Tuesday evening was a very special night at Hanover College. Garrison Keillor found himself on campus for a wonderful evening of storytelling. As a capstone speaker, and a very highly regarded one at that, Keillor packed the Horner Center. He spent the evening telling hilarious tales of Lake Wobegon to a sold out crowd.
Students were notified Monday that the show was sold out, and if we weren’t going to use our tickets, to give them to someone who would. I, of course, planned on using mine so that didn’t happen.
Keillor has a very impressive resume, having written multiple books in addition to being a very well-known radio host. He has also played himself in the film adaptation of “A Prairie Home Companion,” which starred Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, and others, including one time Hanover student Woody Harrelson ’83. While this is only the beginning of Keillor’s resume, he did not mention any of this during his stories.
Instead, the entertaining evening was filled with tales of Keillor’s childhood and family life. One of favorites was a story from Keillor’s childhood that involved a family trip to Yellowstone. Things did not go as one may anticipate a family vacation going. Young Keillor found himself in his family’s station-wagon reading War and Peace, and eating bologna sandwiches one minute and the next thing he knows he has been abandoned at a gas station while his family continues the rest of the trip. The response of his mother? “Your father felt like driving and we promised your sister she could write a report on the geysers.”
A fun filled evening, it definitely was a great opportunity for Hanover students to invite their parents down and enjoy the show together. If you find yourself unfamiliar with Keillor’s work, and are feeling left out, do not fret, since I had never heard of him before this event either. I was pleasantly surprised, and if you want to check him out, youtube is a great place to start (try this one).