There won’t be another Studs. The twentieth century is past, but Studs Terkel persists. Passion still rules his life into his tenth decade, in the flesh as well as the patient, receptive art of his oral histories such as “Coming of Age,” “The Good War” and “Division Street: America” and “The Spectator.” (There are reportedly thousands more to be catalogued and issued on CD and tape.) The tousle of white hair now a wisp like a fleeting thought, Chicago’s great oral historian, our most eloquent, prolific chronicler, called his memoir “Talking to Myself,” and he likes to joke that he does that a lot nowadays, but at least he’s got an enthusiastic audience when he does. A lesson for the writer and those intrigued by the life well lived: Listen closely enough? You live forever.
Best of Chicago 2002