Suburban Home Companion


Welcome to the No Prisoners, No Mercy Suburban Home Companion


Yes, I know there are those of you National Public Radio fans out there that may be used to homes out on the prairie, pithy sayings, and grandma’s wit.  Those of you who know us here at NPNM (not to ever be mistaken with NPR, or NDA, but occasionally with BS) know I occasionally quote my grandmother – that tough old bird that doffed her overalls to come to the land of Hondas and Overhead Camshafts.  Yes this is the land where the deer and the buffalo no longer play, having been replaced with bishops, disciples and kings (in this land of gangs, none of which are names of clergy or royalty, but all are still spoken of in hushed whispers).

Back in the era of the great depression, long before anyone ever even heard of National Public radio and Garrison Keillor wasn’t…period…my grandmother came to the land of the stinking onion (Chicago) looking for work.  The name Marshall Fields still graced State Street, and Mrs. Fields hadn’t even sent out her famous cookies yet.  There was a job opening for a cashier at the time, and the line of applicants stretched around the block, with my grandmother at the back.  As my grandmother waited, a store manager walked along the line, like a military commander reviewing the troops.  Suddenly he approached my grandmother, grabbed her out of the back of the line and said “You’re hired.”  When grandmother was done marveling at her good fortune, she managed to ask the manager “Why?”  His reply was, “I’m looking for someone who is honest and you look like a corn row jumper from way back.”

Oh if he only knew.


Not only was grandma a tougher bird than a stainless steel turkey, she was one tough customer.  And like grandma, I too can be a tough customer – especially when someone whose works I normally admire decides to dump some sour grapes on my doorstep.  Here is a quote from a recent article in the Chicago Tribune by Garrison Keillor:

“And if you want to write, you just write and publish yourself. No need to ask permission, just open a Web site. And If you want to write a book, you just write it, send it to or BookSurge at Amazon or PubIt or ExLibris and you’ve got yourself and e-book. No problem. And that is the future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75” – Garrison Keillor, Chicago Tribune, Coming to the end of an era in publishing, Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Mr. Keillor launches into the rest of his diatribe with a phrase almost as trite as the famed line of Chicago politicians “I don’t think you understand all the issues here.”

He continues with “Back in the day…”

While Garrison is busy telling us all how he used to walk to school up hill, both ways, over broken glass and hot lava he forgot one thing.  He mentions in the quote above “no need to ask permission”.  He is of course, quite right – including his.  Whether he changes with the times or no (and we here at NPNM could care less which) he seems intent not to at least “step out of the way”.  So as I politely step around Mr. Keillor and go about the business of writing I will quote you the words that were asked of me when we first discussed this article:

“Who’s Garrison Keillor?”

Of course I explained about National Public Radio and the Prairie Home Companion, and was met with quizzical looks.  Then I simply answered, “He’s the guy on the last page of the Tribune.”  My answer?

“Oh him.”

See you online,

Julie Whitefeather

3 Responses to Suburban Home Companion
  1. This space not for rent
    June 2, 2010 | 10:43 am

    [...] that no one needed to ask permission to write any more (especially his apparently), decided to heap a bit of distain on our corner of the global village while he was at [...]

  2. Pining for the Fjords
    June 7, 2010 | 6:32 pm

    [...] the nation, carried an article where Garrison Keillor carried this charming missive quoted in our Suburban Home Companion article: “And if you want to write, you just write and publish yourself. No need to ask [...]

  3. The most hated man in America?
    June 17, 2010 | 5:11 pm

    [...] and it sounds like a must read to us. Hells bells we would probably read it just to tick off Garrison Keillor. Posted in Article Archive | Tags: Bobby [...]