[Ida Terkel’s memorial service]

This is video from Ida Terkel's memorial service. Many friends and family gather in Ida's memory and share many great stories about their times with Ida.

00:00Copy video clip URL The video begins with footage of the gathering hall as the event’s attendees waiting for the program to begin.

00:22Copy video clip URL Lois Baum, friend of the Terkels and colleague of Studs at WFMT, makes a small introduction for the program.

01:10Copy video clip URL Polly Podewell takes the stage and sings a song to begin the service.

03:12Copy video clip URL Ida Terkel’s sister takes the microphone and reads aloud a poem she had written for Ida. There are a few points at which Ida’s sister almost breaks down during the reading. At the end of the poem, she calls for a minute in silence in memory of Ida.

05:12Copy video clip URL A friend of the Terkel family, Sydney Lewis, takes the podium and sprinkles a few drops of Chanel, Ida’s favorite perfume, around the podium. She speaks very highly of Ida’s character and shares a dream that she had about Ida with the audience.

10:55Copy video clip URL Another woman takes the podium and speaks of Ida’s many warm qualities and her commitment to social justice. The woman also talks about Ida’s importance in Terkel’s life.

14:00Copy video clip URL Daniel Terkel, son of Ida and Studs, gives a short eulogy on his mother’s life. He talks about her commitment to social justice. “It was commitment inspired not by fashion, but genuine compassion. And unlike certain folks fond of trumpeting their compassion as they troll for your vote, there was nothing conservative about her compassion. It was part of the very fabric of her being.” Daniel also recounts his mother’s undying positivity, even while enduring the many medical problems that had affected her in her later years. Daniel then goes on to state, “Over the last century or so, I’ve somehow managed to out grow the baby buggy. But the values that she instilled in me, including her commitment to fairness and justice, have endured. I cherish them and try to honor them, but let’s fact it, she’s a hard act to follow.” Daniel then gives a heartfelt goodbye to his mother. “So here’s to you Mom. I know your spirit’s out there. Take care, and keep in touch.”

17:14Copy video clip URL Quick cut to an unidentified woman singing a song for Ida.

19:25Copy video clip URL An unidentified woman takes the podium and begins to talk about Ida. “I’ll say first, Ida Terkel; nice to everybody. People say that about this body and that body, but about Ida, you could say it, and mean it.” The woman also recalls a trip in which she went to Russia with the Terkels.

22:50Copy video clip URL An unidentified man takes the podium. He begins by saying, “For me and I’m sure for many of my friends out there and his friends out there, Studs Terkel is the conscience of Chicago, or the world. And where does that leave any room for Ida; leaves lots of room. She was the conscience of the conscience.” He speaks very highly of Ida and compares her to Jane Addams.

25:50Copy video clip URL Studs speaks about his wife, filled with romantic stories, adventures, and jokes. “I think the year was 1938 when I first saw this girl in a maroon smock. She was a social worker at the South Side grief agency. What I noticed about her was that people came to her desk all the time. Not simply grief clients, but colleagues. And they were speaking to her quietly and urgently and you could tell they were telling her their troubles, their secrets. And she was listening intently as though it was the most important thing in the world. What most impressed me was that she was a rich young woman–she was making 125 bucks a month as a social worker. I was making 85 bucks a month from the WPA investigating joblessness in the community. I thought I’d impress her by inviting her to see a foreign movie with me. So we saw a French movie. It was about lesbianism. And she was deeply moved. So I borrowed thirty bucks from her. Of course, I married her and I thought that canceled the debt. And so I’m riding the gravy train at this time, but there were its down moments. For example, we’d walk down the street now and then, a behavior I thought unduly romantic, and she’d take my arm, or even my hand, and I would say, ‘Oh god, what would the neighbors say?’ And so she’d walk off in a huff, haughtily, with that bluster of hers, indignant. And I’d call out, ‘There she goes, in all her glory.’ And one day, on one such occasion, a truck goes by, and the truck driver leans over to Ida–he looks like a pro football linebacker–and he says, ‘Lady, is that guy botherin’ you?'” Terkel then tells stories of Ida the activist and adventurer. “The book Hard Times, for example, one out of three of the heroes and heroines in that book were people she met, on the picket line or the soup kitchen or a vigil. Ida never met a vigil she didn’t like!” Terkel shares a few more stories with the attendees and keeps his composure very well throughout his entire talk.

36:34Copy video clip URL Podewell takes the podium once again and sings another song for the audience.

38:56Copy video clip URL Lois Baum takes the the microphone and speaks very fondly of Ida. She talks about the many experiences she shared with Ida and invites others in attendance to stand up and share their stories about Ida with everyone.

42:30Copy video clip URL Various family members and friends stand up and take the time to talk about their personal memories of Ida. All of the stories are very pleasant, beautiful, and really give the viewer a sense of just how important Ida was to the many people she knew throughout her life.

51:07Copy video clip URL Dr. Quentin Young speaks.

01:04:34Copy video clip URL Studs thanks everyone for attending Ida’s memorial service. The rest of the footage is made up of Studs speaking privately with a few of those in attendance as everyone makes their way out of the gathering hall.

01:10Copy video clip URL:03 Tape ends.



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