Comments: Studs Terkel, Rest In Peace

One of my favorite people in the world. His life was so long, productive, and happy, and he leaves a huge amount of material, written and audio, to remember him by, but still I'm crying.

I'm particularly grateful for Hard Times and The Good War, which made my parents' lives and times accessible in a way that ordinary histories couldn't, and made it possible for us to talk about them.

Some of my happiest and unhappiest times were in the years I worked in Chicago, 1982-83; Studs' show was always a lift.

Eight Men Out was on the week before last, as the World Series began. Studs has one of the best moments in the film. He and Sayles are reporters keeping scoresheets to document the ways in which the Sox are purposely playing to lose. Toward the end of Eddie Cicotte's second start, after a ton of Cincinnati runs, Sayles throws down his sheet in disgust, saying "Nothing but fastballs."
Studs, after a pause: "Slow ones."

Posted by Nell at November 1, 2008 12:20 PM

I was working for a peace organization in Chicago during the '68 Dem convention and one of my tasks was to call people for bail money. The director said, "Call the Terkels, they're always good for a donation." I called and spoke with Ida Terkel and she said they'd send a check.

Years later, while working on a piece about the musical "Working," which was to open in Cleveland, I called Studs for a short phone interview. I told him about my calling them during the convention, and he said, "Well, did Ida send the check?" I laughed and said, "Well, Studs, I wasn't in charge of opening the mail and depositing the checks, but I assume that if Mrs. Terkel said she would send a donation, she did."

I know there is no heaven, but there should be, for people like Studs.

Posted by catherine at November 1, 2008 12:38 PM

I was working for a peace organization in Chicago during the '68 Dem convention and one of my tasks was to call people for bail money. The director said, "Call the Terkels, they're always good for a donation." I called and spoke with Ida Terkel and she said they'd send a check.

Years later, while working on a piece about the musical "Working," which was to open in Cleveland, I called Studs for a short phone interview. I told him about my calling them during the convention, and he said, "Well, did Ida send the check?" I laughed and said, "Well, Studs, I wasn't in charge of opening the mail and depositing the checks, but I assume that if Mrs. Terkel said she would send a donation, she did."

I know there is no heaven, but there should be, for people like Studs.

Posted by catherine at November 1, 2008 12:39 PM

By all accounts a beautiful guy full of heart and smart. I think he missed his wife a great deal, so I hope he gets to see her now.

I think the thing I admire most about Studs Terkel was how he saw the world and people clearly enough to see how flawed they both were, but still found enough to love. His faith in humanity did not succumb to scorn.

Posted by Mike of Angle at November 2, 2008 02:19 PM