12/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Studs Terkel Dies at 96

Come Tuesday, we measure how far we've come. Come Tuesday, we check our progress in this weird experiment in egalitarianism mixed with brutality; in lofty ideals and base metals; this social pact promising freedom and justice that just needs centuries of amendments to be written to it -- not in ink but in blood, sweat and tears. We'll learn something, about ourselves and each other, on Tuesday.

Studs Terkel won't live to see it. But you better believe he loved watching this much. I have no doubt that the great American believer died happy, anticipating what might come Tuesday.

More on Studs later, but for now: Safe passage, brother. And as you always said: Take it easy -- but take it.