Youth is one of the four titles in the Stories From the Collection Lake Wobegon USA series HighBridge Audio has reissued on CD in 2008. Along with Rhubarb, Patience, and Fertility, this Prairie Home Companion CD features stories performed by Keillor in 1990-92. Some of these are by now and for long-time News From Lake Wobegon fans, classics.

The News From Lake Wobegon segments on the Youth CD are Blue Devils, Nostalgia, Pageant, and Messy Shoes. There is also a very short instalment titled O Christmas Tree and a musical number, Home Sweet Home.

I am quite partial to the early or earlier Garrison Keillor and Lake Wobegon CDs as they usually feature longer, more developed narratives and fewer repetitions: Could somebody put Bruno the fishing dog out of his misery, please?

Blue Devils, the first story on Youth has Wobegonians trying to deal with having a winning girls’ basketball team. Nostalgia is a News From Lake Wobegon segment about how Lake Wobegonians will always remember the silliest thing you did. This allows garrison Keillor to tell a few funny stories about some of the villagers and himself, and talk about an auction at one of the farms and poke some fun at city folks who pay a lot for an antique manure spreader.

Although it is an incomplete tale, O Christmas Tree is quite entertaining. Here, Garrison Keillor speculates on the origin of Christmas tree lights. The story ends rather abruptly but it is entertaining.

The Pageant is a variation on what happens during the preparations and the performance of the Christmas pageant at Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility. This time around Carl Krebsbach finds himself in charge of the pageant after his wife has to go help their son in a Dallas hospital. It is not a bad story at all but not the highlight of this Lake Wobegon USA CD.

Lake Wobegon, U.S.A.: Youth (mp3 version)   closes with Messy Shoes, a story about Thomas Tolerud, who lives in Seattle, and yet another living flag bit. The Messy Shoes bit itself has to do with stopping the car when you have not seen a rest stop in a while.

This is not the best of the discs in the Lake Wobegon USA set but Youth is still quite entertaining.

We have a Garrison Keillor dedicated page

Lake Wobegon USA – Youth
Garrison Keillor
Highbridge Audio 2008
76 minutes

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