Garrison Keillor in the International Herald Tribune: "At $5 a gallon, we'll start telling stories again"

In a recent Op-ed in the International Herald Tribune, Garrison Keillor writes: "The fantasy of comfortable vagabondage lies deep within each one of us, though, and once, 30 years ago, driving a GMC motor home around western Minnesota, I fell under the spell. To have the freedom of the road and the comforts of home - your own books on the shelf, your clothes in a drawer, your brand of beer in the fridge - is an aristocratic privilege and I was happy to give up moral grandeur for a couple weeks and enjoy it. Five-dollar gasoline is pushing that fantasy to the wall, and it's also showing most of us that we live in communities whose design is based on the assumption of cheap gasoline - big lots with backyard privacy make for a long drive to the grocery store. In the big old-fashioned city neighborhood, if you're bored in the evening you just stroll out the door and there, within five or 10 minutes, are a newsstand, a diner, a movie theater, a palm reader, a tavern with a bartender named Joe, whatever you're looking for. But in the sort of neighborhood most Americans prefer, there are only a lot of houses like yours and residents who give evening pedestrians the hairy eyeball. The mall is a long hike away and it's an amalgam of chain outlets, with a vast parking lot around it. To a person approaching on foot, it feels
like an enemy fortress."

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