It's ridiculous, really, how my heart swelled with civic pride this weekend while listening to the Live Broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion coming out of Our Fair Metropolis. I listen to Garrison (yes, it's okay if I call him that--he's one of my Secret Ugly Boyfriends) often and enjoy him, but it seemed like the broadcast from my city was filled with a better audience--they had more energy, more palpable excitement coming over the airwaves. (No, I was not actually in the live audience. Tickets to Garrison sell faster than Packer tickets around these parts.) Hearing his musings on Our Fair Metropolis was a real thrill.
The show was jam packed with local talent and my town (where I actually live) even got a mention in the closing song. How totally cool was that?
One highlight was his description of what happens when someone leaves the door to their house open in our area. The neighbors will go inside, check to make sure everything is okay, take the socks out of the dryer and leave a note telling you as much before locking up on their way out.
He wasn't far off the mark. I've experienced:
* a neighbor "breaking in" to use my oven on Thanksgiving while I was out of town
* a stranger returning a stack of old financial statements that had blown out of our recycling pile (I hadn't the heart to tell him we were ridding ourselves of those papers)
* my lost children returned to me
* my lost checkbook turned in at the service counter
* flat tires repaired roadside
* a meal paid for by a stranger in a local restaurant
* a screen/storm door given to us by people we didn't know because they were re-doing their front door and thought their old door would be a perfect fit. It was.
* my children getting money for video games & gumball machines from strangers
* a Christmas tree blown off the roof of our car picked up and delivered to our house
* gifts of flowers, perennials, fresh produce
* strangers voluntarily keeping my baby/toddler entertained while I checked out at stores
Tennessee Williams coined the famous phrase about depending on the kindness of strangers in his play A Streetcar Named Desire. I don't like to depend on that kindness, but living where I do, I can.