Tom Donaldson writes:
FARGO isn't a movie
In yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of "The Winter That Wouldn't Leave", we find the inhabitants of a small city in the Red River Valley of the North huddled around their only means of contact with the outside world, their personal computers. Not only are the PC's providing much needed human contact for these poor souls, many of whom have joined tanning salons so that their skin can be distinguished from snow drifts, but also much needed warmth to supplement their heating systems. Life has gone underground in this small city, as residents scurry from place to place along ever-narrowing paths carved from the mountains of snow, taking a lesson from the voles that exist only a moment away on the evolutionary clock. Once a proud and distinguished race of mixed European and Native blood, the residents of the city are beginning to question their own sanity, and particularly the sanity of their forebearers, who could have just as easily settled in Southern California. Many of the residents have attempted escapes to warmer climates, only to be returned by the ruthless crews from Northwest Airlines, who are actually paid according to the number of people they can safely deliver to a large, isolated structure known only as Hector. Not all of the residents have become victims of the winter, however, due in large part to a heroic group of young residents who have established "coffee houses" at three to four block intervals throughout the city. At these "coffee houses" residents are able to escape the brutal realities of their environment for a life-replenishing double cappucino before heading out to the next "coffee house" and ultimately to the relative safety of their own homes. As the seige of winter enters its fifth month in the lonely outpost precariously attached to the banks of a muddy river, many historians are beginning to compare the small city to Masada and Leningrad. Tune in next month to learn whether these brave, selfless people are able to emerge relatively unscathed from their months of isolation, or whether winter, in one last evil act, washes their entire city into the river and unceremoniously deposits it into the water of the white bears in the land of the "eh" people.
Dear Tom -----
I know it's been a tough winter in Fargo (and also in Moorhead) and I feel for you. A friend of mine just left there for Tampa, saying he couldn't bear it any longer. He's holed up in an apartment in Florida, probably next door to a reptile zoo or a museum of cars including one of Elvis's or some other feature attraction, and I hope the warmth is worth it to him, because he's bound to miss us in every other way. Isn't he? Or am I kidding myself?
Anyway, despite the cold, you can still write in complete sentences, Tom. GK
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Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).