Illuminating the Horizon

 

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Bob, Celia Converse (who helps us book our fabulous guests) and producer Ariana Pekary celebrate Bob's Gaudium Award.

Last month, Bob received the Gaudium Award from the Breukelein Institute which seeks to honor people whose lives have “illumined the horizon of human experience." The word Gaudium is derived from the Latin word for “joy." When Bob’s friend Bobbie Ann Mason heard the news she said, “They are giving YOU an award for joy?” The Breukelein Institute, though non-religious and not-for-profit in structure, traces its origins to St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) called the Saint of Joy. The list of past honorees is not too shabby; Bob is in good company: Emma Bombeck, Dave Brubeck, Agnes de Mille, Marian Wright Edelman, Father Robert Drinan, Mr. Rogers, Maurice Sendak, and Eudora Welty are just a few of their past recipients. Bob and producer Ariana Pekary attended the awards dinner in New York City which was a benefit for inner-city scholarship programs, homelessness projects on the Lower East Side and musical performance groups throughout New York. The highlight of the evening was a note sent over from Bill Moyers:

When Bob Edwards signed off for the last time as anchor of NPR's MORNING

EDITION, I didn't think I would ever want to get out of bed again. The

world threatened to be so strangely empty that I couldn't face it on my

own. Fortunately, my grandchildren finally taught me where to find

satellite radio, and once again Bob's my companion through the trials

and tribulations of the week. The interviews he conducts sprinkle a

world of woe with signs of hope. Given what has happened to journalism

in this tabloid age, I am often reminded of the marvelous speech Bob

made in his native state of Kentucky some years ago. He quoted a

high-class hooker known as the Mayflower Madam, who said: "I was in the

wrong business. But I did it with dignity." Bob Edwards has made me

proud to be a colleague in a field that both of us consider a calling

and for which he has set the highest of standards for all of us who look

up to him.

Andy Danyo