Saturday, November 01, 2008

Studs Terkel....."Curiosity didn't kill this Cat!"

So farewell then Studs....

When I first came to this country, I was in Borders & there in the discounted books, I discovered a gem...."Will the circle be unbroken...".

In summary, it was a reflective work. Studs doing what he did so best & so effortlessly- putting ordinary Americans at ease & acquiring their lifetime of insight on the topic in hand...this particular topic was on life, death & we get older we tend to focus on our destiny & ultimate journey.

It was a comment on American Society of that snapshot in time then that such a book be discarded & ignored so easily , to be put in the “marked down” section so soon after publication.

The humanity of Terkel's prose & his ability to let the true America speak....softly, quietly in these pages....away from all the chattering classes & masses, the talk-radio clan - the diatribes, the wingnuts of either side - made me realize and thankful for this country that I am honored to be a resident.

As I began to voraciously read this & his other "tomes"...the Pulitzer prize winner "The Good War", "Hope dies last", "American Dreams", "Working" , "Hard Times"...among others, I found one, "Coming of Age" to be his unbidden was reflections on the 20th century by those who had lived it...It's still a work that I read from time to time...simply for grounding myself & realizing how fortunate we are for the previous generations' toil, effort and sacrifice before us.

We were out (the better half & I) last night - It was our anniversary. On the radio, it was announced that Studs had passed to that "big rally in the sky". As we got out of the car, I said to my ironic that he should go just before the election on Tuesday to see a son of an immigrant, a community activist from his own town of Chicago be on the ballot of President of the United States. As I said this, I felt a chill , not a chill of cold or some eerie Halloween phenomenon but a shiver no a tremor of emotion on the whole import of the moment of his passing in such a time in our history.

The fact that the candidate is of African heritage would be a celebration of all that Studs believed & espoused about this wonderful, wonderful country. Studs was a light to me & countless others in some dark that he is gone, it's time to pick up his torch & lead on. Studs Terkel was a true American superhero.

Leading is not some ego filled pastime but simply to do good in your life & the lives of others. It's time for our generation to do the same as previous ones and work for our kids & grandkids. Ensure that they have worthwhile lives too!

To those of you reading this, read Stud's work, read it & be filled with hope..the hope that good always wins out in the end.
This is a clip from interviews he did on a train ride to Washington DC for a civil rights march. 54 weeks before I came into the world...a fitting finale before next Tuesday.

1 comment:

FiddlerJim said...

He was one of the good guys -- and since his work lives on -- well, he IS one of the good guys....