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Garrison Keillor Coming To Tampa, Prepares To Take His Final Bow

American Public Media
Garrison Keillor announced his retirement last year

Garrison Keillor leaves Lake Wobegon for good this summer.

After 40 plus years, the long time host of public radio's "Prairie Home Companion" is in his final season.

But the show must go on -and it will- with Keillor's hand-picked successor, musician Chris Thile of The Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek.

In the meantime, Keillor is taking his variety show on the road including a performance in Tampa this weekend.

"The America the Beautiful Tour" touches down at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa on Sunday.

Keillor says he will enjoy having weekends off but he's far from calling it quits on the work front. The wholesome host will instead turn his attention back to his first love.

"I'm going to go back to being a writer and sitting in a small dim room all by myself with a cup of coffee," he said.

Keillor recently signed on to be an occasional columnist with The Washington Post and is working on a screenplay and a memoir.

"I'm 73 now and I think that there are early parts of my life that are interesting to people," he said.

When Keillor performs Sunday, fans shouldn't be surprised if he pulls out a yarn or two about Tampa, as he's known for peppering his live shows with local anecdotes.

"Tampa was the city that a dear friend of mine who retired from teaching in North Dakota settled into and became just amazingly happy," he said. "So that's my first and best impression of Tampa. That it was it was the long desired reward for this good man who put in his time and he came down to Tampa and found the life that he had dreamed of."

You can hear Prairie Home Companion on WUSF Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at noon.

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.
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