Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Damn. Now I have to go change my acknowledgements page.

Today Garrison Keillor's last Mr. Blue column was posted over at Salon. This turn of events, while not previously announced, wasn't entirely unexpected either. His recent heart surgery, which caused him to suspend the column for the month of August, gave him time to reflect on his commitments and workload. As Garrison put it, "Winter and spring, I almost capsized from work, and in the summer I had a week in St. Mary's Hospital to sit and think, and that's the result."

With that, Mr. Blue hangs up his smoking jacket. I can't blame him, and I wish him well in his now somewhat less hectic lifestyle. However, Garrison's gain in time and freedom is for me the loss of a cherished weekly ritual, so I'm going to be glum about this for a short while. The column was a wonderful read every week. It was also a potent, eye-opening educational experience to observe this writer who had honed his craft on a typewriter venture into wild new world of Web publishing.

Maybe I should write the man and convince him to start his own blog. I'll have to think about that.

Meanwhile, it's not as if he's leaving the public stage anytime soon. There's his just-published book, with hopefully many more to come. Writer's Almanac seems safe for now. Most importantly, a new season of A Prairie Home Companion will soon be steaming our way, heralding the arrival of autumn as surely as turning leaves, NFL football and the TeeVee Dead Pool.

So if the sun-dappled waters of Lake Woebegon at dawn glimmer a little less brightly now, I must content myself with the notion that the man put the glimmer there in the first place may finally have a few moments to enjoy the view for himself. At least until his adorable little daughter requires his attention elsewhere.
Posted @ 12:24 PM


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