A Prairie Home Companion

"What do you mean, you haven't thought about what to do if a bear comes into your cave?"

“What do you mean, you haven’t thought about what to do if a bear comes into your cave?”

Well, yesterday was certainly an experience of a lifetime.

It started several months ago, when my parents bought four tickets to see Garrison Keillor’s live radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.  A few weeks ago, Rob, who’s been helping with my fundraiser efforts, had the idea to call Prairie and see if my story would fit in their show.  They called and talked to me for a while, and then let me know that I should show up early for the show.

That’s how I ended up on A Prairie Home Companion, met Garrison Keillor, had dinner with the cast and crew, got a backstage tour, and listened to some great Scottish music played by the guest band.

As the first half of the show finished up, I was brought backstage.  Someone pushed me forward, and there I was onstage in front of a couple hundred audience members and thousands of listeners.  Luckily for me, my nervousness dissipated as soon as Garrison started the conversation.

The evening turned into a bit of a blur, but several things surprised me.  One was how cluttered the stage looked.  Cords were laying around, and people walked on and off during each others’ acts.  During some of his segments, Garrison wasn’t even facing the audience.  Of course, it’s a radio show, so visual appeal is not the primary focus, but it was certainly interesting to see.

Another thing that stuck out was the friendliness of all the cast and  crew.  They even invited us downstairs to eat enchiladas with them before the show!  I got to talk to some of them afterward, too.  They were very polite and fun people.  Garrison chatted with me about careers, sleeping outside, and all kinds of other stuff.  He also talked to my sister and I about music.  We were even given chocolate cake in honor of one of the crew members’ birthdays.

For anyone who didn’t catch the show and wants to listen, here it is!  I come in at 76:07.


A special thanks to Garrison, Rob, David, Dan, and everyone else who worked hard to get me on the show!  These people didn’t just work to get me on the show because it’d be cool, but to help with my fundraising efforts.  As of today, we’ve raised just over $2,600 total.  That’s great and I’m thankful to everyone who has contributed!  And.  That number doesn’t nearly reflect the amount of feedback I’ve received.  I know part of that is because lots of people who have given me feedback haven’t seen this website, so please share it with your friends!  And if you haven’t donated yet, please do!  Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter.   Thanks!


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2 Responses

  1. Donna S says:

    What an amazing opportunity that you will never forget… even when you are 85 and sitting in your rocking chair. I can hear you now… ‘I remember when..’ Did you know that your grandma used to listen to Garrison Keillor, too? She would have been so proud of you.

    Way to go, Rudy!

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