Sunday, November 2, 2008


Studs died.

Jesus wept.

Hello again, it's been awhile, give me a break I have been busy. I'll give you a recap of life since September in another post, but first a few words about Studs Terkel.

I met Studs when he agreed to read a children's version of Icarus and Daedalus for my TV show Rainbow Soup.
We shot him in his house- like everyone did the last years of his life. A few brief memories:

1) He left a message on my answering machine, "Peter, this is Studs. Sure, I'll read the story, let's set it up." I was in a parking lot in Baltimore checking my messages when I got it. I must have played it back a dozen times just to hear, "Peter, this is Studs."

2) I was at his house a short time after his wife died. His phone rang and it was a solicitor asking for his wife. He explained she had recently died, the solicitor didn't miss a beat and started to pitch Studs on whatever he was selling. Studs politely declined and hung up. He turned to me and said, "That happens all the time. They don't hear me say she is dead."

3) Just as we started rolling he was telling a story, I don't recall it, but the only part we have on film is Studs saying, "Wilt Chamberlin, Harold Washington and me- what an unholy trinity." I have no idea the context, but I laughed and you can hear me off camera.

4) At the end of the piece I asked Studs advice he would give young people. He thought for a moment an said, "Read. Read Twain and Shakespeare."

Good advice, thanks Studs.



Rose said...

Thanks to you, Peter. And nice tribute.

Theresa H. Hall said...

Hello Peter,

Glad to read you once again. Studs reminds me a little of Jimmy Durante, except with a much smaller nose. This is a nice remembrance you have written about him and I feel sure he would be touched that you took the time to share your private memories.

Bet you were excited to have him work on your TV show. The way you describe listening to his voice message, over and over is so telling in that you love to absorb things which make you feel good. What a very good trait to possess.

It is great you are so busy and we'll look for more of your stories very soon. Take care and do come by for a visit soon.

"Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!"

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Lovely epitaph.

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