Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Passing of a Wise Man

In my 2006 Christmas Card, following Dennis Kucinich's announcement that he would again run for the U.S. Presidency, and having recently sponsored a bill that would create a Cabinet-level Department of Peace, I cast Studs Terkel as the Wise Man on the left.

On October 31, on the very day he received his absentee ballot in the mail, Studs Terkel died, at the age of 96.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! had a wonderful hour with Studs on his 95th birthday on May 16, 2007 that she called "Studs Terkel at 95: 'Ordinary People Are Capable of Doing Extraordinary Things, and That's What It's All About. They Must Count!'"

Then she brought him back on November 13, 2007 for an hour she called "Legendary Radio Broadcaster and Oral Historian Studs Terkel on the Iraq War, NSA Domestic Spy Program, Mahalia Jackson, James Baldwin, the Labor Movement and His New Memoir Touch and Go".

These are absolute treasures to hear. Such energy, determination and insight from years of listening.

P.S. More on the Christmas Card -- The Notes that accompanied the card:

Christmas Card 2006 Cast
Original Card by Avanti Press, Photo Elements by David Langley, 1999 - The 12 Dogs of Christmas

Cast by BBT as follows:

Babe: Dennis Kucinich, author of the bill creating the Department of Peace, 2008 Presidential Candidate

Mary: Cindy Sheehan, Mother of Casey Sheehan (killed in Iraq), Peace Activist

Joseph: Senator Jim Webb, who told Mr. Bush, "I’d like to get them out of Iraq" and wouldn’t accept Presidential patronizing.

Wise Men:
( L ) Studs Terkel, Radio interviewer and author. Hope Dies Last includes chapter on Kucinich’s courageous stand against power industry.

( LC ) Congressman John Conyers, Jr., recently known for What Went Wrong in Ohio presented to Congress on January 6, 2005, and George W. Bush versus the Constitution: The Downing Street Memos and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, Coverups in the Iraq War and Illegal Domestic Spying.

( R ) George McGovern, former Congressman and Senator, and 1972 Democratic Presidential Candidate.

Happy Animals:
( L ) Bill Moyers, public broadcasting journalist and former Press Secretary to Lyndon Johnson

( C ) Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, who courageously stood up to VP Cheney with Conyers above report on January 6, 2005 (backed up by Senator Barbara Boxer).

( R ) Pete Seeger, longtime Peace, Justice, and Environmental activist.

Angel: The Late and much missed Senator Paul Wellstone, Peace Activist.

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