Heidi is a retired English teacher living in Escondido, California. Before retiring, she taught at San Marcos High School in San Marcos, California.
I discovered Garrison Keillor and PHC in 1981. Elation and joy! Often experiencing a turbulent life, he and his show were the one joy I could count on every Saturday or Sunday (and sometimes both) for over 30 years.
I feel that I know Garrison’s character better than many of my own family members in that he expressed his values, opinions, gripes, and weaknesses through his comedy, music, and his alter ego as portrayed in the fictional home town of Lake Wobegon.
Of course, I was not actually present on the set to discover whether or not he abused the star power he accumulated over the years by letting his hand linger on the backs of women, but I do know that we all fall short of perfect behavior. And that Harvey Weinstein and Garrison Keillor should receive the same shaming or “defrocking” is mind-boggling. Weinstein is a predator and Keillor is the Mark Twain of our time, a man who spent decades reflecting upon and examining our American commonalities through fine story telling, humor, poetry reading and talent scouting for others who could practice high quality performing arts. I have always seen fit to share Keillor’s monologues and stories with my English students precisely because they illustrate what it means to be human, what it means to exercise good character, and how it is that we all occasionally err.
Should the statement of one woman regarding the lingering of Keillor’s hand on her back (for which he apparently apologized) get to smash a lifetime of achievements that have added much beauty to the tapestry of American culture? I think not!