Friday, July 17, 2009

YOU WERE THE MAN, WALTER.

YOU WERE THE MAN, WALTER.

One of my earliest memories is of watching Walter Cronkite, on CBS.
I recall picking up a newspaper in front of our house, when I was only about 4-and-a-half-years-old(in 1962), and seeing a photograph of a beautiful blond lady on the front page. I asked my Mom who she was, and my mother said"A movie star. Marilyn Monroe." And we watched the news later, and I saw Walter Cronkite speak of her, and her mysterious death.
One year later, it was Walter Cronkite who I watched when I was sent home from kindergarten, and I cried again, when I saw him on the news, and he spoke about President John F. Kennedy having been assasinated.
And years later, when we had settled into the suburb of Apollo Beach, Florida my mother would sigh and my father would grip the arm-rests of his big easy-chair as Walter Cronkite delivered the numbers of those killed daily, in the "Vietnam Conflict". I remember asking how it could be that we always seemed to have fewer people die on "our side"; how odd it seemed that the "enemy" always seemed to die in larger numbers. Eventually, Walter Cronkite's disgust with the numbers he was handed, showed. And he stopped reading them.

It was Walter Cronkite who delivered news to us about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Bobby Kennedy.

I was thinking about Walter Cronkite just yesterday, because the anniversary of the Apollo 11 and the landing on the moon mission was yesterday: the 40th Anniversary.
I watched that July night, along with millions of people around the globe. Walter Cronkite anchored the news--and Walter and all of us stared at the fuzzy footage of the astronauts--- landing on the moon.
Afterwards, I walked outside our tiny home(we had moved to the woods--we lived on nearly 20 acres of land, and were surrounded by pine trees, and sandy hills) with my Dad, and looked up at the dark sky, and asked "So, that's where they are, Daddy? On the moon?" And my Dad said,"Lisa, I can't believe it; it's what we used to think was science-fiction; 'Flash Gordon'--comic-book-stuff. Yeah, that's where they are...It's amazing."
I remember saying prayers for the astronauts to be safe, because here had been accidents in the past, and Walter Cronkite had told us about those.....I even prayed for Walter Cronkite, because I wanted him to be healthy, to be happy, to be able to keep bringing us the news.
My parents gave me a wonderful little 45 rpm-record(for those of you who do not know, a "45" is a tiny vinyl record we played on turntables also known as stereos )called "Man On The Moon", which featured the entire broadcast, with Walter Cronkite.
They knew I loved science, the landing on the moon, and they knew I loved Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite was voted "Most Trusted Person in America" in many polls, year after year.
Here's to you, Walter.
Thank you for bringing the sad news--and the triumphant news-- of my childhood. And for doing so, with such eloquence.
RIP, Walter Cronkite.

Peace, kids.

15 comments:

Collin Kelley said...

He will be missed. I'm glad I got to see him on the air before he retired. He was the gold standard for journalism as far as I'm concerned.

Karen J. Weyant said...

Walter Conkrite delivered the very first news that I remember -- the Three Mile Island accident (I grew up just a few hours away).

He was (and is) so much a part of our history.

Karen J. Weyant said...

Walter Cronkite, that is. I should never hit the publish button until I proofread!

Lydia said...

What a dear and touching tribute to Walter Cronkite, and to his value in your life. I particularly love the memory you have of you and your dad looking up at the moon that night, and that you prayed for Cronkite along with the astronauts. He would really have enjoyed that story, Lisa!

I will miss him on New Years Day in the classical music special from Vienna. When he was replaced this year by Julie Andrews I was so sad; it just wasn't the same at all. But he was still here with us then. Next year his spirit can waltz with the dancers to the orchestra's music that he so loved.

Lisa Allender said...

Collin Kelley--Hi there. I know, he really was the gold standard.
Karen J. Weyant--Three Mile Island is your earliest news memory? That was huge news day of course....and that year, that means you're still a youngster! ;)
Lydia--Thank you for the kind words.
You're correct--that Vienna-thing.I confess I hadn't seen it in awhile.
And his boating? I always wanted to meet him, or just see him, out on his boat--looking so swell in his jaunty cap with his big smile...

christine said...

I like his story of how his tag line came about. He's was such an unassuming person, which I loved about him. Your memories of growing up with the news are touching. You were a very observant, bright little girl!

an average patriot said...

He was awesome wasn't he? , He was the voice of CBS. He was the average person, our voice in Vietnam, landing on the world, Watergate.
To many of us he is our modern day history. He retired March 6, 1981 but his voice will never be silent. Me I still see him sailing.
Obama said Walter was the news and I agree that he will be the voice and face of the news. "Sail on Walter Cronkite sail on" And That's the Way Cronkite Was

Sue said...

You know I am too young to really remember him but somehow this still made me sad.

He just seemed like everyone's grampa you know?

Lisa Allender said...

Christine--Hi there, thank you for stopping in. I just love his explanation of the "And That's The Way It is" line, too!
Average Patriot--Thanks. I wish I could've met him. What a great, decent fellow!
Sue--Welcome, and Thank you for visiting!
Congrats on beginning your own blog--I just visited you. Great start!

Michelle said...

Lovely post on a very special man.

Thank you for taking the time to remember him.

Rhiannon said...

Hi Lisa,

I know I feel so sad also..and like you have many memories throughout history of Walter Cronkite. Always a feeling of "faith and trust" in him and his strong prescense. He was a "no nonsense", "common sense" kind of man if you know what I mean?

I wonder who we can pass Walters strong prescence onto now here on earth? I just am not sure. Something to think about?

I hope you'll drop by my blog Lisa, as I'm celebrating the 4th year of my blog with a "celebration post" to all my old and "new blog friends"..seems even longer that I've been doing my blog..but am now starting a 5th year any day now.

Many Blessings..and I hope that Walters angels lifted him up peacefully and gracefully to the heavens, with their soft whispering wings.

Love,

Rhi

Lisa Allender said...

Michelle--Thank you for stopping in!
Rhi--Thank you, and CONGRATS ON YOUR upcoming 5th Year Blogging!!I'm headed over to catch up with you, now!

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

interesting to read!
I'm not sure if I knew him. For one thing I live on the other side of the world and then I hardly ever watched the news...

I'm glad you liked the award, Lisa and nice, that you've passed it on! I am sure you made many people happy!

Re Alzheimer: I don't really believe in anything the authorities, papers, doctors come up with... but I do think it's important to lead both a clean and ethical life. Claen also in the sense of that one should eat healthy and keep the body in good condition. I have noticed that the people who get problems like Alzheimers or who end up senile, are usually those who have committed a lot of not so nice acts against their fellow man. at least that's what it seems like in my parents' families. they were mean and destructive people and I am not surprised that they then eventually ended up not being able to remember etc. anymore, because they had done so many things that they didn't want to remember. But okay from those few people you perhaps can't judge... still I think if one acts decent and lives a healthy life, one does have pretty good chances of not getting any illnesses!

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

wasn't quite finished commenting... so here comes the rest:

Thoughts on Iran... I really don't know, but the situation is obviously not good, that's for sure and I also noticced that my son's friend has now gotten his wife out of the country... I do think he must be very releaved that she's finally safe with him... well, let's wait and see, I don't think this regime is gonna last too long anyway.

re the things about you: was good what yiou said about bi-sexuality, that you love the person and not the sex. I think that's very much a validation of the spirit.
But why is it then important to have a sexual relationship?
I mean, one can love anybody and many people but one anyway can onlu have a limited number of bed-partners... well, unless you're really an athlet and have got nothing else to do... well you know what I mean?
Also since you are talking about children... a child does need a stable environment, so naturally two parents are plenty...
I would be interested to hear your point of view on this and how you are feeling and why.
because I also feel I can love anybody, no matter what sex, but i would never get into another sexual relationship than with my husband. - For one thing, it would far too much work for me, I already got more to attend to than I can possibly manage...!

re a partner for life it is very important to me that i can 100% rely on that person and that we have the same goals in life.

Do you see things differently?

Re adopting a child... I hink that was a very nice thought. I have given bith twice, but believe me that's definitely something you can do without!!! Even though I love my children very much and I have a surprisinly close realtionship with them inspite of them now being grown men, I can't understand why so many women get preagnant when there are so many other chilren around who don't have a safe home...

re Michael jackson:
You think he really did those things? Honestly I don't know. I also think it's possible that he's been set up. but it's difficult to tell from a distance. Anything can be true.

so i've gotta get back to our renovatiopns. we've really been pushing it recently, but are making great progress. see you around! love, Sarah sofia

Lisa Allender said...

Sarah Sofia--Thank you for both of your comments.
As far as Bisexuality goes, one can be faithful and have a monogamous withtheir life-partner, whichever gender that person may be.I love my honey, Hansoo, and am faithful to him.
Funny, what you said re. birthing children.
Adoption:I think all kids deserve a great home, too.
Alzheimer's...hmmmmm...I do know several kind, loving folks who got Alzheimer's, so I do not belive this disease(or any disease) is "punishment" or a justified end to someone's life).
However, you have a point in terms of our mind-set affecting disease, for sure.
Michael Jackson? Well, if it was only one person, I'd say it's not true, or unlikely. But there was the 21-million-$-payout-to one-family(which makes him look guilty, otherwise, why pay to make them go away??), and then charges pressed by the LAPD, which had mountains of evidence. He was NOT convicted, so technically, he is "innocent". But there's something inherently un-natural/disturbing/wrong with someone sleeping with children(which he admitted when he said "It's the most loving thing, to share your bed with someone."in answer to whether he shared his bed with young boys), socializing with children exclusively(much later, he was 33, and a child was 13 when he insisted on a trip, alone, to Paris, France, together).Of course, the child's parents let him go, so that is their fault.
Thank you again, Sarah Sofia.