Sunday, November 2, 2008

Studs

Not the male model type, nor the 2x4's framing your house. But the model of a certain kind of male timber, Studs Terkel, who helped hundreds of people tell their stories, which in turn helped thousands of others understand theirs.

With all the prose that has launched or attached itself to perfumes, some purple, some perceptive, I am given to thinking about how one could approach Studs and/or his legacy. You could listen to his oral histories, or read his Conversations With America, and try to assign a fragrance to the subject, or simply think of a "tag cloud" of fragrance for the era. You could imagine what scent you would arm yourself with to be the kind of activist or artist for change that would have caught his attention and admiration.

Or you can take a moment and reflect...the man who said, "As the Titanic went down, I came up," who gathered recollections to assemble an impression of the Great Depression, who understood that all humans who participate in their lives have valuable thoughts to share...reflect, and pick a scent that would inspire you to see the potential in others as Studs did.

Take it easy, but take it.
- Studs Terkel sign-off for his radio show


I think I'll go sniff some rosemary for remembrance, but then arm myself with something like Daim Blond. (I wish I had a chance to sniff, and maybe use, Onda, which Vetrivesse described as a "take no prisoners" kind of scent. That's the kind of thing to wear when rousing the rabble.)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish he could have lived long enough to vote for his fellow Chicagoan for president of the United States. Studs Terkel was profoundly capable of capturing the nobility of moments such as this.

I still mourn the loss of Molly Ivins' incisive wit at those time when the public could benefit from a sharp jab. I know I will mourn Studs Terkel's gentle voice at those times when decency triumphs. Let us hope that Tuesday is such a day.
Nancy

Jenavira13 said...

He was one of those great men who really knew how to catch the voice of history in all its vibrant colors. He will be missed and I am forever thankful for the work he contributed that made my work as a history major inspiring and worth while.

ScentScelf said...

Nancy, being a Chicagoan, he may have cast his two votes already. ;)

My hope is that there will be more voices with both gentle insights and sharp jabs, both as needed. But with the wisdom that seeks truth, and not simply affect.

ScentScelf said...

Jen,
Ah! You were a history major. Yes, the anecdotal interview from primary sources is a powerful tool, especially in skilled hands.

I am very taken by endeavors like the Story Project, which are modeled by Studs and other projects even before him. Sometimes I wonder if that kind appreciation draws me to certain blogs, which may seem very different on the surface, but all of which seek to capture, investigate, and preserve.

Olfacta said...

I just hope he was senscient in his last days. I think he would have enjoyed this election.

ScentScelf said...

Olfacta,
Seeing as he reportedly said, after falling in his home, "I had a drink in one hand and a book in another--something I don't recommend for anyone over the age of 90," methinks he was clearly sentient, and likely senscient. [Like that term, btw. ;) ] He was quite hard of hearing, so it would be awfully rotten to deprive him of smell, as well...

I think he would have enjoyed the election, as well.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

He is probably watching the election from above... may he rest in peace...

Jenavira13 said...

The story project is such an amazing endeavour. Love it.