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More Prairie Home on Vacation - day 4

August 15, 2006

Donna Fox's journey continues.

July 17 Glacier Bay National Park

Today the performers took a back seat to Mother Nature in all her glory. No photograph or video can capture the magic of being among the glaciers. I will certainly not try to capture it in words! I urge everyone, who can possibly go, to see Alaska before the glaciers recede any further!


For an hour this afternoon passengers had an opportunity to tell Garrison stories. It was a study in a great storyteller teaching people how to improve the telling of their stories. The one that absolutely cracked up Garrison and the audience involved a dog, some mice, and a two-passenger airplane. If anyone is interested, I will retell it. It is long!


Then I was off to "A Conversation with Tim, Fred and Sue". The mutual respect was heartening. The format was each reacting to photos of their careers. In doing so we learned a lot about them and APHC. The most amazing one was of Garrison leaning over Tim and rewriting the script as it was being performed. Sometimes they receive the script on Thursday; others they receive it at the read-through on Friday. Even when they do receive it on Thursday, there will be re-writes for Friday. Then on Saturday they will see yet more changes. Sue said that they have learned to save all the versions because Garrison might go back to an earlier one. During the show there is a lot of miming to get everyone on the right page of the right version.


Sue related a hysterical story of filming a TV spot for an insurance company on donkeys! First the donkeys wouldn't cross the white crosswalk markings so they were all taped over. They couldn't get the donkeys to move until someone pointed out that there was a lead donkey; Sue was on it. Once it was in the lead, it was off to the races! It took nine hours to tape a minute spot. Sue threw away her stockings since she couldn't get the hair off.


Tonight's show was Garrison and the Guys All-Star Shoe Band, an amazingly talented and humble group of musicians. One day we were on deck watching the process of the ship leaving port when we heard a ship's horn but it wasn't loud enough for the Zaandam. Loren and I rushed over to the starboard side to find Andy Stein preparing a new reed for his sax. As we chatted with him, we said something about whales and he simulated whale songs on his sax.


Richard Dworsky...what superlative is good enough to describe his directorship of the band and his mastery of the piano? And then there is his songwriting. We are utterly in awe. And he is the most bashful musician we have ever met. The only time he was more at ease was the day Loren noticed that Rick was wearing a Morro Bay hat. He said that it is his favorite beach town because it is so unspoiled. We wholeheartedly agreed and told him that we are headed there after the cruise to visit Loren's mother. Hey, maybe we can invite him to visit some day!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at August 15, 2006 11:25 AM


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