Purchase link: “Graduation Day”--Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion, 20th Anniversary Album vol. 4
- On Memorial Day, people went to the cemetery in the morning. What did they do in the afternoon?
- “Dead people have always supported the Democrats.” What does Keillor mean?
- Why did the graduating students (the “army in the blue gowns and mortarboard hats and the gold tassels”) all have gold tassels on their mortarboard hats?
- Why were the pairs of parading students arranged about 20 feet (about six meters) apart?
- Why do Midwesterners arrange for “dull and pretentious people to stand and speak at great length” at emotional events such as graduations?
- “The life of parents is nothing BUT prayer.” What does Keillor mean? Who stopped the practice of having invocations at schools?
- Clarence Bunson thought that nine out of ten men do not know how to do what?
- When can the meat finally be removed from the barbecue?
- Students may someday be lucky enough to come under whose instruction?
- VFW: Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Gettysburg Address: famous Civil War speech by Abraham Lincoln
- “Taps”: a famous musical piece, sounded by the U.S. military nightly to indicate that it is “lights out,” and also during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet. [wikipedia.org]
- “Pomp and Circumstance”: the “Trio” section of Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D, used almost universally as a graduation march in the USA.
- forty-yard lines: the lines crossing the football field 40% of the distance from each end of the field.
- invocation: a ceremonial prayer intended to ask for or invoke the presence of God.
- vacuous: empty; without evidence of thinking or of intelligence
- ragging on: criticizing, complaining about