Alliance Bakery is a great place! i enjoy sitting out at the tables, smoking, and running into friends. One time i ran into my friend Olivia Wendel. We went to school together and had not seen each other in some time after. As we sat and filled ourselves with coffee we also had a chance to talk about our summer readings!
Olivia "Hey, Mark from the Art Institute right? How ya been? Long time! Im Olivia, in case you forgot. So whatcha been up to? Keepin yourself busy? You still making art? Im moving to NYC, i am real nervous but i need a change."
Mark "Oh hey Olivia, i remember you well! Hows your sister? NYC eh? scary stuff... man eat man world over there! reading anything interesting? I see you got a book. Yeah, i am making art, been living in Italy."
Mark "Say, you ever heard of Studs Terkel?"
Olivia "Maybe, not sure though."
Mark "You mind if i tell you about him?"
Olivia "No! go ahead, i got no place to be right now."
Mark "...Ok cool! and then you can tell me about what you are reading. Studs is legendary Chicago reading. He died about a year ago at the age of 98 but was still writing up till then. His book entitled "Division Street America" was one of his masterpieces.
Now we go to a view of Studs back in the day with me narrating the scene. Ill do my narration first so the comic will make sense...
"Studs books are unparalleled resources for understanding the people of Chicago. He really broke new ground with his "Interview" books which gave a voice to people all over the city of different social groups, races, religions, employment, etc... When you read a Studs book, you hear Chicago speak!
Studs is portrayed here interviewing a couple in an apartment...
Studs "What is like to work outside of a union?" Man's response "Well, it sucks pretty bad, and..."
Studs is portrayed here interviewing tenets and the Cabrini Green Section 8 housing...
Studs "What is it like to be black and try to get a job downtown for an Italian?" Men's response "It sucks bad man." Other man "...Yeah"
Back to Olivia and I at the Alliance Bakery...
Olivia "Sounds cool!"
Mark "Yeah! heres how it would go..."
"There would be a theme, like Working, Race, Jazz, Old people, etc... Then he would ask the subject some questions pertaining to a specific topic."
(Ie: The atomic bomb, peoples joys, or perhaps peoples fears.)
Mark "By reading all these peoples hearts and minds you could really get the big picture about how the city felt and thought about so many issues. Social journalism at its finest!"
"So what are you reading?"
Olivia "I am reading "Middlesex"... its about and immigrant hermaphrodite in Detroit,... Its really good so far..."