Hello fair readers,
As I’m sure many of you know a great Chicago intellectual passed away over the weekend.
For many of us in the Midwest, Studs was almost like a close friend, even if you had never met him. His voice was a comfort. And it told your story because he told the stories of everyone. Of the workers and the folk singers. Of the wives and the husbands. The sons and the daughters.
He told the story of everyman through Chicago and in turn showed the world that everyone has a story to be told. Radio shows like This American Life would simply not exist if not for Studs.
My family has a bit of a special connection with Studs. When my grandparents and my mother were much younger, and in the case of my grandfather, still alive, Studs Terkel came to stay with them. My grandparents were very involved with the Unitarian Church of South Bend, IN and would actively recruit intellectuals to come and speak to their church. People like Pete Seeger. And people like Studs Terkel. If you ask my Mom about it all she really remembers is how he pronounced my grandfather’s name kind of funny.
“Well Rawlie…” (his name was Rowlie)
And it’s a small thing to remember but it’s huge. Because it’s that voice. The voice of Studs Terkel that for almost a century helped form the sound of the American Dream.
In honor of this great man, please listen to his “This I Believe” piece from NPR. He speaks of living through the Great Depression. A “Community in Action”. And my god, right before this election…in this time of economic woe. Well this piece could not resonate anymore.
God bless you Studs Terkel. Thank you for your gift to us, the people. We will be forever grateful and in your debt.