Thursday, May 24, 2007

Late Birthday Greetings To The Not Late Studs Terkel

Posted by olvlzl.
Studds Turkel turned 95 on May 16. Here is a recent interview in the magazine In These Times.

Take this story. You know I walk to the bus. Bus number 146. They know me in the neighborhood. They know I’m a writer. They know me as the old guy who’s garrulous. I talk to myself. [Laughs.]

So one day there’s this one couple, they ignore me completely. So my ego is hurt. And I say, “The bus is late.” And I say, to make conversation, “Labor Day’s coming up.” And the man just turns and looks at me—Brooks Brothers, under his arm, the latest Wall Street Journal. And she’s a beauty. Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s. She’s got Vanity Fair in her hand. And he turns, looks at me, and says, “We despise unions.” And then he turns away.

And I said, “You what?” And the bus hasn’t come yet. “Do you know that in 1886, ‘87, four guys got hanged? How many hours a day do you work?”

He says, “Eight,” reflexively. I said, “How come you don’t work 18 hours a day? Four guys got hanged for you. Did you know that?”

They think I’m crazy. They’re scared. (Laughs.)

He says that the book he's got coming out in the fall is his last one. I think he's said that before though.