stephanie. This is Carson and Melissa.
SS: Hi. Pardon me for not shaking your hand----
FN: It's okay. I'm Frank.
HM: Good to meet you, Frank.
GK: Look. People----- there's five of us here, pressed
against a sheer cliff, gravel falling from above, a boulder now and then, one person dangling from an unraveling rope, three of us on a four-inch-wide ledge and one of us trying to climb down on a two-inch wide ledge.
ER: Almost got it.
GK: We're in terrible danger. And look. (THUNDER, DISTANT) A storm is coming in.
HM: We need to be calm. We need to suppress anxiety so we can find a solution. That's what we have to do. Be calm.
GK: I have no idea how to be calm in the face of sure death.
HM: We need to sing.
GK: You've got to be crazy.
HM: A song can help. (SHE SINGS) Kumbaya my Lord.
(ALL TOGETHER): Kumbaya. Kumbaya my Lord. Kumbaya. Kumbaya my Lord. Kumbaya. Oh Lord. Kumbaya.
FN (SINGS): A Wimoweh a wimoweh a wimoweh a wimoweh
TR (ON P.A.): You folks need help? We're going to lower a basket. Just climb into the basket, one by one. There's room for all of you. Okay. (BRIDGE)
GK: I don't know who Melissa was, or Leslie or Stephanie or Frank. All I know is that when the chopper set us down on level ground, we all climbed out of the basket and walked to our cars and didn't look at each other. I drove back to the hotel and lay down on the bed and turned on the TV. (TV AUDIO)
SS: So how was it?
GK: It was okay.
SS: You're not completely exhausted?
GK: I'm fine.
SS: You look tired. Anxious. Terrified.
GK: I'm fine. Believe me. Fine. (PLAYOFF)
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).