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Fred Hudson's Eulogy

By Budd Schulberg

I have never known anyone like Fred Hudson. I’ve met some pretty good people in my life, but the goodness in Fred was unique. I have known him now for over thirty years. When the opportunity came to emulate in New York what we had done in Watts with the Watts Writers Workshops, Fred was the obvious choice as Director. To find someone with a creative spirit who can also handle the daunting day-to-day details of running a school, an organization, is to ask for a miracle. They are usually two different people. But Fred was that miracle man. We started out as we had in Watts and San Francisco, with Fred and me sitting around a table with a half dozen aspiring young writers. I watched in wonder as our school grew from one general workshop into separate fiction and poetry groups and year by year to the twenty-workshop institution that Fred has left us today.

The driving force behind that remarkable success can be summed up in one word – DEDICATION. Or perhaps with another, SELFLESSNESS. Fred sacrificed his career as a gifted writer to the Center. He sacrificed his health. At times, in a jocular way, I used to call him St. Fred. But I think all of us who have had the privilege of knowing and working with him had this feeling that there was something saintly about him. His humility. His patience. His tolerance. And still there was grit in him. He knew how many wrongs still needed to be righted. I respected him as a quiet militant. And now we know what Fred is asking us to do. We hear his voice clearly. That quiet, determined voice. To keep the Center alive and well—not just in his memory, but in his living presence. Fred, your dear friends are gathered here together this evening to celebrate your goodness by rededicating themselves to continue your rare mission to serve creative humanity through the Douglass Center. We miss you, Fred. We love you, Fred. We’ll never forget you.