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.