Garrison Keillor

We admit picking Garrison Keillor for Best Columnist is about as creative as picking Joe Mauer as our favorite Twins player. But this year Keillor showed up the powdered-milk haters with humility. Item one: his column dedicated to the passing of his brother, Phillip. If you're human, you couldn't help but tear up. "When your brother dies, your childhood fades, there being one less person to remember it with, and you are left disinherited, unarmed, semi-literate, an exile." Item two: Keillor had a stroke last year, a normal part of life—getting old—that many care not to think about. "Two weeks ago, you were waltzing around feeling young and attractive, and now you are the object of Get Well cards and recipient of bouquets of carnations. Rich or poor, young or old, we all face the injustice of life—it ends too soon, and statistical probability is no comfort." The only comfort readers can have is that while he's still kicking, he'll still be writing. He'll end his show in the next few years, but the words will never stop. Keillor is a gift Minnesota takes for granted, and his column is a chance for readers to slow down and reflect, even if they read it on their iPhones.


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