Garrison Keillor, Age of Excellence

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  • Topic: Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon, A Prairie Home Companion
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  • Published : March 16, 2006
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Garrison Keillor
"The Age of Elegance"

The air is filled with nostalgia in Garrison Keillor's article "The Age of Elegance". He uses the beautiful fall weather in the heartland state of Minnesota to return to his childhood fantasy of a restaurant named Murray's. Murray's brings back Keillor's memories of what he and America once was, a place where a boy could have dreams without any worries.

Keillor vividly describes Murray's as a place of sophistication, yet it can be a place to bring dear friends to relax and enjoy a steak at the same time. He creates a bold and grand image for Murray's. Pink drapes, a coat check girl, red plush chairs, candles, white linens and mirrors give Murray's a touch of class. Yet, billboards advertising the specials and waitresses named Agnes and Gladys soften the image that Keillor is creating for Murray's.

Murray's is a symbol of America's past. It brings back fond memories of the 50's and growing up for Keillor. It was a time of glory in Keillor's life. Having dinner with the family, going to church every Sunday and spending Saturday afternoons watching football with the family played an important role in the American and Keillor's family. Murray's is a reflection of a point in Keillor's life that he never wants to forget. It is a place that he enjoys sharing with dear friends.

Minnesota, America, the American family and Keillor have changed greatly since the 50's and Keillor's childhood. One thing has remained a constant though, Murray's. You can still go get a silver butter knife special for two. You can still expect to see the pink drapes and the red plush chairs when you walk in the door. You can still expect to be served by the waitress with the friendly name. Murray's, to Keillor, is a special place. It represents an era that America and himself have moved on from. Keillor is obviously grateful that he still has a place that supplies him of so many fond memories. It's a place where one can go...
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