I’ve long been a fan of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion and its Midwestern version of Brigadoon, Lake Wobegon, Minnesota.
Years ago, when I was a park ranger at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, A Prairie Home Companion was my Saturday evening tradition.
If I was closing the park in the summer, Garrison’s stories of Norwegian bachelor farmers, accompanied by advertisements featuring Be-Bop-A-Re-Bop Rhubarb Pie (my personal favorite pie!) and Powdermilk biscuits (“Heavens, they’re tasty and expeditious!”) accompanied me as I drove around the park tour road when closing the park.
Lake Wobegon was an idyllic version of the towns in Northern Iowa like Dows, Galt, and Clarion in Wright County, where my mother’s family homesteaded after the Civil War.
Like Keillor, my mother grew up among the sons and daughters of Norwegian immigrants, and even though we were Scottish Presbyterians, my family was culturally Norwegian.