Standing in line for Tom

Some of Tom Keith’s closest friends are throwing a party for him this afternoon (Saturday) at Saint Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater. Keith, the longtime sound effects man for A Prairie Home Companion, died two weeks ago.

About 600 tickets are being made available for free starting at 4 p.m., which means there’s no way you’re getting into the joint without spending a considerable amount of time standing in line; that’s the first of today’s tributes to the man — the line.

His on-air partner for many years, Dale Connelly finds that ironic:


Having said that, I can’t imagine Tom waiting in a long line for anything. He was generally unimpressed with whatever was being handed out at the end of a queue, doubly so if a whole bunch of people thought it was something special. The presence of a crowd just about anywhere was a sign to him to turn around and head in the other direction. The one exception was any case where he was appearing in the show. It wasn’t that Tom thought he was worth the price of admission (though he was). It was simply a matter of fulfilling an obligation. He had a job to do.

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