And that’s the way it was


I just got home from work – yes I’m working again for a few weeks – and learned that Walter Cronkite has died.

I’m really sad about that.

Strangest thing, I was thinking about him today, and wondering how he was doing. Apparently he was dying at that very moment.

I guess all the hype about the 40th anniversary of the Moon Walk – the REAL moon walk, not the Michael Jackson version – prompted my reverie.

Walter Cronkite walked us through all the magnificent accomplishments of our country during the last half  century. He was there every day, rain or shine. The Moon Walk was a high point for him.

I remember my grandparents watching the event  in 1969.  My grandmother commented, “How do you think they’re going to get back down?”

“I reckon they’ll just turn loose,” responded my grandfather. We’ve laughed about that for years, but I’m not sure I didn’t agree with him.

From the first days that I became interested in world events when I was in college, Walter Cronkite was there to usher us through the raging waters.  He was somehow reassuring that the Russians weren’t really coming to get us, and America would survive any kind of assault by the bad guys. Now we don’t even know who the bad guys are!

Living in small town America in the 1950s and 60s,  I don’t think we could pick up any other network anyway, so he was our sole source of news.  I remember thinking he talked “Southern” just like me. Boy,  was I in denial.

I remember his last broadcast and his parting words  “That’s the way it is.”  I’ve missed him for many years now, and always wished I could hear his take on world events today.

Charlie Gibson is my news king now.  And I like his parting shot – “I hope you’ve had a good day.” Don’t we all wish.

3 thoughts on “And that’s the way it was

  1. Emily,

    These are some little known facts among lots of people about the origin of some news and weather folks:

    I’ve been thinking about him too, and said to myself, or maybe even outloud, that I thought he’d be the next celeb to go. He talked the way he did because he was a Houstonian, having been on the local news in H-town before he hit the bigtime, I think. Being in journalism, I’m sure you know that Dan Rather was a local news guy in Houston as well, having become known with his coverage of Hurricane Carla.

    I think everyone knows the news guy from Old Miss. Ain’t he sumpin’? I like him because he’s different.

    We took Dr. Neil Frank from the weather channel when he left there to be a local network affiliate weather guy. He retired from that affiliate here recently.

    Bill Moyers is an east Texas dude, and that guy on PBS who wrote for the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, well, he was from Ft. Worth, I think.

    One of the local guys on the NBC affiliate went to work for the network in New York, and hated it so much he told ’em “thanks, but no thanks,” and asked to return to his old Houston job. He retired as an anchor here.

    U.of Houston has a program for TV journalism, I guess you call it, so guess that’s why so many are from here.

    Can’t remember which one died last, Chet or David, but anyway, the last one’s child lived here with his family, so he actually spent the rest of his days in Houston to be with his family.

    There are probably others that just aren’t coming to mind.

    Anyway, I used to think Cronkite would be doing specials for the rest of my natural life, didn’t you?


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