Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 - Those I Lost

Each year in an attempt to further demonstrate that the world does in fact revolve around me, I like to pay tribute to the way my life was affected by those famed individuals who passed on during the course of the year.  While there are those whose influence should go without saying – such as Nelson Mandela, there are also those whom I feel have left ginorumus marks on my world.  Let me give you a brief run down.

Let’s start with Psychic Sylvia Brown.  First off, didn’t you see this coming?  I mean you are a psychic, but alas, we will miss you.  Kids, long ago, back in the dark ages before we could go to to find out what the future held, we were forced to telephone a knowledgeable psychic who seemed to only operate under the cover of darkness and who often advertised during Friday Night Videos.  However, Sylvia you must have done something right because years later Montel Williams took you on as resident psychic.  *Disclaimer- I shall never admit if I did or did not dial her, let it be noted that I was saddened by her departure.

And then there were those who helped to raise me via boob-tube:

Bonnie Franklin- Ann Romano, together we took it one day at a time.  My parents hated your show but oh how jealous I was of your daughters and the festive single mother upbringing you offered them.  Most importantly, your bell bottoms were amazing.   

Conrad Bain – aka Mr. Drummond.  What you talkin’ about Mr. Drummond.  

Jean Cooper – Oh Mrs. Chancellor, you were my first soap opera Grand Dame.  Young and the Restless was something my mother and I shared in my years before kindergarten and you were such an integral part of our lunchtimes. 

And Marcia Wallace – My fellow native Iowan, you made me dream of being a sassy receptionist with
flaming red hair and a razor sharp wit.  And while I did do a brief stint as a receptionist for a group of shrinks, alas, I looked heinous as a redhead and never did a runty Bob Newhart-esque man of medicine offer me a job. 

Jean Stapleton – Edith, you and Archie formed the mold for my in-laws and thanks to my years of following your escapades with that blockhead husband of yours, I came to understand my own mother-in-law.  And much like your extended kindness in the face of Archie’s hostility to your son-in-law Meathead, my mother-in-law did the same for me.  If only the rest of America had ever really known how your talents went far beyond All In The Family.

Pat Summerall – We spent many a football season together and when my brothers wouldn’t allow me onto the field, I grabbed my tin-foil and construction paper microphone and became your female alter ego.  Ah the 70’s were good to us both.

Annette Funicello – Before I used your movies to entertain angry mobs of middle schoolers as a teacher, encouraging them to shake it on a beach blanket like you, you taught me the beauty of Skippy peanut butter.  You may have a cannon of work 20 miles long, but you will always be the peanut-butter lady to me.

Lou Reed – I didn’t find you until grad school but once I did, you never left my collection.

George Jones and Slim Whitman – you were major players in the soundtrack of my childhood and while the new version of country music causes me to vomit into my mouth, I will always love the old school.

Seamus Heaney.  I’m not a fan of poetry but you swayed me to your side.  Years ago in graduate school I came across your work and once I realized your name was not pronounced Sea- mus, I dreamed of naming my son after you.  Sorry I lost out to the Turks on that one though.

James Gandolfini- You played to my love of the bald man.  The chubbier you got and the more hair that you lost, the more I thought you the sexiest man in Jersey.  You were one fine piece of ass. 
For years, Sunday nights in Philly were centered on a nice Chianti, a little linguine  and you.

Mehmet Ali Birand – You were one of the most level headed and legitimate newsmen I witnessed on Turkish network television during my years there.  Your crisp manner of speaking and ‘matter-of-fact’reporting made you one of the few television personalities I could acutally understand. 

I could go on and on but these were the big ones.  Each of you added a little something to my and you will all be missed.  Especially you Tony...

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