Post to the Host

Comments from the week of April 25th

I’ve heard so much about your wife. You certainly shower her with adoration. I wonder if you would let her write one of your columns and then we could see you from her point of view. Just more separation of the wheat and chaff and just a suggestion.


I read your letter to her and she laughed and said, “I don’t think so.” She is a very private person. She played violin in New York City Opera tours, riding in the musicians’ bus, playing in the pit, and loved that life, and didn’t aspire to be onstage, dressed as a duchess, singing. She has missed orchestral playing this past season. She is an avid hiker, reader, visitor at museums and art galleries, a dedicated mother and aunt, a lively dinner companion, an engaged citizen, an excellent friend, but to the best of my knowledge, she has never stood in front of a crowd and given a speech. To each her own.


Mr. Keillor,

I have been a fan of your work for as long as I can remember but I have to take issue with your thought of rounding up people into internment camps and vaccinating them. As a conservative Republican, I mind my own business and encourage others to do the same. The truth of a republic is that we as a people are free to make our own decisions.

There are many plausible reasons not to believe in this “pandemic” and not to get the injections to calm their media-induced fears. What a cash cow that has turned out to be for the big Pharma corporations.

My mother, at 83, did get the shot and has been sick in one form or another since getting the second shot. Prior to the shot, she was fine and she regrets getting it now.


The line about internment camps was a joke, perhaps in poor taste. But if enough people refuse to be immunized, the virus is free to spread and create new variants, so your decision not to be immunized has consequences for other people. If you do contract COVID, I hope you’ll allow yourself to be hospitalized and cared for.


You might consider fact-checking your missives before posting them. Both Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz have been vaccinated. Jim Jordan plans to be vaccinated but is graciously waiting so that older people may be vaccinated first.

Partisan attacks, especially those spreading false information such as yours, are dividing the country and destroying any hope of civil discourse. Why would you want to add to that?


Slipshod writing on my part. I only meant to say, “The Jim Jordans and Lindsey Grahams and Ted Cruzes have a role to play in our country” and I didn’t want to lose them. I shouldn’t have suggested they hadn’t been immunized,


Dear white people, there are so many wonderful topics to investigate, skip privilege. You’re white. You can call a cop without fear of being murdered. Enjoy your happiness and fond memories but don’t think for a moment your skin color didn’t make life easier for you.


Okay then. I will try to not write about privilege or race. But are we in a contest over whose life is harder, and does this include disabled persons vs. nondisabled, old vs. young, Americans vs. persons of other countries, and what is gained from this competition?


I was raised on a fat-tire Schwinn bike. Now the bikes are mountain, hybrid, or electric. When I find a fistful of quarters, dimes, and nickels in my jeans, l feel rich. My 12-year-old brain, calculates how many Heath Bars I can buy. A buck was a big tip from my Uncle Bill and Aunt Wanda. My small-town bookstore, Browsers Books has survived since 1927. From flu to COVID, masked readers continue to pass time with a good story. Keep them coming, Gary.


Heath bars. Wow. You were way ahead of me. I only knew about Baby Ruths and Butterfingers. But I knew the Schwinn. We had no bookstore, only the library.


Dear Garrison,

I also had a frugal childhood; I was raised as a preacher’s kid in the ’60s, and like you, we weren’t impoverished, but my dad was very tight with his money. Shopping for shoes was always an ordeal, and one that my sisters and I dreaded because we knew how things would inevitably proceed. My father would preach to us about choosing shoes that were the most comfortable and of the best quality. They had to be practical. I preached right back to him that practical meant having the most fashionable shoes a 10-year-old girl must have. Now as a 63-year-old, I take great pleasure in being able to pick out my own shoes, though I do see the value of comfort and practicality. I’ve noticed that throughout your career, you wore red shoes on stage. Was this done because of something significant from boyhood, or do you just like red shoes?


I come from a family of six kids and my dad was frugal, of course, so he took us boys to a little storefront in north Minneapolis where an old man with a heavy accent sold clothes out of cardboard boxes on the floor. My dad liked it because the clothes were cheap to start with and the old man was willing to bargain. It was very Old World. It was fascinating. For boys there wasn’t much choice — either tennis shoes or street shoes. As for the red shoes I wore onstage, that was to signify that I was a performer. Otherwise, people might look at me and think I was a pest exterminator or an accountant. I don’t have an expressive face so I wore expressive shoes.



In your most recent column, you said, “If I were a good person, I’d be an adjunct professor at a college and tell young people exactly how to live their lives, but being a WASP means I’m irrelevant, which is a perfect situation.” What’s your definition of a “good person”? I’m worried that if I say I’m a good person, it might mean I’m really not because I’m bragging about it, and being boastful is a sin, right? Also, I’m a WASP, too, and I’m offended that you think I’m irrelevant. 


I look on irrelevance as a form of freedom so you might try thinking of it in that way. But it isn’t waspiness that determines that so much as age. The world belongs to the young, or should, and we seniors should stand aside and offer what encouragement we can. A “good person” is one whom other people look up to. Self-selection doesn’t count. A good person cannot look up to himself/herself — you’d sprain your neck — so it’s for other people to know and the good person to ignore.