Sadly, Studs Terkel has passed away, far too young at age 96. He is one dude I wish could have lived to 300. If I were to want to be more like anyone, it would be Studs. I was lucky enough to meet him just shy of 5 years ago. At the time I made a point to go to his reading because I figured with him 91 at the time there may not be another shot. I’m happy to be wrong and that he had another 5 years beyond that. I got him to sign his book Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times and to my complete shame I have yet to read it. In order to commemorate him, I will read the book this week.
When I began interviewing people, one of my big inspirations was Studs. I have come to believe like him that any person has any number of great stories in them. Terry Gross and her ilk are not nearly as big an influence on me as was Studs’ book Working.
Goodbye, good sir. You were a kind soul and a loyal friend to the ordinary person, and this ordinary person appreciated you very much.