What a pleasure!
We’ve stayed friends even after the Journal went off the air. I’ve been watching Moyers & Company online. But last week, Stuart and I stopped in to see Bill and Judith at their offices in New York.
I learned soon afterward that Bill turns 80 on Thursday. Since he has disallowed a party, I’d love to collect good wishes from those of you who know and love his work. Maybe you saw his interviews with Joseph Campbell on The Power of Myth or his Death and Dying series.
No one else has done what Bill has done in journalism, whether you are comparing length, depth, or breadth.
At age 80, he’s still working hard to put a weekly program on air.
He never quits after just one question; he drills down until the interviewee locates a deeper answer.
He doesn’t do just political and economic news stories. He also brings artists on air, and when he does, they light up the screen.
If you want some vintage (1973) Moyers and if you are still finding it hard to say good-bye to Maya Angelou, here’s a wonderful interview re-posted a few days ago on the Moyers website. Watch for the place where she says “bringing women onto your crew has made me love you more.” And then this amazing exchange: when she describes the role of enslaved black women nursing white boys at their breast who will grow up to rape their daughters and kill their sons, Bill says, “That’s strong.”
Maya responds as a friend, looking straight at him, “I know, but it’s the truth, Bill. It’s the truth.”
Finding the truth in love has been Bill’s passion. In Maya Angelou he found a kindred spirit. I’m sure she would want us to celebrate with our own words showered on Bill.
Throughout our working relationship, Bill amazed me with his consistency. He was always the same curious, creative, and compassionate man whether on-screen probing for answers to tough questions or off-screen placing the spotlight on friends and new acquaintances.
Bill doesn’t like fuss, especially fuss directed at him.
So let’s not fuss.
Let’s just sing “Happy Birthday” in four-part harmony!
Please offer your greeting below. I’ll make sure Bill sees it. On Thursday. On his birthday.