Louis "Studs" Terkel: An American writer who was, truly, unique. Specializing in "oral" histor(y)ies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studs_Terkel

In 1974, when Richard M. Nixon resigned the Office of U.S. President, Terkel wrote one of the most unusual oral histories ever published. Entitled: "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" (1974). ISBN 0394478845. It was a "runaway" best-seller. In the U.S. and elsewhere. At the time, reviewers raved about it as being and revealing the "soul of America".

Terkel was, from the age of 8, raised in Chicago, Illinois, where he lived the remainder of his long and productive life. Chicago, Illinois goes by a number of "monikers" or "nicknames". Such as: "The city that works!" and "The city with big shoulders". Truly legendary in every way.

Terkel was acquainted with every important American figure of his lifetime. Including U.S. President Barack H. Obama. Every important American, who may not have made his acquaintance, knew of him. As did many regular and everyday Americans, like myself.

Originally, this posting was intended, by myself, to be just a funny and humorous rendering. With slightly "off-color" and "suggestive" under-currents for the sake of hilarity. So I thought, at first. At a deeper level, it is a more serious matter.

So! Because of the aforementioned, I am dedicating this posting to Louis "Studs" Terkel (1912-2008). Not sure he would approve or feel "honored" by it. Will just have to "take my chances".

You are welcomed to add your own verses. From the humorous and sarcastic; to the serious and solemn. In your comments. My intention is to do this as well. Posting a Long(er) Version. Later.

Short Version

WorK!

By

Edward J. Bradley

*

"WorK!"

Just One More

4-Letter Word

Ending With The

Letter "K"!

*

Copyright Edward J. Bradley 2009

 

 

Long Version

WorK!

By

Edward J. Bradley

*

"WorK!"

Just One More

4-Letter Word

Ending With The

Letter "K"!

*

"WorK!"

Just One More

Abysmal Day

In Exchange For

Dismal Pay!

*

"WorK!"

Just One More

Abysmal Day

Spent At WorK For

Little Pay!

*

Copyright Edward J. Bradley 2009


Submitted: February 28, 2009

© Copyright 2023 EdwardJBradleySr. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Airyhuang

very funny

Work

whatever we do
or when to go
reading my novel
kids will go away

Sat, February 28th, 2009 7:02am

Author
Reply

Airyhuang:

Thank you for reading, commenting and the compliment. Glad you liked it and thought it funny.

Thank you, as well, for contributing your own verse. For all the other Booksie readers.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sat, February 28th, 2009 6:56pm

Gentlespirit

SHORT, SLEEK, SHARP AND FUNNY!

Sat, February 28th, 2009 10:37am

Author
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Gentlespirit:

Thank you for reading, commenting and the compliment. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley

Sat, February 28th, 2009 6:37pm

tab

great poem to the point.

Sat, February 28th, 2009 11:17am

Author
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tab:

Thank you for reading, commenting and the compliment. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sat, February 28th, 2009 6:36pm

Chiqui

Awesome! Greetings Chiqui

Sat, February 28th, 2009 12:40pm

Author
Reply

Chiqui:

Thank you for reading, commenting and the compliment. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sat, February 28th, 2009 6:34pm

air

Hello Ed, great to see you posting once again.
I can't say that I remember 'Turkel'
but I just may look him up under the link you left up there...
~katie

Sun, March 1st, 2009 2:41am

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Katie:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sat, February 28th, 2009 7:01pm

yuu shindemura

yeah and i just got used to that word everytime! hehe ends with a big letter K, i salute that! oh, and you just posted this yesterday, taht's cool! ^.^ and thanks for such an infomative summary about Mr. Terkel. i'm sure he would approve this work of yours just as fine! greetings there by the way Mr. Ed!

Sun, March 1st, 2009 10:30am

Author
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yuu shindemura:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Will be updating this with additional verses. As I may think of and write them.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sun, March 1st, 2009 12:17pm

Manyfacets

Studs Terkel was an amazing character for sure.
I love reading some of the comments he made.
As you may know he was black listed by McCarthy,
and of course J.E. Hoover kept a file on him;

Studs said he was rather upset to find that his
wife's FBI file was larger than his, and that
Hoover, had a lifelong suspicion of those who
thought the Constitution actually meant something.
Great post Ed. Kind regards M

Sun, March 1st, 2009 2:53pm

Author
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Manyfacets:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Didn't know Studs Terkel was an (un)official target of "J. Edgar". This places him in the category as 1 of my favorite comic strip cartoonists and writers, Walt Kelly of "Pogo" fame.

When an undergraduate college student (1967-71), many in the Peace Movement were concerned about "phone taps" & being placed "under surveillance" by the F.B.I. as it was being run by "J. Edgar". To dispel these concerns, some of us may have had, we would end every telephone conversation with "F-U J. Edgar!".

It was a matter that never bothered me, personally. For 3 reasons.

1. I was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and my younger brother, William Martin Bradley, in 1967 (as I was starting college) and at the age of 18, lost his life in a land mine explosion, near Da Nang, while serving with the U.S. Army.

2. Considered myself to be at least as patriotic an American as "J. Edgar" ever considered himself. Don't recall if "J. Edgar" ever served with the U.S. Military. During wartime. Or if he even wanted to enlist. At any time.

3. I was not employed by the F.B.I. and did not have to submit or answer to the authority of "J. Edgar".

Again! Thank you!

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sun, March 1st, 2009 12:15pm

2sillig01

Haha I liked it short and funny

Mon, March 2nd, 2009 6:28am

Author
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2sillig01:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Mon, March 2nd, 2009 4:14pm

Zin

I loved the short version of it, very witty. It is beautiful when so much can be said with so few words! I will read more of your writing.

I hope you'll come by and read the two posts I have (I'm new), your honest feedback will be appreciated.

Regards,

Zin

Mon, March 2nd, 2009 5:59pm

Author
Reply

Zin:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Will read and vote for your postings as well.

Again! Thank you!

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Mon, March 2nd, 2009 4:10pm

LadyArgwen

Thank you for the little piece of history. Ironically I live in Chicago.

Wed, March 4th, 2009 1:21pm

Author
Reply

LadyArgwen:

Thank you for reading, commenting and the compliment. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Wed, March 4th, 2009 2:23pm

Tigerchill

short and sweet. very creative work. take care, Tiger.

Fri, March 6th, 2009 3:12pm

Author
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Tigerchill:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Will read your posting now.

Again! Thank you!

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Fri, March 6th, 2009 11:45am

rustyfootprints88

short straight to the point,i often observe people heading to work and have put us as a larger breed of ants i have never understood the purpose i understand that food and accommodation don't come cheap'thats y i question the purpose in life in general we spend our entire lifes(most of us) working for what cars that devalue as soon as we leave the car yard?fuel to run those cars to get us to wrk,i thought we are ment to be the cleaver ones on this plannet?i watch birds and other animals going by there daily routines,life may be short but at least there's seem to have substance,in saying that i enjoyed reading your poem.

Fri, March 6th, 2009 8:22pm

Author
Reply

rustyfootprints88:

Thank you for reading, your most thoughtful comments and the compliment. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Fri, March 6th, 2009 12:45pm

Starbeam1

Very funny! :)

Thu, March 12th, 2009 10:47pm

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Starbeam1:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Glad you liked it and found it "funny"!

Again! Thank you!

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Thu, March 12th, 2009 3:59pm

Michael Barney

haha ya i liked the letter k one...ha very nice...although i do find work pays little except i finally landed a good job so i cant complain..thanks for dropping by

Fri, March 13th, 2009 2:55am

Author
Reply

Michael Barney:

Thank you for reading, commenting and the compliment. Most appreciated.

Just the other day, it came to me: "BanK!".

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Thu, March 12th, 2009 8:01pm

angellynn

Well done Mr Bradley.
Little pay. Little poem.. Lol! I guess you get your moneys worth...

Great Job!

Angellynn :)

Sat, March 14th, 2009 11:36pm

Author
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angellynn:

Thank you for reading, your witty comment, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Sat, March 14th, 2009 5:03pm

Elliott

ha
i like this one
it does seem that we all work and work and work until we die and we still seem to get nowhere.
good job

please feel free to check out my works as well.

Mon, March 16th, 2009 12:11pm

Author
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Elliott:

Thank you for reading, your most thoughtful comments, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Will read your postings.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Mon, March 16th, 2009 4:03pm

Myurian Girl

I like it. :) But how do you know he/she makes little pay :P goojob

Wed, March 18th, 2009 1:57am

Author
Reply

Myurian Girl:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Are they who work ever paid enough? Just ask them.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Tue, March 17th, 2009 8:35pm

cartera

Have you read Alin de Botton's latest essay on WORK?
You say it much more concisely.

If they're watching me, they're leaving somebody else alone.

ATB

Mon, March 23rd, 2009 11:59am

Author
Reply

cartera:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated.

Will read and voted for all chapters in your posting as well. Great story.

Thank you for becoming a fan.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Mon, March 23rd, 2009 8:02am

cartera

Work is a fascinating subject. Some thoughts on reading your poem. Aristotle believed that we cannot be creative if employed (note the subtle difference)

Marx argued that work only becomes work when we do not particularly wish to do the task, and that we differ almost from day to day in what we wish to do - and so society should therefore be constructed in such a way as to allow us to be whatever we want to be that particualr day. Mmmm.

Presbyterians, at least Scottish ones, believe that not to work is to be sinful. As for getting pleasure from work - well, what is pleasure? Remember the Scots minister who thundered from the pulpit: Ye can hiv yir sex, but ye better no enjoy it. And what is their influence upon America, even today?

Ford said people work for money
Noted British Sociologists argue manual workers only work to get money to fulfill themselves in other arenas

To be called 'redundant' is to feel a most personal slight

We are 'stakeholders', 'associates' - until someone disassociates us from them

If machines take over, will what is left be termed 'work'?

Employed work is the rope bridge over the burning pit in the Indiana Jones movies?

There is plenty of work - we just need organising.

Workers climb the famed Hierarchy of Needs only to find someone has removed the lower rungs.

Me? I'm retired.




Mon, March 23rd, 2009 12:26pm

Author
Reply

cartera:

Again! Thank you for reading and your most thoughtful comments. Most appreciated.

In the U.S., there is quote, attributed to the "Pennsylvania Dutch"/Amish/Mennonite/Anabaptist religion, culture or tradition. It goes like this: "Heads and hearts to God! Hands to work!". The "way to salvation". For them. Most probably, for the rest of us as well. An interesting group, from among whom, I may claim some of my own ancestry.

In the 1970's, a group of Amish, from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania settled in upstate New York, just north of Utica, N.Y.. Until then, the area had become economically depressed. The new arrivals purchased farms, worked them and revived the entire local economy. One reason is that they deposited large sums in the local banks, which had been starved for capital.

It seems, the Amish are extremely thrifty. Self-reliant by: providing for all of their own needs, saving & investing what money they may receive from goods sold to those outside of their community and by being clever & shrewd in their dealings with others. For most, by not paying to educate their children beyond a 6th - 8th grade level is a great savings to them as well.

Families are said to have, on average, 6 children. Couples marry young and their population doubles every 20 years. Remarkable! For a group which is, morally, quite strict and "shuns" or "excommunicates" known transgressors.

All of this has enabled them to expand their range, outside of Lancaster County, PA, into the rural areas of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, etc.

In the end, when considering the secular "Theory of Evolution" with it's concept of "survival of the fittest", we may ask: "Who is 'most fit" by showing themselves to have the greatest advantage, when it comes to both procreation and survival?".

Well! Enough said!

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Mon, March 23rd, 2009 8:00am

WebsterNumber1

Very nice and the first part was educational. Good job:)

Tue, March 24th, 2009 12:03pm

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WebsterNumber1:

Thank you for reading, commenting, the compliment and "I Like It" vote. Most appreciated. Glad you liked it.

Happy trails,

Ed Bradley.

Wed, March 25th, 2009 3:42pm

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