Two tickets to “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor live at the Neil S. Blaisdell Concert Hall” – a date night gift from our children for Christmas.
Listening to the woebegone musings of Garrison Keillor as he walked the stage.
The “bright morning star” voice of Heather Masse.
The liquid gold of Led Kaapana’s slack key guitar.
Jake Shimabukuro’s exquisite interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Music to hold your breath for. And more.
Sound effects man Fred Newman recreating the cry of dolphins, the whirr of blenders and espresso machines, helicopters landing and turtles flossing—painting a soundscape while actors spun their yarns. Silly stories to make you smile.
A packed house. Some brave souls from the audience dancing on stage.
Radio broadcast live before our eyes, producers making it up a little as they went along.
On the stroke of midnight on the east coast: bright lights, streamers, greetings and a concert hall of people in Honolulu at 7p.m. local time singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
Schmaltzy, sweet, a sense of optimism that was accessible to all.
New Year’s Eve Honolulu. It made 2011 seem not so bad after all and got us a little more tuned for 2012. Amid all the conversation that was being transmitted across the ocean to the East Coast, Honolulu seemed much more the center of the Pacific and a gateway to America than it usually does. Songs and stories seemed to do what a gathering of APEC leaders could not, two months earlier.
Thank you my children.
We left after two hours and listened to the rest of the show over the radio in the car driving home—a different kind of conversation, somehow more personal and intimate than seeing the show live in the concert hall.
Later, stopped in on the celebration of Honolulu’s first civil unions: four same sex couples affirming their love and commitment to each other under the law passed in 2011. It called to mind a line from an Elvis song heard a few hours earlier at the Blaisdell: “Some things are meant to be.”
Finally, late night noodles under a white tent with breezes blowing in from the ocean, small waves gently breaking on the shore and a sky filled with stars.