Saturday, January 26, 2008

'He Goes Where the Stories Take Him'

This week, the sublimely wonderful Guardian newspaper offered up this lovely little gem of a story about the Windy City institution Studs Terkel. At 95, the widower still works on his oral histories and still has his local radio show. Why? We'll let him tell it. "I took a vacation once - it involved a beach - and to tell you the truth, I had no idea what to do with myself. It was torture. Work is life. Without it, there is no life." To review earlier Studs mentions, go here and here.

7 Comments:

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous GP said...

"That's why I love Chicago - it has always been and still is the City of Hands. Horny, calloused hands."

I can hear him saying it. A lovely little story is this. Thanks for sharing, John.

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

And thank you for commenting. The GP initials are intriguing. First time ever here, and I'm only half sure of who this might be. But whomever you are, thanks for reading and joining the conversation.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous GP said...

I've been reading for years. I'm pretty sure I've commented here before. You tend to have links to provocative stories, some of which are very in keeping with my own writerly sensibilities. Thanks for making me think.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Yes, sensibility is precisely the right word. As readers, we all respond to those writers who share our sensibilities. After awhile, they feel like old friends, even if we've never met.

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous GP said...

And yet sensibility almost sounds too dainty as I look at it now. Writers who really resonate can provoke an almost alarming emotional and physical response. But rare, indeed, are those who touch, in some way, the big four -- mind, heart, soul and even body. Anyway, forgive my loquaciousness. My point in leaving a comment was just to say that the stories to which you link tend to be well worth the investment of time. You have a discerning eye for good stuff.

On another note, I have wondered about the Salter quote. Have you ever written about its meaning to you?

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Boy, are you on your game today, and hitting some crucial chords. The word discernment is such an important one for me, harkening back to my roots as a Jesuit-educated person. To them, and thus to me, "discernment" is rich with layers of meaning on both the intellectual and spiritual level. And the Jesuits, at their core, are all about how the intellectual and spiritual are not in conflict but in harmony with each other--two sides of the human coin.

Thanks for noticing the Salter quote, which has been up top of this site since its founding. Along with all the life teaching of my guru and writing mentor Bill Zinsser, this motto represents the north star--the orientation point--for much of my life's work. At your suggestion, I will indeed give some thought to why it is such an important notion to me, besides the obvious reasons. And I hope to write about that soon. Thanks again for being such an extraordinarily good conversationalist today.

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous GP said...

I, too, enjoyed our conversation. As a dear friend of mine says, you've been a peach. I look forward to reading the Salter post.

 

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