3 things Garrison Keillor liked about Dayton during his visit this week

Sept 07, 2017
Contributing Writer
Garrison Keillor, who was the driving force of A Prairie Home Companion from 1974 to 2016, brings the Love & Comedy Tour to Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Wednesday, Sept. 6. CONTRIBUTED

Any time Garrison Keillor comes to town, he makes it very plain that he spent the earlier part of the day before his show wandering about town, checking out cool things to do.

Thursday night’s concert at the Fraze Pavilion was no exception, as the popular humorist, singer, writer, radio host and creator of NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” recounted for the audience the day’s meanderings through Dayton. 

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Three of our favorite things got big shout-outs – Butter Café, where Keillor said he had a delightful omelette and coffee, and where he perked up to the sound of the little bell at the doorway. He liked being greeted by the owners. 

>> You must try the amazing chai French toast at Butter Cafe

Next up: the Wicked ‘Wich food truck, something he seemed to enjoy mostly for the clever name – Keillor’s a word guy, after all – and which he used to prompt his talented sound-effects wizard, Fred Newman, through a whole round of goofy sandwich-making sounds, slap-slap-slap-slather-whooooooooooooosh, plop! 

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The snowy-haired Newman, well known from Keillor’s radio show, calls up an endlessly dizzying array of odd noises, voices and sounds throughout Keillor’s shows, and he’s big with the crowd. 

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Finally, Keillor recounted a lovely walk through RiverScape, providing Newman with the opportunity to show us what flowers sound like. 

And did we mention that Keillor and his co-vocalist, soprano Eva O’Donovan, did an oh-so-pleasant rendition of Randy Newman’s “Dayton Ohio, 1903”? Well, of course they did. 

If you haven’t heard it, it goes like this: 

Sing a song of long ago
When things were green and movin' slow
And people'd stop to say hello
Or they'd say "hi" to you
"Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?"
It's a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903

Sing a song of long ago
When things could grow
And days flowed quietly
The air was clean and you could see
And folks were nice to you
"Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?"
It's a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903