Read the transcribed text of Fred Friendly's speech at Quonset.
Excerpts of Fred Friendly's Letter to David Gullette
Photo Courtesy of Columbia University Record.
September 12, 1995
Dear David Gullette,
You must be wondering what ever happened to that audio tape. Having
virtually retired after a small stroke a few years ago I am flunking in
correspondence. My support staff is Ruth Friendly and the two of us
irresponsibly ignored the growing piles of mail this summer as we enjoyed
the bucolic scene from our cottage in the Berkshires.
Ruth knew nothing of the event, and I had to jog a lot of memory cells as I
thought back to that moment at the Quonset Naval Air Base. I was 25 at the
time, and now, about to enter my 80th year, it pulls me back to another age.
I can't imagine how it ended up on a record and I had no knowledge that such
an event would ever be preserved in such a way.
I am dyslexic. Who even dreamed of such a condition in my early days, but
that leads me to guess that what I said at Quonset were a combination of
spontaneous remarks, notes and writing. I always was a good talker - the
stroke has impeded that to a degree.
Your remarks about learning to listen are well taken and make me think of my
longtime partner, Ed Murrow. He always preferred radio to television. The
experience of conjuring up a picture in the mind's eye as one listens was
more satisfying than having it delivered by a television screen.
Fred W. Friendly
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