Geoduck companion appears on ‘Prairie’

Garrison Keillor

Earlier this month, Garrison Keillor and his live variety show, The Prairie Home Companion, performed at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. He actually conducted two shows, the first on March 27, the second on April 3.

As Keillor generally does when he travels throughout the country, he visits with local people and fills the discussions with references to local places, events and folklore.

“If dry socks and dry underwear are very important to you, this may be the wrong place for you to move to,” he quips during his second show.

I bring this up to call attention to a segment in which Keillor calls to the stage Jeff Adams of Washington Sea Grant and author of the blog “Sea Life” on the Kitsap Sun website.

You’ll find Jeff’s segment at 81:58 in the player at right.

Keillor was impressed that Jeff was an opera singer, which is something I did not know. But that’s a story for another time, Keillor says. Adams was there to talk about our local sea life, and the naturalist begins by telling the prairie visitor about our whales.

Jeff Adams

Jeff mentions the recent visits by the seal-eating transient orcas, which have been intimidating the migrating gray whales, according to recent observations. (See Water Ways March 30 and April 12.)

“I’m not going to take my child to see an orca whale bite the head off a seal,” Keillor says in a shocked tone. “That would scar her for life. Do you have more peaceable animals around here?”

“We do, we do,” Jeff says, pulling out a live geoduck.

“He’s naked!” says Keillor, recoiling, “… and he’s outgrown his shell by about 9 inches! … I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’m not sure I want to eat it, so you’re on your own.”

Adams also talks about our giant Pacific octopus and tells Keillor that there are plenty of places to hike around here.

In writing about the experience in his blog, Jeff said he was a bit intimidated before he went on:

“It was a fabulous feeling and an honor. I have to admit though… I couldn’t help but be a bit nervous. In the past, my musical alter-ego has been on stages big and small, singing everything from country to opera. This was different. I was going to be talking about something I loved, both personally and professionally, with a master of wit and improvisation… with no real preparation. Eek!”

But watching how the show was handled before he went on put Jeff somewhat at ease. I believe that Adams did an admirable job of demonstrating his passion and bringing a slice of our local water life to a national audience.

Jeff Adams displays a geoduck clam for Garrison Keillor and the audience at Seattle's Paramount Theater.
Photo courtesy of The Prairie Home Companion

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