Celebrating Rudy’s Life

Here are details of the memorial service for Rudy Ruderman, followed by comments from Andy Fisher, Al Wasser, Carolyn Giatris   Mike Eisgrau and Edward Brown who, with others among us, had the good fortune to know Rudy as colleague and friend.         E.B.

There will be a memorial service to celebrate the life of Rudy Ruderman (May 30, 1926 – March 9, 2013) at the Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY this Sunday afternoon, March 17th from 1:30 – 3:30.

He was a kind, funny and generous man and we will all miss him. Please consider sharing a story about Rudy – anything that reflects his spirit, or would tickle his spirit. If you can come and share in person, please RSVP. If you wish to send a short story about Rudy or your relationship with him, please do and we will try to read the tales or otherwise share with the celebrants. While we are an informal crowd, the club does have its own dress code for men – please wear a collared shirt, jacket, no jeans.

Please let us know if you can attend by Friday night so we can plan food accordingly.
Email: DanRuderman1@gmail.com, cell at (413) 358-8883
What: Memorial for S.G. “Rudy” Ruderman
When: Sunday, March 17, 2013. 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Where: Larchmont Yacht Club. 1 Woodbine Ave Larchmont, NY 10538
Who: Friends, Family, Colleagues, Admirers

Thank you,
Jim and Dan Ruderman

Links:
http://www.larchmontyc.org for directions and information to Larchmont, or call them at (914) 834-2440
http://www.obitsforlife.com/obituary/671747/Ruderman-S-G-Rudy.php
https://www.facebook.com/dan.ruderman for information – if you want to ‘friend’ me, I will send an invitation to the memorial from Facebook also

from Andy Fisher — No one person on the WNEW staff was more influential to my career than Rudy Ruderman. He was my first friend when I had no friends; a ready and willing teacher when there was much for me to learn; a patient mentor who encouraged me to help him compile the statistics for his financial reports; a helpful editor when I moved into the ranks of writers; the assistant news director who moved me into his afternoon-editor shift; and even, incredibly, a vacation replacement for me after he left full-time employment with the station.
He had a prodigious, unfailing, ingenious sense of humor that ensured that working a shift with — or for — him would be an enjoyable experience. It was, notably, not a selfish sense of humor; as befits a master editor, he enjoyed other writers’ clever leads as much as his own. And it was never humor at the expense of precision. The facts were never bent just to get a laugh. He was an expert at mediating the fights that frequently broke out in the newsroom about 4:00 in the afternoon. He was merciful when my work would fall short; management never found out about some of my worst mistakes.
Once, I called him, “Sir,” and he quickly reminded me that he, too, had been an enlisted soldier and wouldn’t put up with that kind of approach. He was a great exponent, without actually talking about it, of the equality that exists, or should exist, among journalists in the really great newsrooms. He never let me forget that he was my friend, and I was his, and we often reminisced about the unforgettable people and events of those long-ago days in the newsroom with the high ceiling and the beeper booth and the clattering teletypes and blasting bulletin bells.
He is gone from among us, and we have suffered a great loss.      A.F.

 from Al Wasser — I met Rudy on Julyt 8, 1958, when he was program director of WHK radio in Cleveland and I was a young, aspiring newsman just out of college and starting my first job.  I remember him as a warm and gregarious boss and mentor, generous with tips to help the newbie.  A few months later, after he’d returned to New York, he was equally generous in putting in a good word for me with the WNEW brass, giving me an entree to a job at the station I’d grown up listening to.  Over our years as colleagues, Rudy was a rock; always cheerful, full of wisdom, oh so funny.  And what a terrific newsman he was; who can forget his daily insightful interviews with young stockbrokers who later became Wall Street superstars.  Without Rudy, I still might not know that the Dow isn’t the whole market.

Even after we went our separate professional ways, his generosity of spirit was evident in hard times; the lovely memorial for his lovely wife Tully that he organized in Central Park; the cheerfulness he maintained and showed at the “coming-out” party Claudia Dreyfus of the Times gave when his ’80s nightmare came to a close.

I’m eternally grateful that I had the good fortune to know Rudy Ruderman; RIP.                                                                                                                                        A.W.

 from Carolyn Giatris (in an e-mail to Bill Diehl)  I hadn’t heard.  Please be sure to say that Rudy had a big influence on my career.  He was my cheerleader and the one that came up with the idea to have me go “shoplift” at Kleins Department Store at Christmas time to do a story on shoplifting.  It was in those days something else to get wired up with a secret mike…we laughed as they put the mike in my bra and ran the wire down my back.  All the while he kept saying “this is gonna be great….gonna be great.”  Well, I don’t know how great it was….because I didn’t get away with it.  The in-store security got me.  His reaction….”don’t worry, kid……this’ll be better for the ending.”.

  I feel lucky to have known him.                                                                                 C.G.

from Mike Eisgrau — I guess of the many good words I can use to describe Rudy—the one which stands out in my mind is “mentor”. I’m a New Yorker—but in 1967, after 5 years in the midwest, at journalism grad school,as a writer at WLS/ABC News in Chicago, and then as a young radio and TV anchorman in Elkhart/South Bend, Indiana—it was still a daunting challenge for me to be brought from small town radio and TV to the finest local radio newsroom in the U.S.

 In Indiana I had no one to help me along—I had to learn by myself. But, from almost my first day at WNEW, Rudy was there to help me learn the New York ropes. It was hard for me to believe that I had a true professional actually watching over my copy and my reports from the field. Those first few weeks were quite scary for me—especially since I was thrown into four civil rights riots in two weeks—including Newark. But through those first couple of years—and beyond—Rudy’s was a steady hand on my progress—he was my mentor—something for which I will always be grateful.                                             M.E.

from Edward Brown – Media memory, as a summary judgment of an individual life, often misses events and attributes that do not earn the lasting attention of a headline or attract even the smallest notice, but which can be the fuller part of the measurement of that life.

The comments published on the internet by Al Wasser and Andy Fisher help offer a fuller account of Rudy’s life as a moral and honorable bag’a bones who earned the affection and admiration of those who were close to him personally and collaborated with him professionally.  In a profession where colleagues are also competitors, Al and Andy note that Rudy gave generously of his skills, knowledge, experience, good nature and gentle humor to brighten both the spirits and career prospects of those in his charge.  

 To that view of him, I give loud assent and add my own evidence of Rudy putting his talents selflessly in service to others.  I was present, for example, at times when he would rescue a reporter’s failing work, mine included, by providing the right fact or changed perspective, neither receiving, nor seeking recognition.  He had a cool head and a kind heart and delighted in the success of others.

 Rudy was a devoted family man and professional– a generous, caring man.–a good man.  What better can be said of a man?  What finer legacy is there?

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Rudy’s Life”

  1. The memorial gathering for Rudy yesterday was, by turns, enlightening, funny, and deeply touching. We gained a new appreciation for Rudy by meeting his family, so clearly touched by his unparalleled graciousness. We met his eloquent and witty sons and their beautiful wives; his devoted sister; his handsome and charming grandsons; and his stunning granddaughter Sophia.
    No one who spoke was able to avoid twinges of emotion. Rudy’s impact on us all was that profound. Carolyn Giatras’ remembrance about doing a report on shoplifting shook loose a memory of just how persuasive Rudy could be and was. Rudy could get anyone to do anything. As I listened to Bill Diehl read Edward Brown’s testimonial, I was reminded of my days writing Ed’s 6:00 newscast, how Ed wanted the copy clean, and concise, allowing the news to make the impact and not drawing attention to the writing itself. It was a challenge for me, because clever lead sentences were always my forte. Still, when New York University — whose teams were “the Violets” — canceled its basketball program because of financial problems, Rudy somehow managed to convince Ed to lead the story like this:
    Budgets are red,
    Violets are blue.
    That’s all for basketball
    At old NYU.
    For years, I had been trying to get a mention in the “Leads I Liked” section of the news director’s weekly memo. That one did it, not in the least because of Ed’s impeccable reading of it or of Rudy’s persuasion in getting him to read it.
    I told Rudy’s son Dan that his father had always reminded me of one of the heroic characters from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Style and class came so naturally to him, more naturally than to anyone else I ever worked with in broadcasting or journalism. Rudy was everywhere in yesterday’s gathering in the Gilded-Age surroundings of the Larchmont Yacht Club. My wife, who never knew either Rudy or my own work at WNEW, had tears in her eyes. I was privileged to be there. I was especially privileged to have known Rudy Ruderman.

  2. Media memory, as a summary judgment of an individual life, often misses events and attributes that do not earn the lasting attention of a headline or attract even the smallest notice, but which can be the fuller part of the measurement of that life.

    The comments published on the internet by Al Wasser and Andy Fisher help offer a fuller account of Rudy’s life as a moral and honorable bag’a bones who earned the affection and admiration of those who were close to him personally and collaborated with him professionally. In a profession where colleagues are also competitors, Al and Andy note that Rudy gave generously of his skills, knowledge, experience, good nature and gentle humor to brighten both the spirits and career prospects of those in his charge.

    To that view of him, I give loud assent and add my own evidence of Rudy putting his talents selflessly in service to others. I was present, for example, at times when he would rescue a reporter’s failing work, mine included, by providing the right fact or changed perspective, neither receiving, nor seeking recognition. He had a cool head and a kind heart and delighted in the success of others.

    Rudy was a devoted family man and professional– a generous, caring man.–a good man. What better can be said of a man? What finer legacy is there?

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