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02 November 2008


Verandah Porche

RIP, Studs, my listening mentor,
all ears and heart, with vast curiosity and a shrewd critique. I admire how he pioneered active deep age as something other than dotage: time in mind, mind in touch with diversity and compassion. Just another language junkie a quirky raconteur.

Gema Gray

My parents grew up around the same era as yours Katz, but in Civil War Spain. I too remember my father's stories of poverty and deprivation. After his father died of food poisoning, his mother, sister and him subsisted on what he could steal from grocery trucks as they trundled through his village. The boys would work in a pack, hoisting him onto the back of the trucks from where he'd throw food down for the others to catch. At the end of the village, he'd jump off again and they would share the loot.

He has told me stories of eating soup made from water and a few vegetables - with some stones dug up from the ground added for flavor and minerals.

I think class structure is the way of the world. We can't all be equal - although the needy should always be helped. What I can't abide is the elitism that brands the working class as somehow "lesser" than the more well-to-do.

Today, I live a very middle-class life, but I'm most comfortable around the working families who try to better their lives and provide opprtunities for their kids through sheer hard graft.

I had never heard of Studs Terkel, but I suspect I would have liked him very much.

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