Book Of Guys : Stories by Garrison Keillor

Book Of Guys : Stories by Garrison Keillor

“Men face numerous challenges in modern society,” according to Garrison Keillor. “In the past, masculinity was synonymous with success, but now it has become burdensome. Men who had the potential to achieve great things are now struggling to fit into the role of a mediocre, yet well-rounded individual. They are expected to excel in domestic tasks like baking a cherry pie, while also being passionate, skillful, and physically strong.”

Garrison Keillor’s latest book not only showcases his exceptional storytelling skills, but also proves him to be a master of humor.

The Campbell Family: From Exile to Royalty

In the quiet town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, winter has settled in with a heavy layer of snow. The locals are familiar with the persistence of winter, as the snow piles created by the plows will remain until April. In the midst of this wintry landscape, a small event took place at the Chatterbox Cafe that brought the townspeople together.

Dorothy, for reasons known only to herself, prepared a large batch of rhubarb pie. The pie was so delicious that word spread throughout the town, and soon every slice of pie was devoured. Rhubarb pie is a unique and local specialty, as rhubarb grows abundantly in Minnesota and is only used for desserts. It is not advertised or sold in supermarkets, making it a secret delight reserved for the people of Lake Wobegon.

Even high school student Lyle couldn’t resist the temptation of the rhubarb pie. He abandoned his school projects and had multiple slices, despite his resolution to lose weight before Christmas. The taste of the pie moved him so much that he found himself looking up the botanical properties of rhubarb, fascinated by its unique characteristics.

As more townspeople indulged in the rhubarb pie, each experiencing its sweet yet tangy flavor, the question arose: why doesn’t Dorothy, the mastermind behind this delectable treat, enjoy it herself? It remained a mystery, much like the person who discovered rhubarb in Minnesota, Rudy Gustafson.

Rudy, along with his wife Barb, stumbled upon rhubarb growing wild in their backyard in 1933. They recognized its potential and started a rhubarb empire, making substantial profits and promoting the use of rhubarb in various ways. However, their success led to personal conflicts, and Rudy’s wandering eye caused tension in their marriage.

Despite the drama surrounding rhubarb and the Gustafsons, the people of Lake Wobegon continued to cherish the vegetable and its conversion into pies. They held rhubarb close to their hearts, knowing that rhubarb’s presence in their lives was something special that only they understood.

Another significant story in Lake Wobegon revolves around the Campbell family. Grace Campbell, against her family’s wishes, married a man named Campbell and left town with him. However, their marriage was far from happy, and Grace eventually returned to Lake Wobegon as a single mother with three children.

Grace and her children faced a difficult life, living off the support of their family and the Lutheran Church. They found solace and hope in dreaming about their ship coming in—their metaphorical salvation—and their plans for when they would become rich and successful.

But there was one secret they held on to, a secret that gave them a sense of belonging and pride. They believed they were descendants of Scottish nobility, with their roots tracing back to the royal family of Scotland. They received letters from a man in Philadelphia affirming their supposed royal ancestry and their potential restoration to the throne.

Grace and her children, especially Walter, the youngest boy, held on to this dream of royalty. They imagined a future where they would be called to Scotland, received as the true heirs to the throne, and celebrated by crowds of their loyal subjects. It was a dream that kept them hopeful and resilient in the face of the challenges they endured.

But their dreams were shattered when their father, the supposed link to their royal lineage, contacted them. He confessed that he had been involved in fraudulent activities related to genealogy and was facing criminal charges. He desperately needed money to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

Walter was devastated by his father’s actions and the realization that their royal lineage was a lie. Despite his anger and disappointment, Walter chose not to confront his father. Instead, he decided to protect his mother and maintain the illusion that they were destined for royalty.

The family managed to raise the money to help their father, but their dreams of a royal future were forever tainted. They left Lake Wobegon and moved to Saint Paul, hoping for a fresh start away from the prying eyes of their small town.

Though their dreams of royalty may have been destroyed, Walter and his mother found solace in each other’s strength and resilience. They held onto the belief that, although unrecognized by the world, they were still royalty in their hearts.

The stories of rhubarb pie and the Campbell family remind us of the complexities and dreams that exist within a seemingly simple town like Lake Wobegon. Life’s twists and turns shape the residents and their relationships, but their journey towards hope and happiness continues, even in the face of unexpected revelations.

Lake Wobegon is a place where dreams are cherished and where the extraordinary lies within the ordinary. It is a reminder that there is royalty within us all, regardless of our external circumstances. As the citizens of Lake Wobegon hold on to their secrets and dreams, we are left to question what lies beneath the surface of our own lives.

And so we leave Lake Wobegon, where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are above average. Until next time, may we all find a slice of rhubarb pie in our lives, even if it’s just a metaphorical one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *