By Phil Bourjaily
Garrison Keillor of the “Prairie Home Companion” brings his tales of Lake Woebegon, “where where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average” to Bemidji, Minne., on the weekend when all the women, men and children of Bemidji go deer hunting. Nov. 9 is the opening day of Minnesota’s gun season, which made finding stage hands for the show a challenge, since so many Bemidjians plan to spend the weekend hunting. The city, one of many towns claiming to be the birthplace of Paul Bunyan, lies near the headwaters of the Mississippi in the north woods, where the deer opener is as important as Thanksgiving.
Finding stage hands was tough. Harder still was finding a deer hunter for Keillor to interview.