Friday, October 31, 2008

RIP Studs Terkel

I was sad to read today that Studs Terkel "checked out" at the ripe old age of 96. He was a brilliant, amazingly inquisitive writer and an engaging personality.

I was fortunate to have about half an hour alone with this legend in the 1980s. I didn't know at the time how lucky I was. He was in town narrating Lincoln Portrait and I was a member of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony at the time. We (and maybe one other person, as I recall) were the only people in the green room while the rest of the band was playing. I do recall being a little awed, and speaking about history and music -- jazz in particular. He was as kind and nice as one could be to a young kid like me.

His oral histories were pioneering and nothing short of genius. He will be missed.