Keillor Faces Mortality as 'Nice 67 y.o. Man'

Author Garrison Keillor's stroke leads to realization that it's time for change
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2009 1:18 PM CDT
In an April 13, 2007 file photo, Garrison Keillor laughs during a live audience dress rehearsal for "A Prairie Home Companion" at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)
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(Newser) – Garrison Keillor got “bitten in the butt” by mortality when he suffered a stroke earlier this month, realizing that he is now—as one doctor wrote in her report—a “nice 67 y.o. male,” he writes for Salon. “I never wanted to be a nice 67 y.o. man. I still have some edgy 27 y.o. man inside me.” But more important was his revelation that, “rich or poor, young or old, we all face the injustice of life—it ends too soon.”

“We are all in the same boat, you and me and ex-Gov. Palin and Rep. Joe Wilson, and wealth and social status do not prevail against disease and injury,” he writes. “And now we must reform our health insurance system so that it reflects our common humanity. It is not decent that people avoid seeking help for want of insurance. It is not decent that people go broke trying to get well. You know it and I know it. Time to fix it.”