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A Prairie Home Companion at Sea 2006

August 10, 2006

Our friend Donna Fox recently returned from a cruise headlined by Garrison Keillor that included plenty of folk music. This is the first in a 7-part series.

July 14 North to Alaska!

Here we go again! We are waiting to board the Zaandam for the Second Annual A Prairie Home Companion at Sea. This year we are sailing from Seattle to explore the Inside Passage of Alaska.

GK-welcome-aboard-show.jpg

Last evening at the reception at our hotel Garrison greeted us and then entertained us with a gem of a monologue. He spoke of how looking forward to this trip made it possible for him to get through the previous 11 months of work and Minnesota weather. My husband, Loren Smith, and I recognized parts from his column this week on Salon. It was fascinating to compare his delivery of it and what I had heard in my head as I was reading it just two days ago.

The Hopeful Gospel Quartet with Rich Dworsky at the piano led us in an enthusiastic rendition of "Chapel of Love" and "Goodnight Irene". It certainly pegged the demographics of the group since almost all of us knew the lyrics!

It was an auspicious beginning to the weeklong cruise.

We were reunited with four members from last year's table. All eight of us had kept in touch and some had visited each other. On opening day of "APHC Movie" we all went to see it and then called each other to share reactions. We miss our other two mates who couldn't make it this year. We were gratified when Robin and Linda Williams and Sue Scott and her husband Ron remembered Loren and me!

Garrison led us in singing on the aft deck as we sailed out of Seattle harbor. We sang as many sea-related songs as we could come up with. At one point he asked all the Republicans to sing. There was dead silence although I heard mutterings from a couple of them behind me.

From 4:30 PM to the wee hours of the morning every venue on the ship had entertainment by APHC cast members and others. How to choose? Rich Dworsky and Andy Stein? Butch Thompson? Pat Donahue, Dan Newton and Gary Raynor? Redd Volkaert with Cindy Cashdollar? Kosher Red Hots? Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson? Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin?

Fred-Newman.jpg

Then later in the evening we were welcomed aboard by Garrison, the Guys All-Star Shoe Band, Rich Dworsky, and Robin and Linda Williams. The cast was greeted with enthusiasm.

Garrison-challenging-Fred.jpg

Garrison told us that there would be gifts from APHC in our cabins. The nylon backpack contained a travel mug, nifty small binoculars, a six-foot fold-out map of the Inside Passage, and this year's song book, also a signed poem from Garrison that contains these lines:

Worth even more than gold to find this simple reward:
The company of kindred souls. Welcome aboard.

I think that this is one more reason that this cruise has become an annual event for us. To be among almost 1400 souls who share our love for the show and our politics is a delightful way to travel.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at August 10, 2006 12:47 PM


Comments

Goodnight, Irene - how do we sign up!?

Posted by: JL Braswell at August 10, 2006 4:05 PM

Yeah - can I come?

Posted by: Huw Pryce at August 10, 2006 9:06 PM

Maybe we can get a discounted rate if we all sign up!

Posted by: JL Braswell at August 11, 2006 12:30 AM

I heard through the grapevine that next year's cruise destination is Norway!

Posted by: Linda Fahey at August 11, 2006 12:34 PM

Hey! I can visit my relatives while I'm at it! Cool!

Posted by: JL Braswell at August 11, 2006 4:04 PM

Hi Linda! Indeed you are correct. According to the rep from eminj, the company that handled all the arrangements for APHC at Sea, it will be a ten-day cruise, departing and returning to Copenhagen. What a blast! Fjords and APHC, who could ask for anything more!

Posted by: Donna Fox at August 12, 2006 12:23 PM

Okay..will someone please post a link for information about the 2007 Copenhagen/APHC cruise? Gracias.

Posted by: JL Braswell at August 12, 2006 9:04 PM

I mean, "Tak"!

Posted by: JL Braswell at August 12, 2006 9:05 PM

Denmark doesn't have fjords. It has a lot of Volvos though...but they're imports.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at August 12, 2006 9:16 PM

Copenhagen is the port of departure to go to Norway, plenty of fjords.

My suggestion is to keep checking the APHC website. The rep from eminj said that they were firming up plans even while we were still on the cruise. She thought that it would be announced sooner than this years which was January 24.

Posted by: Donna Fox at August 13, 2006 12:47 PM

PLEASE --when is the next PHC cruise

we were on the BOSTON PHC cruise

Posted by: WAYNE H DAVIS at August 13, 2006 5:42 PM

http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/

Posted by: JL Braswell at August 14, 2006 5:41 AM

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