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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce: Attitude Adjustment. Not | Main | Republican Resurrection of Red Baiting: Consistent with the 1950's »

November 01, 2008


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ex-pat cheesehead

John Nichols has a nice piece over at The Nation

Studs - requiescat in pace - our country is poorer for your passing, yet richer for your presence.

From Fightin' Bob LaFollette to Barack Obama you always backed the one who cared for people over profits.

Nick Moroney

Farewell Studs - you contributed mightily to America the beautiful, painting a beguiling picture of a big, brash and fascinating country, whether your respondents were famous or obscure, struggling or dilletante. You were one with the heartbeat, always right there - the rhythm of your work and the pulse of the people were as one. Peace, and to the coming good times, Nick (a long time admirer)

Steve Busalacchi

Like Paul, I too, will miss Studs, as he had a profound influence on my life. The young doctor told me, “I remember the first time I killed somebody…” Another gleefully admitted that he had performed his own vasectomy at a time when that procedure was illegal in Wisconsin. The chairman of a surgery department tells me he’s unable to give blood because he passes out when pricked with needles. These conversations never would have happened had it not been for Studs Terkel.
When I was 20 years old, I got my first job in public radio reading news and weather, and then turning on reel-to-reel tapes of the 1950s Studs Terkel’s Almanac. It was an old show even back then, but apparently still had immediacy in the early ’80s. I never really listened to it because I had to work while it was playing. But when I heard Studs passed away, I couldn’t help but reflect on what a significant impact he had had on my life.
The first oral history I ever read was Working, in which Studs let regular people discuss what their jobs were like. I was hooked immediately. I had never read anything like it before and was captivated by it. I loved hearing people express themselves verbally, while engaged in conversation. It was just so refreshing and without pretension. It was also really easy reading because you just get so caught up in it. You were eavesdropping on a fascinating discussion.
As my radio career advanced, I took over the medical beat at Wisconsin Public Radio and soon realized physicians were truly remarkable members of society who would make for excellent oral history subjects. They’re typically gifted communicators, incredibly brainy, and they have the most intriguing experiences.
I sat on the oral history idea for about 15 years before finally getting off the dime in 2003. Using Working as my model, I set out to find out what makes physicians tick. Unlike Studs, who focused on the ordinary person, I went after the extraordinary doctor who most people just didn’t know about. I knew about them because of my journalism work and because I later became a staffer at the Wisconsin Medical Society, where I spent almost a decade getting to know many more physicians even better.
Once I embarked on this odyssey, I spent every early morning for three and a half years transcribing and editing some of the most incredible conversations—56 hours in all—representing more than 900 years of medical experience. Studs was right. Give people a chance to speak and you’ll be amazed at what they’ll tell you. This was especially true with physicians.
The gift of Studs Terkel is the lesson we ignore all too often in our fast paced lives. It’s the importance of listening. Pure and simple. Everybody has a story and each of us can learn something from it.
How can you not admire the honesty of a physician who admits she fell short as a young doctor, unnecessarily hastening a terminally ill patient’s death? She now uses the experience to make sure the residents she trains never make the same mistake.
Lessons abound when we listen. And thank goodness Studs Terkel was around to teach me that.

they are trying to screw me over when all i want to do is the work. i am good at the work.

and do you want to hear arrogance? You were my hero when i was in 3rd grade on because you were brilliant passionate and cared though i didnt have the words at that age i recognized the reality.

It is a diservice to the population i serve to have me fucked around with and you can do something to stop it.

they have put me in a place where i cant use my education and experience for the care plans putting someone with a ged who has a history of mocking this population.

I am not afraid, nope, i am going to fight this. This is wrong and it's retaliation and this guy goes out and plays golf on taxpayers money and makes fun of women who work for him while he's out in the golf course calling her husband by her name when he shoots a poor shot.

I am praying to George M's daughters spirit. watch me survive.

Oliver Steinberg

Inspired by Studs' Terkel's anecdote in his autobiography "Talking to Myself," when I went to the precinct caucus in our state this year, I cast a vote for Fighting Bob La Follette.

"I realize Bob has been dead for many years. And yet it is a vote I was too young to cast in 1924. I did tell one luncheon companion, of raised eyebrows, the Bob La Follette, dead, had more blood to him than the two young make-out artists, who were more machine than human. His eyebrows shot up even higher. He turned to another to discuss real estate. I went for another drink. . . "

Our precinct went for Obama by 600+ to 300+ for Senator Clinton. There were a scattering of "others" and I must give credit to Jeff Blodgett (Paul Wellstone's old campaign manager, and subsequently picked as state director for Obama-Biden)---Jeff did announce one vote for La Follette. . . with no "raised eyebrow" mannerism.

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