Friday, October 31, 2008


More memoriams today as we also learn of the passing of one of Chicago, and America's, greatest writers, Studs Terkel. In freshman essay writing we read and excerpt from Working. I remember being fascinated with the style of writing and the way in which Terkel made the mundane jobs of those he interviewed so captivating. Later I had the fortune of meeting him when I graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. Studs, along with Lucy Lippard & Suzanne Ghez received honorary degrees. Terkel after a generous introduction delighted the audience with an excited utterance, a story of growing up in Chicago. He said more, but the only thing I remember is, "When I was a boy growing up on the North Side, I lived in a hotel with my mother where she was a maid. I would sit in the corner diner in the hotel and OHH GOD! they had the best cherry pie! I have tasted anything so good in my entire life!"

A few years later, my dad, an old timer in his own right, was sitting in the waiting room of his cardiologist at RUSH University Medical Center and who should walk in but none other than Studs Terkel. He sat down and started chatting with my dad. "You're Studs Terkel," my dad said in amazement. "Last time I checked," replied Terkel. It turns out they, and Studs' son, all had the same doctor.

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