Last night we hosted Garrison Keillor to a full and enthusiastic crowd. Months ago over a beer, I had promised Paul that he could do the introduction after he confessed how adamantly he loved A Prairie Home Companion. He did a magnificent job getting the audience amped and ready, and when Garrison Keillor took the mic we were all holding our breath because we couldn't quite believe that he was there, within arm's reach, leaning against the pole Rob Sheffield once danced around, breathing the same air we were while talking in that voice we knew so well.
He spoke for about an hour and a half, telling stories, reciting a poem, and at one point walking so far into the audience that he unplugged the microphone by accident. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard and so consistently during an author event at the store ever, and when I looked around the room everyone was laughing as hard as I was, if not harder. He signed books, posed for pictures, and charmed the daylights out of everyone. At the end of a two+ hour signing line, he gamely posed for several photographs with booksellers. I had just gotten a haircut, and Garrison admitted that he wanted to ruffle my hair. I offered up my head, and he placed his giant hand upon my head and ruffled my hair a few times, much to all of our amusement.
|Shuchi, Garrison, Paul and I laughing about our "double date" pose|
This was definitely one of my favorite author events, and I'm glad we were able to host him. The audience was delighted (and delightful!) and I'll sign out with my favorite photograph of the evening:
|Paul was really really starstruck.|