The StoriesThis WeekPast Stories  Quest for Sound.Audio ArtifactsCollaboratorsScrapbookYour TurnResourcesTalk On  NPR  Lost and Found Sound
"1941 Slam Poetry": Fred Friendly at Quonset
Produced by Jay Allison

  • Listen with RealAudio in 14.4 or 28.8 flavors.
  • Read the story of Fred Friendly at Quonset.
  • Read the transcribed text of Fred Friendly's speech at Quonset.

    Fred Friendly.
    Photo Courtesy of Columbia University Record.
    Excerpts of Fred Friendly's Letter to David Gullette

    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.

    Warm Regards,
    Fred W. Friendly

    You need the free RealAudio player to listen to audio files.

    Copyright 1999 The Kitchen Sisters