(PHONE RINGS, 3X, PICKUP)
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Hello?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): (A BEAT) Duane?
GK: Yes. It's me mom.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): I'm confused. Did I call you or did you call me?
GK: I called you, mom.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Well whatd'ya know. These must be the end times after all. Wait, you're not sick, are you?
GK: No, I'm not sick.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Is your little house on fire? Do you need money?
GK: That's funny, mom. Listen, I called about your birthday.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Oh, Duane. You remembered it's in January. Finally. (CHOKES) That's so sweet.
GK: I hadn't heard from you, so I was just wondering what's going on.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): (RECOVERING) What's going on? We're in Milwaukee.
GK: Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Oh sure. We got a hotel room. Just your dad and I. Free parking, free color TV, and the breakfast buffet is from 6 to 9:30 and it's free. They have a pancake machine, Duane. Can you believe it?
GK: Do we have family in Milwaukee?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Nope. And that's why we're here. Because there's no family. No family means No Disappointments.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Your dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, a week in a hotel and no visitors. So what's going on with you?
GK: I don't know. I was planning to come over and bring a gift.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Well, now you don't have to. So how you coming along with your girlfriend? She didn't dump you, did she?
GK: She's on vacation.
SS: Vacation? Where?
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): And she didn't invite you along?
GK: No, she didn't. Anyway, happy birthday and enjoy that breakfast buffet.
SS: Are you okay, honey? You don't sound okay.
GK: I'm fine.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): How could she go off to Miami and leave you alone?
GK: It's not an issue. I'm fine. I'm working on a novel.
SS: Oh, honey. Not another one.
GK: It's called "A Distant Line of Trees"----
SS: A Distant Line of Trees.
SS: It sounds sad.
GK: I don't know. Not done with it yet. How about I come to Milwaukee and bring you your gift?
SS: Oh, I don't want you to interrupt your writing. It's fine.
GK: I can just shoot over there, wouldn't even need to stay overnight ---- just come up ---- bring a cupcake with a candle-----
SS: Don't worry about it. I'm fine, Duane. I'm absolutely fine. I'm in bed with a good book and room service is bringing me a bowl of chili and a grilled cheese sandwich and I'm going to enjoy the heck out of that ----- (OFF) just put it on the dresser. Thank you. Thanks. Here you go. ----- It's lovely, Duane. (WEEPY) Someone just brought me food on a tray. You don't know what that means. A bowl of chili and a grilled cheese. And coffee. It's so nice to be waited on. Seventy-five years I've been waiting on other people hand and foot like a scullery maid, and now someone has finally brought me food. On a tray. A beautiful young Hispanic man. His name tag said Juan. He looked at me in a certain way, Duane. I swear. I could see it in his eyes.
SS: I'm seventy-five but I'm not dead, Duane.
GK: Mom, try to control yourself.
SS: I gave him a $40 tip for a $17 lunch ---- that sends a signal, don't you think?
GK: Is Dad having a good time?
SS: He went ice fishing.
GK: You're there alone?
SS: I like it alone. I've had two glasses of wine, Duane, and I'm considering a third.
GK: Mom, I'm getting in the car and coming to Milwaukee. I'll be there in five hours. What hotel are you staying at?
SS: Goodbye, honey. (SINGS) Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye. Cheerio, off I go on my way.
GK: What hotel are you at, Mom? Mom? (CLICK, DIAL TONE)
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).