The Man in the Red Shoes

Tue, Jul. 7 2009

Just catching my breath and dusting off the blog after a fantastic Fourth of July weekend in Montauk at my dad's beach house rental.

We drove out late Thursday and got there just after midnight.

My wife and son crashed almost immediately but I stayed up with my dad, sipping a tasty Honey Moon Summer Ale, and we watched most of the PBS American Masters episode featuring Garrison Keillor - The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes.

If you don't know Garrison Keillor, he's been around since the 70's and he's most famous for his "Prairie Home Companion" live radio show - a quirky program that mixes humor, storytelling and music–aimed squarely at America's heartland.

Now if you know me, I'm not exactly a Chevy and apple pie kind of guy, but I was hanging with my dad and he's a fan of Keillor and I also happen to know one of Keillor's crew, having worked with Fred Newman on a kids home safety video for Weekly Reader, so I went with it.

The show is an absolutely fascinating portrait of Keillor. The man is a natural storyteller and he's got the kind of voice that makes you want to listen. Before I knew it, I was pulled right in to his world. I was talking to Steve about this and his parents are also Keillor fans and he says whenever he's visiting he gets sucked in to the radio show. Such is the universal appeal of Keillor–he manages to draw you in, whether you like apple pie or not.

As we were watching, I explained to my dad that I'd worked with Fred Newman and next thing you know I hear Fred's voice and he's being interviewed on-screen.

Good stuff.

Check it out:

Garrison Keillor on PBS