I've been off line, traveling and sharing my dad's 87th birthday. It was quite
a shock to open my email--and once more I am deeply grateful for the
camaraderie and fellowship on the Forum. My condolences to Tom and to everyone
who was touched by Lou's presence in their lives.
Like Gretchen, I wish we could all be at Quarry Farm together to hug, cry, and
celebrate the life and mind of Lou Budd. Like so many, my life was enriched
and my thoughts sharpened by his presence, his scholarship, his wit, his
incisive questions, and his gift for being truly interested in the thoughts of
others. I will miss him deeply and cherish his memory. I've been reading and
re-reading his emails; luckily, I never seem to clean out my mailbox. Like
Gregg, I will be raising a glass to Lou tonight, and many nights to come.
Something Lou said to me once is posted beside my computer whenever I write. I
had just met him, introduced by the special collections librarian at Duke, and I
was terribly shy at first, awed by sitting on a bench talking with *the* Louis
J. Budd. He waved off my nerves and told me to call him "Lou." We talked for a
long while, and I was surprised, humbled, and delighted to find that he'd read
my first article, which had just been published. He told me that as he read it,
he kept expecting the writer to cave in to an overly optimistic or liberal
interpretation of Twain's text, but that I "bit the bullet all the way
through." The last thing he said to me that day was "Keep biting the bullet."
I scribbled the words on a post-it note as I was leaving the library . . . and
they are with me whenever I write.
Here's to Lou. May we always keep biting the bullet.
----- Original Message ----
From: Gretchen Sharlow <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sat, January 1, 2011 10:05:23 PM
Subject: Re: Louis J. Budd, 1922-2010
How I wish I had "powers" to bring us all together so we could cry and hug and
drink a toast to our dear Lou - in a circle at the Study site at Quarry Farm!
This is a sad and lonesome night. I miss all of you and I especially miss Lou.
Love to all, Gretchen
---- Mark Dawidziak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Tougher duty, I can't imagine, Tom.
> At the last Elmira gathering, we watched Lou Budd present his dear
> friend Tom Quirk with the John S. Tuckey Lifetime Achievement Award. If
> memory serves, Lou said he was quite sure Mark Twain would have liked
> Tom Quirk as much for his personality as for his literary insight. Those
> wonderful words also apply to the fellow who spoke them in August 2009.
> We'll all be struggling with words strong enough and proper enough
> to capture what Lou meant as a friend, mentor, teacher, scholar and
> author. Memorializing Lou by helping a library seems altogether fitting,
> of course, but another kind of towering memorial will unquestionably be
> built by Forum members sharing countless instances of Lou's wisdom,
> generosity, leadership, thoughtfulness and passion.
> Wiser and more insightful words are already being posted by wiser
> and more insightful members of the extended Twain family, but I'll
> certainly never forget Lou going out of his way to make a Conference
> novice feel welcome and worthy. Although he easily could have assumed
> the role of Twainian grand master, he always seemed as excited about
> learning new things as he was about sharing his considerable learning.
> Indeed, he seemed the epitome of the old line about taking the work
> seriously but not yourself. To paraphrase another author, Dickens, tell
> me higher praise and I'll use it.
> On 1/1/2011 2:00 PM, Quirk, Thomas V. wrote:
> > I am sorry to report that Louis Budd died in his sleep on Monday, December
> > 20th. In accordance with Lou's wishes, there will be no memorial service.
> > As some of you may know, Lou lived the last several months next door to his
> > son and his family in Patagonia, Arizona. According to his son," if you
> > communicate with folks who wish to memorialize in some concrete way, his
> > favorite cause had become the local library. Any checks would be made
> > payable to Friends of the Library, at mailing address Patagonia Public
> > Library, PO Box 415, Patagonia, AZ, 85624. They do have a website, which i=
> > s
> > www.patagoniapubliclibrary.org."
> > Tom Quirk =20