Garrison Keillor, author and star of the "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show, plans to marry his high school sweetheart Sunday in Copenhagen.
Keillor, the creator, chief writer and host of the weekly, live two-hour program, which features the fictional "News From Lake Wobegon," met Ulla Skaerved at Anoka High School in Anoka, Minn., in 1959, when she was a foreign exchange student from Denmark. After high school, Skaerved returned home and Keillor wrote occasionally for The New Yorker and worked in several radio stations before creating "A Prairie Home Companion" for Minnesota Public Radio in 1974.
The pair had not been in contact until last August, when they met again at their 25th high school reunion. Since then, Keillor, easily public broadcasting's most popular entertainer, with an estimated 2 million-plus listeners per week, has conducted an international courtship, flying to Denmark several times this fall while squeezing in a national book promotion tour for "Lake Wobegon Days," which now rides the best-seller list.
The chance meeting and rekindling of an old romance inspired a stirring "News From Lake Wobegon" monologue by Keillor in September and has been the subject of several monologues since.
Both are divorced and until recently, Keillor's companion was the radio show's producer, Margaret Moos, who is now on leave.
Keillor and his wife-to-be, both 43, will have a "traditional wedding in a Lutheran church," according to a spokeswoman at Minnesota Public Radio, and plan to live in St. Paul, where the storyteller-humorist purchased a new home last Friday.
Because of the wedding, a previously taped show of "A Prairie Home Companion," featuring special guests the Dale Warland Singers, Robin and Linda Williams, the Butch Thompson Trio and guitarist Peter Ostroushko, will be heard Saturday at 6 p.m. and repeated Sunday at 1 p.m. on WETA (90.9 FM).