Wednesday, March 5, 2008

UPDATE: Garrison Keillor

A couple of days ago, Your Mama discussed a dignified red brick house in Saint Paul, MN that the litigious, curmudgeonly and wildly famous radio host Garrison Kiellor recently put on the market with a $1,650,000 asking price.

Today, thanks to a slew of wonderful residents of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who emailed us with a link over to an article in yesterday's Star Tribune (via the Grand Forks Herald), Your Mama has learned that Mister Keillor hopes to move his small family just a few blocks over to an historic mansion on Summit Avenue, one of Saint Paul's prettiest and priciest streets.

Although it's not a done deal, Saint Paul scuttlebutt says that Mister Keillor has offered to purchase what is often referred to as the George F. Lindsay house which sits on the same swanky section of Summit Avenue as the Minnesota Governor's Mansion. Property records show the Georgian Revival style house was built in 1919 for a lumber tycoon and measures in at a whopping 9,134 square feet.

Your Mama could not find a current listing for the property that would give any indication just how much radio money Mister Keillor might have to cough up to buy this house. However, in February of 2007, the Minneapolis Luxury Real Estate Blog discussed the pretty property that overlooks the city and reported the house contains 5 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms and was listed for a short time in 2006 for $2,579,000. Given that Your Mama knows precious little about the Minneapolis/St. Paul real estate market, we have no idea if a number that high would still apply in this era of sinking home prices and mortgage acquisition difficulties for the average home buyer. We'll just have to wait and see.

Whatever the case, we're certain Mister Keillor and his violinist wifey Jenny Lind will fill the big house with books, music and lefty liberal politics. All good things, of course, and Your Mama sincerely hopes none of their new neighbors on Summit Avenue are planning to add on to their houses any time soon.


so_chic_darling said...

OK if he can spend somewhere in the 2.5 million range for a new house then he should pull out that credit card for a new and updated pair of jeans!

Anonymous said...

As someone who grew up in St. Paul, I can tell you that Garrison Keillor is a pompous ass. All his rhetoric about being the savior for historic preservation in St. Paul is just a bunch of self-serving crap. He could care less about anyone other than himself. And considering all his leftist leanings, isn't it interesting that he has such an inflated sense of entitlement? Mr. Keillor does not belong in Minnesota - I suggest he pack his bags and head to NYC where at least he would be in good company with all the other egomaniacs and phonies like himself.

so_chic_darling said...

Hey St Paul native,New York doesn't want his Saturday jeans ass here thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

I was rather interested in the Richardsonian house on the Summit Ave. tour that Mama's link led to.

The less said about Keillor, the better - there are some rabid fans out there.

Anonymous said...

Hey hey hey St. Paul native.

I can appreciate your issues with Keillor, but please don't go crudely maligning ALL New Yorkers as egomaniacal phonies.

I'm sure there's more than a few fat headed phones in Saint Paul too.

Anonymous said...

I find his voice calming, and he can be quite clever--in an NPR sort'a way. Don't like to think he's not a good person, so I won't.

Great taste in houses, too. But decorating? That's is a whole 'nother story.

Alessandra said...

Of course his wife's name is Jenny Lind.

Anonymous said...

As in the Swedish Nightingale, Alessandra? (If so, I totally missed that.) Or maybe you mean something else?

Anonymous said...

Didn't mean to say ALL New Yorkers are phonies and egomaniacs. Just that there are probably a few more in NYC (Donald Trump, for instance) than in St. Paul.

Not that St. Paul is filled with perfect people, but most of them are pretty nice. And Mr. Keiller is not. And whoever called me a "negative xxx-hole" is not nice either!

Alessandra said...

Yes, pch. It just feels sort of "meta" in a way, since he riffs on small-town life in MN, which is often populated with those of Swedish descent. I mean, she can't help her name, but would Garrison Keillor be the type of man to "story-board" his life, i.e. be prone to falling in love with a woman named "Jenny Lind"?

Plus, I had a sassafras Jenny Lind spool bed as a kid, which is apropos of nothing, except that perhaps I can convince my parents to ship it from OH to CA.

Anonymous said...

Gotcha, Alessandra. Good point. And now I'm trying to imagine what a "sassafras Jenny Lind spool bed" might be. I'm sure it's innocent and sweet, but it also sounds like something you might buy at the Hustler store on Sunset.

Alessandra said...

Well, I did always love my bed...

Hustler, however, doesn't carry anything so well crafted or so elderly. It has to be about 130 years old by now.

Anonymous said...

It was the "spool" part that had me thinking naughty thoughts. Just did a google image search and discovered it has nothing to do with motion...

Anonymous said...

Do I have to be the one to tell you to get a room - me of all people?


Anonymous said...

Alessandra & PCH,

BTW, have I told you how much I enjoy learning from the obscure references you and the others contribute to this site?

I knew of the singer Jenny Lind, but never made the Swedish connection til you folks pointed it out - thanks.

Anonymous said...

another thing that's great about Garrison, is the writer's almanac, which always starts off with a poem, by the likes of the late Jane Kenyon and such.

sometimes back, this was included on of the newsletters, and it's part of the intro to Fresh Air w/Terry Gross

all this, in my mind, allows him to wear any kinda jeans he wants ...

The Bull Moose
by Alden Nowlan

Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain,
lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar,
stumbling through tamarack swamps,
came the bull moose
to be stopped at last by a pole-fenced pasture.

Too tired to turn or, perhaps, aware
there was no place left to go, he stood with the cattle.
They, scenting the musk of death, seeing his great head
like the ritual mask of a blood god, moved to the other end
of the field, and waited.

The neighbours heard of it, and by afternoon
cars lined the road. The children teased him
with alder switches and he gazed at them
like an old, tolerant collie. The woman asked
if he could have escaped from a Fair.

The oldest man in the parish remembered seeing
a gelded moose yoked with an ox for plowing.
The young men snickered and tried to pour beer
down his throat, while their girl friends took their pictures.

And the bull moose let them stroke his tick-ravaged flanks,
let them pry open his jaws with bottles, let a giggling girl
plant a little purple cap
of thistles on his head.

When the wardens came, everyone agreed it was a shame
to shoot anything so shaggy and cuddlesome.
He looked like the kind of pet
women put to bed with their sons.

So they held their fire. But just as the sun dropped in the river
the bull moose gathered his strength
like a scaffolded king, straightened and lifted his horns
so that even the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles.

When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men
leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled.

Anonymous said...

It is not that Minnesotans are particularly nice ...but that they are wishy-washy like Canadians, which they almost are.

Any cop will tell you that business picks up in hot weather.

Anonymous said...

That Canadian comment is very ignorant. Typical.

That being said, if anyone watches 'The Young and the Restless' doesn't this house look like Katherine Chancellor's house?! The symmetry, white, columns at the front door, 3rd floor dormer windows...creepy!