Studs Terkel's Chicago
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Chicago was home to the country’s first skyscraper (a ten-story building built in 1884) and marks the start of the famed "Route 66." It is also the birthplace of the remote control (Zenith), the car radio (Motorola) and the first major American city to elect a woman (Jane Byrne) and then an African American man (Harold Washington) as mayor. Its literary and journalistic history is just as dazzling, and includes Nelson Algren, Mike Royko and Sara Paretsky. From Al Capone to the street riots during the Democratic National Convention in 1968, Chicago, in the words of Terkel himself, “has—as they used to whisper of the town’s fast woman—a reputation.”
Chicago was of course also home to the Pulitzer Prize–winning oral historian Studs Terkel, who moved to Chicago in 1922 as an eight-year-old and who would make it his home until his death in 2008 at the age of 96. This book is a splendid evocation of Studs’ hometown in all its glory—and all its imperfection.
Obsession The Spectator Talk About Movies and Plays with the People Who Make Them Studs Terkel Interviews Film and Theater The Studs Terkel Reader My American Century Talking to Myself A Memoir of My Times Touch and Go A Memoir Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith Working People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do Studs Terkel’s Chicago Studs Terkel � 1985, 1986 by Studs Terkel All rights reserved. No part of
one of Chicago’s most exhilarating experiences. I wonder what’s become of Dude? I wonder what’s become of Hightower? I wonder what’s become of us? What the hell have we done to a dream? So we’re reminiscing about one thing or another, Verne and I. Vernon Jarrett knocks out a Sun-Times column: reflections of black life in Chicago and elsewhere. I can’t get that Jubilee Night, ’38, out of my mind. He tells me of that same celebratory moment in Paris, Tennessee, along the IC tracks. Hallelujah and
constituents in the Tenth Ward were busy giving Waste Management, Inc., a hard time. The multinational toxic dumper was about to dump some of the vile stuff in the neighborhood. Hold off, big boy, said Mary Ellen Montez, a twenty-six-year-old housewife. So far, she and her neighbors are doing a far better job than Horatio ever did at the bridge. UNO’s grassroots power is being felt in Pilsen, too, where rehabs are springing up without the dubious touch of gentrification. The community folk are
disregarded by a cold mistress had decided to end the affair himself, to kiss her off. He did indeed move away from Chicago, as far east as he could go. His bones do indeed moulder deep in Sag Harbor soil. Yet, this singular prose poem (or song) tells us something else: his heart lies buried, waywardly, somewhere in the vicinity of Damen Avenue and Evergreen Street. His own lyrics have lovingly betrayed him. The Pottawattomies were much too square. They left nothing behind but their dirty river.
forget the occasion of Big Bill’s outburst. And the cause. Not that it really matters. A Chicago mayor said it and it made headlines, worldwide. Only Richard J. Daley topped him as an international celebrity. It took six decades to do it. The heavy one (Thompson weighed a cozy three-hundred-plus and could have given William Howard Taft a caloric run for it) decided to come back in 1927. He won, of course, much to the consternation of the city’s decent folk, including a prudish, self-righteous,